Call for Papers: A little over a decade ago, Jarstad and Sisk (2008) in their examination of the attempts to introduce peace and democracy in the wake of civil wars, posed a critically important question: how can war-torn societies move towards peace and democracy when so often competitive elections exacerbate social and political conflict? They proposed six key dimensions that affect the likelihood of success (or failure) of such efforts after civil wars: the impact of peacekeeping, the conflict management mechanisms that are adopted, power sharing institutions, political party transformation, elections (and how they are run) the development of civil society and international influences in support of democratization efforts.
Today, in the era of Trump, political cynicism, extremism, identity politics, and pandemics, the international context in which these processes play out has fundamentally changed. Further, identity conflicts (particularly those framed around religion, race, and ethnicity) seem to have replaced civil wars that had been fought over clashes of ideology. Now seems a good time to reexamine what we have learned over thirty years of post-Cold War “liberal” peacebuilding and to bring fresh theoretical perspectives and ways of knowing to the study of politics after war.In this new environment, how relevant are the six processes identified above?
In an era of international disengagement, how will this affect peace building and democratization efforts in post-war countries? Do the aftermaths of identity conflicts (and the political organizations they produce) pose special challenges to peacebuilding and democratization? Will pandemics like COVID undermine the tentative progress that has been made in several post-war countries?