2013 Volume 2013 Issue 174 Pages 174_139-174_152
What effect does organization of rebel groups have on the processes of postwar statebuilding? Many of the existing studies on postwar statebuilding address the question of how international actors should intervene in conflict-ridden countries. These studies presume that a proper mode of intervention by international actors is the key to the success of statebuilding. Still, it is not the international organizations or foreign governments but domestic actors who have the keenest interest in the process of postwar statebuilding. They also possess valuable resources such as location information and social networks. These resources are indispensable for a statebuilding project to succeed, and are not easily accessible to international actors. This observation indicates that domestic actors’ organizations and policies influence the course of postwar statebuilding as much as, if not more than those of international actors. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party and the National Resistance Movement in Uganda achieved a significant level of success in postwar statebuilding, in spite of the relative lack of international assistance, while some other attempts failed miserably in more favorable conditions.
In this article, I examine the effects of rebel organizations on postwar state building. My study is due in part because, in addition to local information and networks, rebel groups possess certain means of violence, which qualify them as candidates for effective spoilers in postwar statebuilding processes. Also, relatively few studies have been conducted on the relationship between rebel organizations and postwar statebuilding,in comparison to the number of studies on the effects of state capacities or institutions.
The main argument of this study is that three aspects of rebel organizations—their power to hurt, power to resist, and organizational credibility—affects the chance of successful statebuilding in postwar society. I conduct survival analyses of postwar peace duration between 1950 and 2004 to test the hypotheses, and find some support for the argument.
Findings in this study not only identify the need to pay attention to organizational characteristics of rebel groups in studying postwar peace duration, but also suggest the need to re-examine the effects of a few variables on postwar peace duration identified in the literature such as power-sharing agreement and external intervention, as their effects may be partly spurious.