BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: WPF
Annual Report Chapter, BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Intrastate Conflict Program
Other Chapters in BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000:
- BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: STPP
- BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: SDI
- BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: BCSIA Events
- BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: Bios
- BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: BCSIA Pubs
- BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: Director's Foreword
- BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: Overview
- BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: ENRP
- BCSIA Annual Report, 1999-2000: ISP
BCSIA: 1999-2000 ANNUAL REPORT
Robert I. Rotberg, Director
Sharon Butler, Program Manager
Rachel Gisselquist, Program Associate
Deborah Weinberg, Program Associate
David Kearn, Research Assistant
Alexis Keogh, Research Assistant
Clive Gray, Director of Project EAGER and Senior Fellow
Malcolm McPherson, Fellow in Development
Clifford Zinnes, Fellow in Development
On July 1, 1999, the WPF Program on Intrastate Conflict, Conflict Prevention, and Conflict Resolution was established in the Belfer Center of the Kennedy School as a result of an association between the Center and the World Peace Foundation. The Program analyzes the causes of ethnic, religious, and other intercommunal conflict, and seeks to identify practical ways to prevent and limit such conflict. It is concerned with the consequences of the global proliferation of small arms, with the vulnerability of weak states, with peace building and peace enforcement capabilities in Africa, and with the role of truth commissions in conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
Research Agenda And Policy Outreach
Challenges To Peace In The New Millennium
Establishing world order is no easier at the beginning of a new century than it was at the onset of the old. But in this era, the peace of the world is threatened by instabilities within nations much more than by disturbances between competing empires or power blocs. It is the low-tech wars that kill. Intercommunal hostilities fuel those conflicts, and sometimes become massacres and genocides. Perceived ethnic differences, religious differences, linguistic differences, racial differences, class differences, and access to resource differences, plus the real or imagined fears that sometimes arise from those differences, all stoke the flames of twenty-first century mayhem.
During the last decade of the old century an estimated 5 million persons were killed in those little wars - the civil wars and civil insurgencies of modern times. The big wars are artifacts of big power rivalries that, thankfully, are past. Even potentially dangerous threats from intercontinental nuclear ballistic missiles have been contained and major multinational cross-border conflagrations avoided in Asia and Europe. Only Africa has witnessed a hot war - admittedly a rather pointless if deadly one - across what once was an internal border.
Internecine conflicts preoccupy policy makers and everyone concerned with the creation of a more peaceful world. Indeed, the civil wars of the late twentieth century were the dangerous hot wars of the era: Algeria, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Angola, Burundi, the Congo, Rwanda, the Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Liberia - to name but the more brutal - were the killing fields of the last years of the old century and have become the continuing concerns of the new.
How to end the implacable conflicts, like those in Burundi, the Sudan, and Sri Lanka, and how to prevent the emergence of new intrastate hostilities, is a compelling objective of the WPF Program on Intrastate Conflict. It studies conflict prevention and conflict resolution, both in general and with regard to particular civil wars, and attempts to create conditions or policy frameworks conducive to peacemaking and peace maintenance across the globe and in troubled theaters of violence.
The WPF Program is also concerned with limiting the weapons of choice of civil wars and intrastate mayhem: it seeks to reduce the spread of small arms by making the legal export trade more transparent and the illicit trade in those weapons easier to prevent and pursue. The WPF Program has examined methods of preventive diplomacy and early warning. It has worked with the military establishments of Africa to construct early action crisis response capabilities to meet the challenges of conflict prevention. It has analyzed how best to negotiate the end of deadly intrastate conflicts. It continues to be engaged directly in the resolution of one long-standing intrastate antagonism through facilitated dialogue and mediation. Although world order remains elusive as ever, the WPF Program continues to seek solutions to the main threats to global harmony.
Promoting Peace Within Troubled States: 1999-2000
In the past year, the WPF Program engaged in the following major endeavors:
The last decades of the twentieth century have experienced wholesale examples of state weakness, especially in Africa. Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Somalia - to cite but three of many cases where states have ceased for at least a time to function as states - are examples of collapsing or collapsed states. Others, not least in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa, are vulnerable. This project searches for effective guidelines on how best to restore states that have ceased to function well, and on how to prevent states (like the Democratic Republic of the Congo) from cascading into failure. This project is about reinvigorating and rejuvenating states. It is also about understanding why and how they stumble, and sometimes seem to collapse. The project also asks whether some states should not be resurrected. Letting states fail sometimes could be wise policy.
Revitalizing states is much more difficult than preventing them from sliding toward decay and collapse. It is important to establish indicators of decay, and of rates of decay. It is important to determine the relative importance of such indicators: Which two or three (or seven) weaknesses generate the likelihood of collapse, and on what time scale? Likewise, to reverse the process of decay, which are the most critical, secondary, and tertiary factors? Security? Restoring the rule of law? Resuscitating the macroeconomy? Reestablishing local government? Other political institutions? Empowering civil society? Sustaining international commitments?
Who restores? Who helps resuscitate? What are the most important international and regional actors? Who manages the process? What roles should which parts of the UN play? What can and should global and regional powers do to help prevent state collapse? What international policy changes should be proposed? If globalism and the macroeconomic realities of the twenty-first century have made weak states more vulnerable, what should be done to help the weaker states? Those are among the key questions for this project.
The WPF Program involves scholars and practitioners from the United States, Europe, Africa, and elsewhere in answering these and other questions. The intent is to provide both practical and conceptual understanding to practitioners and scholars, and also to advance the field of conflict prevention and conflict avoidance by reaching testable propositions about vulnerable states.
The main fields of interest include: state collapse in theory and history; indicators of state vulnerability: political indicators of state vulnerability: economic; vulnerability and stability: the context of decay; very early conflict prevention techniques; small arms and light weapons; the military in collapse and resuscitation; rebel movements; ending civil wars; demobilizing combatants; recreating political institutions; recreating economic functioning; devising electoral and other confirming mechanisms; reestablishing the rule of law; managing the process of revitalization; empowering civil society; and the role of the UN and regional organizations.
An initial meeting to discuss the contours of this project took place in early 1999 in Britain, with the collaboration the Centre for Defence Studies, King''s College, London, and welcome support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Subsequently, the project was reconfigured and reorganized. An authors'' meeting took place in June, 2000 at the Kennedy School of Government. A second meeting is scheduled for January, 2001. The project itself is expected to be completed in 2003.
Small arms and light weapons - assault rifles, machine guns, hand grenades, shoulder-fired rockets, and other weapons that can be carried by an individual soldier - are the instruments of war most commonly employed in the terrible small wars of the post-Cold War era. As ethnic and internal conflicts proliferate, the flood of small arms becomes a relentless tide - their easy availability in an international environment that tolerates violence leading to waves of human suffering and deaths too numerous to count.
Casualties caused by intrastate conflict, overwhelmingly those of innocent civilians, number about 5 million in the 1990s alone. The United Nations reports that 80 percent of those killed have been women and children. The two-decade-old war between north and south in the Sudan has claimed about 2 million people. The bitter ebb and flow of battle in Angola adds another 1 million to the total. Between 500,000 and 800,000, mostly Tutsi, were killed in the Rwandan genocide (many by machetes backed up by guns). Several hundred thousand have been killed in neighboring Burundi. The Liberian and Sierra Leonean conflicts left another 500,000 dead. About 70,000 have been killed in the Sri Lankan civil war. There have been or are intrastate wars in the Balkans, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, northeastern India, Burma, Indonesia, Algeria, the two Congos, Mozambique, Somalia, Uganda, and on and on.
Small arms are the weapons of choice in the brutal local wars of our era. They are portable, easily manufactured and readily procured, capable of being repaired in unsophisticated surroundings, and increasingly affordable. They are manufactured in both the developed and the developing world, sold legitimately to armies and police forces, and then abandoned or declared surplus. Supplies so far exceed likely demand that real prices have fallen steadily during the decade; indeed, as fewer new weapons are produced today, so stocks of old, still lethal, guns are increasing. Ammunition is also relatively inexpensive and readily available.
Exact numbers of arms in circulation are not known, and are difficult even to estimate reliably. But where there may have been 40 million military-style small arms in the developing world in 1990, at the end of the decade there may have been as many as 100 million (a conservative figure) to 500 million (a not implausible but not well accepted figure). "Military-style" denotes weapons used Rambo-like, in the twenty or thirty intrastate insurgencies that, in any one year, shatter the peace of the contemporary world.
The global trade in these weapons (and ammunition) may be worth $7 billion a year, starting with their manufacture in seventy countries, nineteen of which are developing nations. Diffusion is easy: through government-to-government transfers and sales, from private suppliers to governments or private merchants abroad, from governments covertly to insurgents, by transfer from governments to ethnic militias or death squads, through theft from official arsenals, and by black market trafficking. The complete dimensions of this multifaceted trade are not known. Just as exact numbers of weapons manufactured, shipped, and employed are not yet known, so even the precise contours of legal transfers from governments to governments are thus far poorly documented. An illegal trade also flourishes, but how many arms move, how, and to whom, are closely guarded secrets.
In collaboration with the Washington-based Fund for Peace, The WPF Program convened a series of three meetings attended by more than forty officials of agencies of the U.S. government, leaders of non-governmental organizations with positions and expertise in the area, and knowledgeable practitioners and scholars. Experts from the United Nations and the World Bank also contributed to the deliberations and discussions. The three meetings reviewed the policies of the U.S. and foreign governments pertaining to the export and distribution of small arms, and examined whether and how it was feasible to reduce the flow of those small arms to zones of existing and potential conflict.
A set of recommendations emerged from the discussions in Washington. Among them were:
Â· Independent research by scholars and activists is needed which delves into the patterns of arms trafficking.
Â· Official U.S., EU, and UN efforts and attention should be devoted to gathering data on weapons production, tracking the supply and distribution of small arms, coordinating and extending existing national databases, creating new national databases, inventorying surplus weapons stockpiles, and creating a database of black-market traffickers.
Â· Efforts should be devoted to the creation of a global system of arms marking and identification, for tracking purposes.
Â· Several existing or contemplated UN conventions should be strengthened to provide for small arms accountability, and to criminalize illicit trafficking.
Â· There is an urgent need to monitor progress toward containing the small arms trade and assisting governments and nongovernmental organizations in pursuing their own small arms reduction efforts. A continuing program and forum is essential. The full set of recommendations, and the research and considerations from which those recommendations emerged, are described and examined in Michael Klare and Robert I. Rotberg, The Scourge of Small Arms, WPF Report 23 (Cambridge, Mass., 1999).
The WPF Program expects to build upon its completed work on small arms throughout the early years of the twenty-first century. In particular, it seeks to establish a continuing forum to undertake new research on small arms, to monitor progress toward the goals of transparency and illicit trade reduction, and to continue to exchange information about these issues with official and unofficial persons. A series of meetings were planned for 2000 in Washington. >Cyprus
In 1998, building upon the lessons examined in its Mediating Deadly Conflict: Lessons from Afghanistan, Burundi, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Haiti, Israel/Palestine, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Sri Lanka, WPF Report 19 (Cambridge, Mass., 1998), the WPF Program began to seek solutions capable of breaking the long impasse that had left the two linguistic and religious communities of Cyprus divided since the 1960s. Although about 82 percent of Cypriots are of Greek Cypriot descent and 17 percent of Turkish Cypriot or Turkish ancestry, since the 1974 war Turkish Cypriots have controlled about 36 percent of the island and Greek Cypriots the remainder. Since 1974, UN troops have patrolled a partition line dividing the northern (Turkish Cypriot) and southern (Greek Cypriot) sectors of the island.
Although bicommunal contacts were suspended by the Turkish Cypriot side in 1997, The WPF Program agreed to engage in track 2 diplomacy by bringing together Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political, business, labor, and academic leaders. Joined by the UN special advisor, a former American governor, a former US coordinator for Cyprus, an American general, and a clutch of American negotiators, diplomats, and academics, the Cypriots met initially in New Hampshire in mid-1988. Robert I. Rotberg''s account of the Cyprus problem and the meeting, together with Ericka Albaugh''s summary of the discussions in New Hampshire, appeared in 1998 as Cyprus 2000: Divided or Federal?, WPF Report 20.
Cyprus 2000 was well-received on the island, and elsewhere. Its positive reception was important, especially because it reflected a mutual Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot desire to meet not episodically but consistently and regularly in a disciplined track 2 negotiating forum. After follow-up visits to Cyprus by The WPF Program''s Director and detailed discussions with leading official and unofficial Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, plus UN and other senior diplomats, The WPF Program gathered together a carefully-selected matched group of high level Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. In meetings every two months throughout 1999 and into the first half of 2000, this track 2 (or track 1.5 given the prominence of the members of the group) experience of shared negotiating responsibility led to a series of interim reports (privately available on the island and elsewhere) and direct contributions of ideas and language to the official, 1999-2000 UN-sponsored track 1 proximity talks with the Presidents of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus.
Ultimately, the track 2 efforts led to a detailed new set of negotiating ideas and options. They included a blueprint for the organization and functioning of a new United States of Cyprus (USC), with two constituent entities of equal political weight and power. The USC government''s powers and responsibilities would relate to international law and to minimum standards, regulation, and multilevel legislative coordination. USC government competencies would include citizenship, passports, and immigration; conduct of foreign affairs; island-wide defense (subject to security guarantees); policing of USC activities and property; coastguard and fisheries; customs; central banking and currency; monetary policy; economic growth policy; USC budgets and taxation; postage and posts; environmental issues; energy; natural resources; telecommunications policy; open registries and shipping; civil aviation; common heritage coordination; and archives. The two entities would have the power to act and regulate in all areas not given explicitly to the USC government. The WPF Program''s work with Turkish and Greek Cypriots continues throughout 2000 and beyond.
Peace Enforcement in Africa
Modern Africa is engulfed in war. Nearly all of those wars are within states, where rivalries that play themselves out ethnically have been the curse of Africa since independence in the 1960s. How to prevent such intrastate conflict was the concern of this project. Specifically, this project focused on conflict prevention through intervention and peace enforcement by African commanded sub-regional crisis response forces. Africans can respond appropriately to their own crises and need not rely on outside interpositioning between combatants. Africans can, the project concludes, take charge of reducing their own intrastate warfare.
Since future Congos and Rwandas are unlikely to be rare, and since Burundi is a continuing calamity, an overriding issue for both Africa and the West has been how to restore and keep the peace. The motives for doing so are obvious: to save lives and boost the possibility of economic development; to achieve a greater than present prosperity for Africans and Africa. The absence of civil war would encourage national and continental opportunities for growth. Human and economic potentials would be unlocked after years, if not decades (in some cases), of destruction.
Africans can take charge of their own conflict prevention and peace enforcement. For decades, contingents from a number of African countries, especially Ghana, Senegal, and Botswana, have been deployed in UN peacekeeping operations, outside as well as within Africa. They have served in South Lebanon, Somalia, Angola, and elsewhere. But peacekeeping occurs after a brokered cease-fire is in place. Peacekeepers observe violations of cease-fires and seek to reduce other breaches of the peace.
Africa''s problems are primarily of the pre-cease-fire kind. How to persuade or compel warring parties to lay down their arms and resolve conflicts peacefully is the overriding question. Thus, if a rapid reaction force of African soldiers could be created to make the peace, and to minimize the spread of hostilities, fewer lives would be lost and fewer internecine antagonisms would transform themselves into all-out civil wars. At least that is the hypothesis that motivated this project to explore how an African-controlled force could be used to prevent conflict and strengthen the pursuit of peace on the continent.
Africans have long recognized the great need for conflict prevention and appropriate military intervention on their continent. Some of their savvy statesmen have oft sought to reduce threats to peace and have employed the usual concatenation of diplomatic means to limit the spread of internecine imbroglios. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) in theory exists to perform just such roles, but unanimity of decision making hinders any decisive action, as does the inviolable doctrine of non-interference in sovereign states. Moreover, the OAU has had no effective early warning or early action capacity; nor has it had any military capability. Only when Tanzania ousted Idi Amin from Uganda in 1979 and when a frustrated Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) formed the expeditionary force known as ECOMOG to intervene in Liberia, and later in Sierra Leone, did Africa exhibit any broad willingness to limit the killing fields of the continent.
Do Africans want to keep their own peace by developing peace intervention and peace enforcement capacity? If the strong recent responses to these and similar questions by a prime minister, about twenty ministers of defense, and about thirty chiefs of staff and their deputies, are at all representative, then the answer to each question clearly is affirmative. During the course of three large meetings (1997-1999) in the United States, Malawi, and Tanzania, military and political leaders from as many as fifteen African states appeared ready to embrace the notion that collective African controlled peace intervention methods were desirable, even possible. Western financial and other support would be essential. Western direct logistical assistance would be critical. Those who attended the three meetings also decided that Africa was a continent of sub-regions, and that the crisis response forces should be organized roughly along sub-regional lines. That is, instead of a single, continental army of questionable quality, there should be four or five sub-regional crisis reaction forces, each with its own mandate, derived from the nations it would serve.
There is broad agreement about the utility of such forces. Raising them through secondments from existing operational military units would not be difficult. Choosing commanders would not prove a stumbling block; indeed, the African military leaders at The WPF Program-sponsored meetings were sanguine about battalions from disparate countries working easily together for the common cause of sub-regional peace. The problem was not technical or professional. It was distinctly political.
The difficult questions are all political. Which crises merit the attention and intervention of a sub-regional force? Are they to be restricted to the Lesotho-type scenarios, where the elected government of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was threatened by mutinous soldiers and defeated politicians, perhaps in league with the local monarch? Or could a force of the kind contemplated have been used to impose peace on Somalia, prevent genocide in Rwanda, and reduce the threat of a rebellion in the Congo? Those models of larger crises would, in retrospect, have been desirable settings for such peace enforcement strategies. In theory, a rapidly mobilizable multinational brigade could have dampened those conflicts, obviating deaths, misery, and spreading instability. With the will of Africa behind it, such a force could have disarmed the feuding Somalis before the warlords gained strength, prevented the Hutu Interahamwe from rounding up and then massacring Tutsi in the first month of the genocide, and separated the warring sides in Congo early enough to have made a peaceful difference.
The thorny questions of when and where to intervene also raise the critical question of who decides? How does the peace enforcement operation commence? Whose fingers are on the trigger of intervention? Who summons the SADC, the East African, or the ECOWAS force together? Who tells the commander of one of the forces to mobilize his multinational troops? The same mechanism, organization, or person who recognizes an incipient or actual conflagration within a state (or between states) as worthy of peace intervention also calls in the previously arranged response: the sub-regional brigade. But what or who could do it?
If not the OAU, perhaps decisions of the kinds contemplated could be devolved to the sub-regions. Not all the sub-regions have working forums, like SADC and ECOWAS. In the Great Lakes or the Horn there is too little cohesion and sense of common purpose. In southern Africa, in theory, there is both the will and modalities sufficient to bring about the decision-making processes that will be necessary. But that depends entirely on the pleasure of South Africa, SADC''s largest and wealthiest member and its natural leader. South Africa already acts directly when it needs to, as in Lesotho. It has chosen not to exercise any military might in Angola, Congo, or even Burundi (despite talk of doing so and a keen diplomatic involvement in all three zones of conflict).
It is not as yet evident that there exists either the capacity to make such decisions multilaterally in Africa, or to have them taken by individuals for the common good. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was decisive regarding Congo, and intervened on behalf of President Kabila. But no state, not even Namibia and Angola, which also took Kabila''s side, let Mugabe''s decision substitute for its own judgment. Indeed, President Nelson Mandela of South Africa opposed Mugabe''s lead, and said so. Former President Nyerere of Tanzania telephoned Mugabe with a similar message - but to no avail. Likewise, in ECOMOG, President Sani Abacha of Nigeria ultimately made the decisions, not always with the support of his fellow West African presidents, or to their liking.
Until the time when an African capacity for making these kinds of decisions is fully developed, a crisis response force for Africa could conceivably be mobilized by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. His or her stature and impartiality would be recognized widely in Africa, whether or not the incumbent were an African. The Secretary-General would have access to early warning information (currently collected by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations) and be privy to the concerns of the OAU and sub-regional organizations. He/she might even gain access to the intelligence on such matters of individual powers. A Secretary-General could, in theory, be perfectly placed to decide when to pull an interventionist trigger. But the Secretary-General works for the UN and for the Security Council. In the Rwandan crisis of 1994, the Security Council prevented action by representatives of the Secretary-General until it was too late. In the Congo, and elsewhere, the mandate of the Secretary-General was ignored. The UN usually respects the sovereignty of its members, despite the possibilities provided by Chapter 7 of the Charter.
There is no perfect, no realistic, decision-making apparatus around which the participants in The WPF Program meetings were prepared to rally. The instrument of the Secretary-General of the UN seemed the best possibility, despite its obvious structural flaws. Certainly, as far as the participants were concerned, no African individual or organizational modality offered any higher decision-making ability.
A report of this project is contained in: Robert I. Rotberg and Ericka A. Albaugh, Preventing Conflict in Africa: Possibilities of Peace Enforcement, WPF Report 24 (1999). A book, Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement in Africa: Methods of Conflict Prevention, with chapters by Happyton Bonyongwe, Christopher Clapham, Herbst, Steven Metz, Rotberg, and others will appear in late 2000.
Sri Lanka, the serendipitous isle off India''s southeast coast, is savaged by civil war. Although Sri Lanka was largely peaceful during British colonial times, after independence in 1948, the majority Sinhala intensified patterns of state-sanctioned discrimination against the minority Tamils. Since the fanatical Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam began battling the government in 1984, more than 60,000 Tamils have died, and thousands more have been internally displaced.
The WPF Program, and the Centre for Ethnic Studies in Sri Lanka, jointly sponsored a large, well-attended meeting in 1997 at Harvard University to seek answers to the problems besetting the island, and to try to help think about possible solutions. The political culture, the bases for ethnic and religious conflict, the economy, and the military situation of the country were all examined and discussed at length. Attempts to negotiate sustainable solutions were also analyzed, but with little hope of any immediate breakthrough.
Robert I. Rotberg (ed.), Creating Peace in Sri Lanka: Civil War and Reconciliation (Brookings Institution Press, 1999) contains a series of interrelated chapters by Sri Lankan, British, and American authorities on the war and its aftermath. They discuss how to end the war and how the island nation can heal its physical and psychic wounds. The book suggests that third-party mediating intervention is essential, and that any resulting peace can only be sustained by intensive attention to serious political devolution and societal reconstruction. This book is about peace, how to achieve it and keep it, even in societies as fractured as Sri Lanka. It is also a tough-minded book, not one written by Pollyannas: the myriad problems of Sri Lanka are viewed through uncompromising lenses of realism.
In 2000, the vicious conflict continued unabated. Indeed, contributing author Neelan Tiruchelvam, a Tamil moderate, was killed in July 1999 by a suicide bomber before he could add several paragraphs to his chapter entitled, "Devolution and the Elusive Quest for Peace." Tiruchelvam''s untimely death underscored the urgency for Creating Peace in Sri Lanka.
The book concludes that, however it is arrived at, Sri Lanka needs a peace that recognizes and appreciates Tamil culture and traditions. Ethnic fairness and justice must be the moral basis for whatever new social contract can be constructed out of the wasteland of war. Fairness and justice can provide the normative framework for a new egalitarian system in which all ethnic groups are treated equally and equally valued
"Never again" is the overriding goal of truth commissioning - the non-judicial tribunal movement that has generated at least nineteen national truth commission endeavors since Uganda''s first in 1974, Bolivia''s in 1982, and Argentina''s in 1983. One assumption is that future conflicts can be inhibited, if not prevented, by a full accounting, and the prosecution if warranted, of atrocities and their perpetrators. Another assumption is that post-conflict societies cannot heal, and individual victims cannot come to terms with the disappearances and deaths of their loved ones without knowing what happened - without exposing the full truth. Yet, an inquiry that yields a complete measure of truth still may not provide justice. Nor may truth necessarily reconcile new regimes with their oppressive predecessors.
These assumptions, and many more, were discussed in two meetings organized by the WPF Program. The first, held at the Harvard Law School (in cooperation with the Law School''s Human Rights Program), with participants from Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Chile, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, Britain, and the United States, resulted in an edited transcript of complex and controversial discussions: Henry J. Steiner (ed.) Truth Commissions: A Comparative Assessment, WPF Report 16 (1997). Several of the conferees had been or were intimately involved as creators of, or participants in, truth commissions or similar formal institutions.
In its continuing effort to scrutinize the implications of all aspects of the truth commission model, The WPF Program asked Dennis Thompson and Robert I. Rotberg to bring together in a book the fresh thoughts of political philosophers, jurists, lawyers, theologians, and sociologists about the moral efficacy and practical utility of truth commissions. The book''s draft chapters were then discussed at a meeting in South Africa with the commissioners and staff of that country''s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the latest, most encompassing, and most public of all truth commissions. Additional book chapters emerged from those discussions. The result, edited by Rotberg and Thompson, appeared in 2000 as Truth v. Justice: The Morality of Truth Commissions ( Princeton University Press).
On July 1, 2000, Project EAGER (Equity and Growth through Economic Research), a $5-million USAID-funded program of policy research in Africa, transferred to the WPF Program on Intrastate Conflict from the former Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID). HIID had been running one of two streams of EAGER, Public Strategies for Growth and Equity, since 1995. The project ends in 2001. It has involved twenty separate studies in ten African countries. The largest component is a multi-theme study on Restarting and Sustaining Economic Growth and Development in Africa, which includes country studies by local research teams in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. Narrower themes, such as tax compliance, monetary programming, contracting procedures, microfinance, outsourcing to indigenous enterprises, and labor market reform have been studied by researchers from Harvard and eight other U.S. institutions - both universities and consulting firms - in tandem with African collaborators. An integral component of each study is a subsequent dissemination program, normally beginning with a workshop attended by policy makers, stakeholders, and researchers of the relevant country.
The WPF Program''s Web Site
Robert I. Rotberg is Director, WPF Program on Intrastate Conflict, Conflict Prevention, and Conflict Resolution in the Belfer Center of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and President, World Peace Foundation. He was Professor of Political Science and History, MIT; Academic Vice President, Tufts University; and President, Lafayette College. He is a Presidential appointee to the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Trustee of Oberlin College. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on US foreign policy, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, most recently Truth v. Justice: The Morality of Truth Commissions (2000), Creating Peace in Sri Lanka: Civil War and Reconciliation (1999), Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future (1998), War and Peace in Southern Africa: Crime, Drugs, Armies, and Trade (1998), Haiti Renewed: Political and Economic Prospects (1997), Vigilance and Vengeance: NGOs Preventing Ethnic Conflict in Divided Societies (1996), From Massacres to Genocide: The Media, Public Policy and Humanitarian Crises (1996), and The Founder: Cecil Rhodes and the Pursuit of Power (1988).
Sharon Butler is the Program Manager for the WPF Program on Intrastate Conflict, Conflict Prevention, and Conflict Resolution. Butler researched a thesis on "Immigration Policy Reform" in the United States Congress for Congressmen Bill Baker and Ed Royce before receiving her B.A. in History from Biola University in 1995. She served as the Legislative Assistant for the Minority Leader of the California State Assembly, during which time her primary policy focus was Education and Health and Human Services. Butler worked in electoral politics in southern California during the 1996 presidential election. After a successful campaign, she joined one of southern California''s largest advertising/design agencies.
Rachel Gisselquist was a Program Associate with the WPF Program on Intrastate Conflict. She earned a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government in 1999 and has a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She left her full-time position with the WPF Program in July, 2000 to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science at M.I.T.
Deborah Weinberg joined the WPF Program as a Program Associate in June, 1999. Prior to working at the BCSIA she served as Assistant to the Director of the Goethe-Institut, Boston, a German cultural institute. She has a B.A. in German and History from Bowdoin College.
David Kearn is a Research Assistant with the WPF Program on Intrastate Conflict. He earned a Master in Public Policy Degree from the Kennedy School of Government in 2000 and has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Amherst College.
Alexis Keogh, a Research Assistant with the WPF Program, is currently working toward a Master''s degree in International Relations and Communications at Boston University. She is a graduate from Georgetown University with a degree from the School of Foreign Service. She has worked as a television producer in Washington, DC and Cape Town, South Africa.
Clive Gray is Senior Fellow in Development in the WPF Program of Intrastate Conflict. He directs the Equity and Growth through Economic Research (EAGER), an AID-funded research project. He was with HIID from 1964, first as resident advisor with the governments of Kenya, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Morocco. He has taught at the University of Indonesia, the University of Auvergne, and Tashkent University of Economics.
Malcolm McPherson is an economist with research interests in agricultural development, central banking, monetary policy, structural adjustment, and the institutional aspects of economic reform. As a part of the EAGER Project, he joined the WPF Program on Intrastate Conflict in July, 2000. He spent four years in Zambia, as the team leader on HIID''s projects on macroeconomic reform and the computerization of tax administration. McPherson was previously a senior adviser to the Ministry of Finance and Trade in the Gambia as part of HIID''s Economic and Financial Policy Analyses Project. He is co-editor, with Steven C. Radelet, of Economic Recovery in the Gambia: Insights for Adjustment in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is a joint author (with James Duesenberry and others) of two studies: Improving Monetary Management in Sub-Saharan Africa and Improving Exchange Rate Management in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Clifford F. Zinnes joined the WPF Program on Intrastate Conflict in July 2000 as Fellow in Development. He is an economic policy advisor specializing in the environmental sustainability of economic reform. He has worked in over twenty countries, and focuses on transition economies. During the 1990s he was Institute Associate at HIID. He spent five years resident in Romania as a senior policy advisor to the ministers of Reform, Privatization, European Integration, and Environment. Over this period he co-authored many of the country''s laws on in privatization, environmental protection, and water, as well as restructuring its water utilities and environmental protection regulatory agencies. Zinnes has published numerous papers on economic instrument design, valuation, trade and environment, the effect of ownership structure on regulatory compliance, and regulatory financing.
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