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After Civil War

After Civil War: Division, Reconstruction, and Reconciliation in Contemporary Europe

Edited by Bill Kissane
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    After Civil War
    Book Description:

    Civil war inevitably causes shifts in state boundaries, demographics, systems of rule, and the bases of legitimate authoritymany of the markers of national identity. Yet a shared sense of nationhood is as important to political reconciliation as the reconstruction of state institutions and economic security.After Civil Warcompares reconstruction projects in Bosnia, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, and Turkey in order to explore how former combatants and their supporters learn to coexist as one nation in the aftermath of ethnopolitical or ideological violence.

    After Civil Warsynthesizes research on civil wars, reconstruction, and nationalism to show how national identity is reconstructed over time in different cultural and socioeconomic contexts, in strong nation-states as well as those with a high level of international intervention. Chapters written by anthropologists, historians, political scientists, and sociologists examine the relationships between reconstruction and reconciliation, the development of new party systems after war, and how globalization affects the processes of peacebuilding.After Civil Warthus provides a comprehensive, comparative perspective to a wide span of recent political history, showing postconflict articulations of national identity can emerge in the long run within conducive institutional contexts.

    Contributors: Risto Alapuro, Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic, Chares Demetriou, James Hughes, Joost Jongerden, Bill Kissane, Denisa Kostovicova, Michael Richards, Ruth Seifert, Riki van Boeschoten.

    eISBN: 978-0-8122-9030-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)
    Bill Kissane

    This book is about the reconstruction of national identities in European societies after internal war. While country-specific studies, and those of reconstruction projects after international wars, exist, how European societies have reconstructed their national identities after civil conflict has not been studied in a comparative way. Such wars invariably result in changes to the territorial bases of states, population movements, the collapse of old systems of rule, and disputes concerning the nature of legitimate authority, all of which touch on questions of national identity. These issues become explosive because they reveal what type of society people feel they belong to....


    • Chapter 1 The Legacy of the Civil War of 1918 in Finland
      (pp. 17-42)
      Risto Alapuro

      The Finnish civil war broke out at the end of January 1918. Finland had been a grand duchy in the Russian empire since 1809 but proclaimed independence in December 1917, after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.¹ The military operations of the opposing camps, the Socialists and the bourgeois groups, escalated into a war but were launched in different localities. On the one hand, the Social Democrats, the biggest party in Parliament, which had the Red Guards as its armed organization, declared a revolution in Helsinki, the capital (Map 1.1). On the other, the so-called White troops, representing the Center-Right coalition...

    • Chapter 2 “A Nation Once Again”? Electoral Competition and the Reconstruction of National Identity After the Irish Civil War, 1922–1923
      (pp. 43-69)
      Bill Kissane

      When the leaders of the Irish Free State achieved their civil war victory late in April 1923, they had to consider how to create an identification with the new Irish state. They didn’t spend much public money on commemorating their victory through public monuments, statues, and religious ceremonies (Dolan 2006). The stress was on symbols that highlighted the state’s roots in an older Gaelic civilization. It was, according to William Cosgrave, the president of the Executive Council, the objective of his government, not just to reassert the authority of the courts and confirm the supremacy of parliament, but to “resuscitate...

    • Chapter 3 State, Nation, and Violence in Spanish Civil War Reconstruction
      (pp. 70-90)
      Michael Richards

      A significant element of Francoist reconstruction in the aftermath of Spain’s civil war was the use of Republican prison labor to repair war-torn buildings and redevelop infrastructural projects such as canals and railways. The institution established in 1938 to administer the process whereby political detainees had their sentences reduced for each day that they labored in the name of the New State was the Foundation for the Redemption of Sentences through Labor. That this body was headed by a Jesuit priest, José Antonio Pérez del Pulgar, and that it brought together the autarkic economic aspirations of Franco, the Catholic Church,...


    • Chapter 4 Enemies of the Nation—A Nation of Enemies: The Long Greek Civil War
      (pp. 93-120)
      Riki van Boeschoten

      Since the 1990s, Western agencies have put considerable effort into peace building after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and generally in societies afflicted by civil war, such as Rwanda. This has given rise to an important body of work on postconflict reconstruction. Others have turned their attention to reconstruction after civil wars of the past. This burgeoning literature is problematic in a variety of ways. Often based on an essentialized notion of reconstruction, what exactly is to be reconstructed remains undefined. Reconstruction is presented as a homogeneous “blue-print” project, aimed mainly at institution building from above in order...

    • Chapter 5 Political Contention and the Reconstruction of Greek Identity in Cyprus, 1960–2003
      (pp. 121-149)
      Chares Demetriou

      Reconstruction is a word that evokes engineering projects. With that image in mind, the notion of identity reconstruction is problematic because social engineers, unlike other engineers, cannot control their projects. Is history not the product of unintended consequences? But even with no connotations of social engineering, identity reconstruction is a problematic notion inasmuch as it implies a teleology of national identity. The idea that successful state-building will involve the reconstruction of a civic national identity is too simple, concealing a variety of unpredictable dynamics and reversals. It also excludes the possibility of other forms of identity. Moreover, as with its...

    • Chapter 6 Under (Re)Construction: The State, the Production of Identity, and the Countryside in the Kurdistan Region in Turkey
      (pp. 150-184)
      Joost Jongerden

      The subject of reconstruction efforts in war-affected societies, usually referred to as “postwar reconstruction,” is attracting increasing attention (MacGinty 2003, 601), yet few studies have taken up the issue of intimate linkages between reconstruction and the geopolitical objectives of the benefactor (Jacoby 2007, 521). This is strange, since, as Jacoby and James (2010, 534) emphasize, destruction and reconstruction can be linked to “grander strategies.” This contribution analyzes reconstruction in a war-affected region from the perspective of just such a grander strategy, one aimed at the production of state control over a territory and assimilation of its population.

      The case considered...


    • Chapter 7 Ethnicity Pays: The Political Economy of Postconflict Nationalism in Bosnia-Herzegovina
      (pp. 187-212)
      Denisa Kostovicov and Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic

      On the twentieth anniversary of the onset of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the nationalist rhetoric of the leaders of the Serbian and Croatian communities eerily conjured up those political projects that plunged the multiethnic republic of former Yugoslavia into brutal conflict in 1992. The Bosnian Serb leadership’s threats to call an independence referendum for the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and their Bosnian Croat counterparts’ repeated requests for the establishment of the separate Croat entity, illustrate the failure of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) to restore a sense of national community among the country’s three ethnic groups: Bosniaks¹, Serbs and Croats....

    • Chapter 8 Nationalism and Beyond: Memory and Identity in Postwar Kosovo/Kosova
      (pp. 213-244)
      Ruth Seifert

      After more than ten years of postwar reconstruction and more than three years after Kosovar independence, there is still no consensus as to the role of ethnicity and nationality in the Kosovar conflict. While the Yugoslav conflicts often were—and sometimes still are—framed as “ethni” or “ethnonationalist,” what these terms refer to, and whether they fit developments on the ground—in Kosovo/Kosava¹ or in ex-Yugoslavia generally—are controversial issues (Blumi 2003; Simonsen 2004; Kelmendi and Arlinda 2005; Aitken 2007; Stroehle 2006; Stroehle 2011; Xhelili 2010). Some stress the necessity of forging a collective Kosovar identity, arguing that ethnic divisions...

    • Chapter 9 Reconstruction Without Reconciliation: Is Northern Ireland a “Model”?
      (pp. 245-272)
      James Hughes

      Elite discourses about the lessons to be drawn from the Northern Ireland conflict and the 1998 Belfast Agreement share many of the same concerns as those in academia concerned with designing fixes to violent conflict and postconflict reconciliation and reconstruction. A curious feature of the discourse about Northern Ireland being a “model” for conflict resolution is that it stresses process over outcome. There is much emphasis on “dialogue” while there is also much reticence about promoting the actual content of the agreements that brought the violent conflict to an end—the consociational institutional engineering—as a key element in the...

  7. Conclusion
    (pp. 273-288)
    Bill Kissane

    Civil wars have been seminal events in the histories of nations, but nowhere in the general literature on nationalism has this been studied. When conflict is within a nation the character of that nation changes. Yet this book also covers conflicts between groups with the potential to break up states. The challenge of reconstruction is different where there is no will to coexist. The literature on reconstruction does not deal with nationalism, in that it is not explicit about whether a reconstructed national identity is required for such projects to work. Policy makers may consider this beyond their reach or...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 289-290)
  9. Index
    (pp. 291-300)
  10. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 301-304)