The crucial and thus-far overlooked question to be addressed, therefore, is what effect the inclusion of ex-militaries into electoral politics has on post-war security. Can 'warlord democrats' make a positive contribution by shepherding their wartime constituencies to support the building of peace and democracy, or are they likely to use their electoral platforms to sponsor political violence and keep war-affected communities mobilized through aggressive discourses?
This important volume, containing a wealth of fresh empirical detail and theoretical insight, and focussing on some of Africa's most high-profile political figures – from Paul Kagame to Riek Machar to Afonso Dhlakama – represents a crucial intervention in the literature of post-war democratization.
Even though former fighters have been identified as a major source of insecurity, there have been few efforts to systematically examine why some ex-combatants re-engage in organized violence, while others do not. This book compares the presence or absence of organized violence in different ex-combatant communities – former fighters that used to belong to the same armed faction and who share a common, horizontal identity based on shared war-and peacetime experiences – in the Republic of Congo (ex-Cobras, Cocoyes and Ninjas) and Sierra Leone (ex-Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, Civil Defense Force and Revolutionary United Front). The main determinants of ex-combatant violence are whether former fighters have access to elites and to second-tier individuals – such as former mid-level commanders – who can act as intermediaries between the two. By utilizing relationships based on selective incentives and social networks, these two kinds of remobilizers are able to generate the needed enticements and feelings of affinity, trust or fear to convince ex-combatants to resort to arms. These findings demonstrate that the outbreak of ex-combatant violence can only be understood by more clearly incorporating an actor perspective, focusing on three levels of analysis: the elite, midlevel and grass-root.
This book will be of much interest to students of peacebuilding, civil wars, post-conflict reconstruction, war and conflict studies, security studies and IR.
For Deep Down Dark, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Héctor Tobar received exclusive access to the miners and their tales. These thirty-three men came to think of the mine, a cavern inflicting constant and thundering aural torment, as a kind of coffin, and as a church where they sought redemption through prayer. Even while still buried, they all agreed that if by some miracle any of them escaped alive, they would share their story only collectively. Héctor Tobar was the person they chose to hear, and now to tell, that story.
The result is a masterwork or narrative journalism—a riveting, at times shocking, emotionally textured account of a singular human event. A New York Times bestseller, Deep Down Dark brings to haunting, tactile life the experience of being imprisoned inside a mountain of stone, the horror of being slowly consumed by hunger, and the spiritual and mystical elements that surrounded working in such a dangerous place. In its stirring final chapters, it captures the profound way in which the lives of everyone involved in the disaster were forever changed.