The end of a war is generally expected to be followed by an end to collective violence, as the term ‘post-conflict’ that came into general usage in the 1990s signifies. In reality, however, various forms of deadly violence continue, and sometimes even increase after the big guns have been silenced and a peace agreement signed. Explanations for this and other kinds of violence fall roughly into two broad categories – those that stress the legacies of the war and those that focus on the conditions of the peace. There are significant gaps in the literature, most importantly arising from the common premise that there is one, predominant type of post-war situation. This ‘post-war state’ is often endowed with certain generic features that predispose it towards violence, such as a weak state, criminal elements generated by the war-time economy, demobilized but not demilitarized or reintegrated ex-combatants, impunity and rapid liberalization
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