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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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State Formation After Civil War: Local Government in National Peace Transitions

ISBN13: 9781472462183
Published: August 2016
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £95.00

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State formation after civil war offers a new model for studying the formation of the state in a national peace transition as an integrated national phenomenon. Current models of peacebuilding and state building limit that possibility, reproducing a fragmented, selective view of this complex reality. Placing too much emphasis on state building as design they place too little on understanding state formation as unplanned historical process. The dominant focus on national institutions also ignores the role that cities and civic polities have played in constituting the modern state. Mining ideas from many disciplines and evidence from 19 peace processes, including South Africa, the book argues that the starting point for building a systematic theory is to explain a distinct pattern to state formation that can be observed in practice: Despite their conflicts people in fragile societies bargain terms for peaceful coexistence, they make attempts to constitute the right to rule as valid state authority, in circumstances prone to conflict, over which they have imperfect influence, not control. Though the kind of institutions created will differ with context, how rules for state authority are institutionalized follows a consistent basic pattern. That pattern defines state formation in peace transitions as both a unified, if contingent, field of normative practice and an object of comparative study.

Where the national-centric models see local government as a matter belonging to policy on decentralization for later in the reconstruction phase, the book uncovers a distinct "local government dimension" to peace transitions: A civic dimension to national conflicts that must be explained; incipient or proto-local authorities that emerge even during civil war, in peace making, after state collapse; the fact that it is common for peace agreements and constitutions to include rules for local authority, for local elections to be held as part of broader democratization, and for laws to be enacted to establish local government as part of peace compacts. The book develops the concept of local peace transition to explain the distinctive constitutive role of this local dimension in peace-making and state formation.

This path-breaking book will be of compelling interest to practitioners, scholars and students of comparative constitutional studies, international law, peace building and state building.

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Peacebuilding
The Rise of the Post-Cold War Peace and Security Architecture
Integrated Transition
The ‘Peace Map’ of a Typical UN Peace Building Operation
Fragmentation Not Integration

Chapter 3 State Building
The Evolution of Post-Conflict State Building
Building Denmark
Building Leviathan
The Core State Functions Model
The Grand Bargain model
State Building Limits Our View of State Formation

Chapter 4 State Formation in National Peace Transitions
State Formation as Historical Process Imperfectly Shaped by Human Design
The State as an Incipient System of Rules for State Authority
National Peace Transition as a Normative Field of State Formation

Chapter 5 Cities and State Formation
Federalism and Local Government
Decentralization and Local Government
The Constitutive Role of Local Government in State Formation
Incipient Local Authority
The Formation of Rules for Local Authority in National Peace Transitions
Local Peace Transition

Chapter 6 The South African Peace Transition
State Racism and the Long Arc of Conflict in South Africa (1910-1993)
The Fragile Apartheid State
The Peace Transition: Political Negotiations and Constitution-Making (1990-1996)

Chapter 7 Civic Conflict
Local Government and the Enforcement of Apartheid
Civic Struggle as People’s War
The Civic Dimension of the Conflict
Civic Conflict Defined the Pathways for the Local Peace Transition

Chapter 8 The Local Peace Transition in South Africa
Local Peace Agreements
The ‘Local Government’ Constitution
Elected Transitional Local Council
Local Peace Transition

Chapter 9 Cities and State Formation in National Peace Transitions