Building the Rule of War

Postconflict Institutions and the Micro-Dynamics of Conflict in Eastern DR Congo

Milli Lake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Why have peace-building and reconstruction efforts so frequently failed to create durable institutions that can deter or withstand resurgent violence in volatile sites of cyclical conflict? Extant theory predicts that new institutions can help overcome violence and mitigate commitment problems in postconflict contexts by reducing uncertainty in inherently uncertain environments. By contrast, this article argues that postconflict institutions often prove limited in their abilities to contribute to durable peace because they offer wartime elites new venues in which to pursue conflict-era agendas. Through a micro-analysis of efforts to build the rule of law in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, I demonstrate that wartime elites capture and instrumentalize new legal institutions to maximize their intra- and inter-organizational survival; to pursue economic, military, and political agendas behind the scenes; and, in some cases, to prepare for an imminent return to war.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalInternational Organization
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 21 2017

Fingerprint

peace
elite
violence
political agenda
constitutional state
reconstruction
Military
uncertainty
commitment
Agenda
Durables
ability
economics
Peacebuilding
Commitment problem
Rule of law
Elite capture
Uncertainty
Economics
Elites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Law

Cite this

Building the Rule of War : Postconflict Institutions and the Micro-Dynamics of Conflict in Eastern DR Congo. / Lake, Milli.

In: International Organization, 21.03.2017, p. 1-35.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0c4454c1730f4e349c3aca30f98c81d4,
title = "Building the Rule of War: Postconflict Institutions and the Micro-Dynamics of Conflict in Eastern DR Congo",
abstract = "Why have peace-building and reconstruction efforts so frequently failed to create durable institutions that can deter or withstand resurgent violence in volatile sites of cyclical conflict? Extant theory predicts that new institutions can help overcome violence and mitigate commitment problems in postconflict contexts by reducing uncertainty in inherently uncertain environments. By contrast, this article argues that postconflict institutions often prove limited in their abilities to contribute to durable peace because they offer wartime elites new venues in which to pursue conflict-era agendas. Through a micro-analysis of efforts to build the rule of law in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, I demonstrate that wartime elites capture and instrumentalize new legal institutions to maximize their intra- and inter-organizational survival; to pursue economic, military, and political agendas behind the scenes; and, in some cases, to prepare for an imminent return to war.",
author = "Milli Lake",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1017/S002081831700008X",
language = "English (US)",
pages = "1--35",
journal = "International Organization",
issn = "0020-8183",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Building the Rule of War

T2 - Postconflict Institutions and the Micro-Dynamics of Conflict in Eastern DR Congo

AU - Lake, Milli

PY - 2017/3/21

Y1 - 2017/3/21

N2 - Why have peace-building and reconstruction efforts so frequently failed to create durable institutions that can deter or withstand resurgent violence in volatile sites of cyclical conflict? Extant theory predicts that new institutions can help overcome violence and mitigate commitment problems in postconflict contexts by reducing uncertainty in inherently uncertain environments. By contrast, this article argues that postconflict institutions often prove limited in their abilities to contribute to durable peace because they offer wartime elites new venues in which to pursue conflict-era agendas. Through a micro-analysis of efforts to build the rule of law in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, I demonstrate that wartime elites capture and instrumentalize new legal institutions to maximize their intra- and inter-organizational survival; to pursue economic, military, and political agendas behind the scenes; and, in some cases, to prepare for an imminent return to war.

AB - Why have peace-building and reconstruction efforts so frequently failed to create durable institutions that can deter or withstand resurgent violence in volatile sites of cyclical conflict? Extant theory predicts that new institutions can help overcome violence and mitigate commitment problems in postconflict contexts by reducing uncertainty in inherently uncertain environments. By contrast, this article argues that postconflict institutions often prove limited in their abilities to contribute to durable peace because they offer wartime elites new venues in which to pursue conflict-era agendas. Through a micro-analysis of efforts to build the rule of law in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, I demonstrate that wartime elites capture and instrumentalize new legal institutions to maximize their intra- and inter-organizational survival; to pursue economic, military, and political agendas behind the scenes; and, in some cases, to prepare for an imminent return to war.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85015684125&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85015684125&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S002081831700008X

DO - 10.1017/S002081831700008X

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 35

JO - International Organization

JF - International Organization

SN - 0020-8183

ER -