Peaceful warriors and warring peacemakers

Neil Cooper


Discourse and policy on war economies has tended to treat them as separate and distinct from both the pre- and post-conflict economy. In reality, war economies tend to represent simply more violent versions of the neo-patrimonialism and external trade relations that characterize many developing states both before and after conflict. Assuming that peace will inevitably resolve the legacies that war economies leave behind is thus a forlorn hope. In addition, the discourse and control agenda surrounding conflict trade has been constructed in a way that negatively affects peacebuilding. In particular, the focus on certain pariahs or specific conflict goods tends to understate the complexity of war economies and the social function they serve - features that persist into peace.

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Cooper, N. and M. Pugh. 2002. “Security Sector Transformation in Post-Conflict Societies.” The Conflict, Security and Development Group Working Paper Series, No. 5. London: Centre for Defence Studies.

Oxfam, 2002. Africa at the Crossroads: Time to Deliver. Oxfam Briefing Paper No. 19. Oxford: Oxfam.



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