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Research Report

Early recovery in post-conflict countries: A conceptual study

Rolf Maier
Copyright Date: Feb. 5, 2010
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 94
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 5-6)

    (…) ‘war-to-peace’ transition and ‘post-conflict’ are not easily defined. Indeed, conflict prevails in all societies – both rich and poor, and the resolution of conflict is the business of everyday life. Conflict turns violent when the mechanisms for its peaceful resolution break down. Success in post-conflict recovery can, therefore, be measured by the degree to which it pushes violent conflict into peaceful channels in which it can be expressed and eventually resolved.²

    In recent years, early recovery has emerged as one of the main topics in post-conflict development. While the term ‘early recovery’ is prominent in the international debate, a...

  2. (pp. 7-31)

    Before we start our review of the frameworks, we want to expose two basic assumptions on which the report is based.

    We take a pragmatic view with respect to operational as well as policy frameworks and background concepts. Our perspective starts from the early post-conflict situation in a country defined by the first three years after conflict. We are aware of the problem of defining a post-conflict situation and the difficulties in thinking of a ‘transition phase’. We will not bind our discussion to concepts which explicitly use the term ‘early recovery’. Instead, we will look at every political strategy...

  3. (pp. 32-44)

    The second chapter has presented the variety of policy and operational frameworks applied by the international community and domestic stakeholders in an early post-conflict situation. A short critical review has discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each framework. In a brief systematic discussion the next chapter tries to disentangle the main background concepts behind the policy concepts and to inform the reader concerning the major challenges involved. The discussion leads to the identification of a number of elements of a ‘consolidated’ framework representing the current state of thinking.

    Background concepts and paradigms on economic development as well as political processes...

  4. (pp. 45-79)

    The basic idea of chapter 4 is to present stylized facts and binding constraints from cross-country as well as comparative country experience.140 We are aware of the fact that there is no prioritizing standard framework: each context needs specific political and economic analysis. Nevertheless, we think that a comparison of heterogeneous country experiences is important to reveal common issues and serves as an organizing framework for priority areas.

    Before we elaborate in further detail on stylized facts and binding constraints in an early post-conflict situation, two methodological points have to be discussed.

    First, socio-economic policies are embedded in a post-conflict...

  5. (pp. 80-81)

    To complement the policy recommendations in each priority sector, we will conclude the report with general recommendations for the Dutch policy on early post-conflict reconstruction.

    The report starts from the assumption that decisions on socio-economic policy for post-conflict situations should be based on country-specific analysis delineating domestic, regional, and global impact factors.

    To derive possible priority areas and bridge the short and medium-term objective, the report embedded the short-term stabilisation aspect in a medium-term development perspective. In this context, the report analyzed a broad set of socio-economic areas in post-conflict countries by comparatively describing their role in post-conflict countries, indicating...