Occasional Papers

The World Peace Foundation hosts an Occasional Paper series to address topics related to our thematic research areas.

The Future of Ethiopia: Developmental State or Political Marketplace?
By Alex de Waal
August 20, 2018

Today’s changes in Ethiopia are rapid, confusing and disruptive. They promise openness and democratization, but also contain perils. This paper draws on two prisms through which to make sense of the situation: the ‘democratic developmental state’ as articulated by Meles Zenawi in a series of discussions with Alex de Waal between 1988 and 2012, and de Waal’s formulation of the ‘political marketplace.’

Arms Trade Corruption and Political Finance
By Xiaodon Liang and Sam Perlo-Freeman
July 9, 2018

This occasional paper examines the link between political finance and corruption in the arms trade. It draws on the World Peace Foundation’s Compendium of Arms Trade Corruption, a collection of 29 cases of corruption in the arms trade and the broader military sector from around the world, each containing a standard set of summary information along with a narrative description. The arms trade has many features that make it highly susceptible to corruption. This paper makes the case that it also has four key features that tie it particularly closely to political competition and political finance.

 Corruption in the Russian Defense Sector
by Polina Beliakova and Sam Perlo-Freeman
May 11, 2018

Today, Russia is the world’s fourth largest military spender and second largest arms exporter. Their arms industry is probably the third largest in the world, after the USA and China. The Russian arms industry, despite its current strength, must be viewed within the legacy of the USSR. The current Russian state inherited a significantly wounded, but still powerful system of arms production and export. However, along with an aging industrial infrastructure and global relations with importing countries, Russian leaders were endowed with an arms industry rife with corruption that pre-dated the fall of the USSR and metastasized in the chaotic years that followed. Today, corruption still constitutes a significant problem facing the Russian arms industry. This report discusses publicly available information on corruption in the Russian defense sector, especially the arms industry, identifying key cases of corruption that have become visible in recent years, in particular since 2008, when Russia’s current set of military reforms, and major rearmament drive, began.

Can we prosecute starvation?
by Global Rights Compliance and World Peace Foundation
May 7, 2018

Political choices have driven famine’s re-emergence in this century. Some famines derive from intentional political and military decisions, while others are allowed to develop because the most powerful actors have other priorities, such as security, that overrule an effective response. Can famine be prosecuted? This paper considers what law might apply to cases of famine, and what evidence would be required to pursue a legal case.

Corruption in the Indonesian arms business: tentative steps towards an end to imputity
by Xiaodon Liang and Sam Perlo-Freeman
December 13, 2017

This paper examines the problem of corruption in the military sector in Indonesia in the post-Suharto era, in particular in relation to arms procurement, and discusses the significance of recent tentative signs of greater efforts by the Indonesian civil and military authorities to address the problem. It illustrates three crucial points about democratization and corruption in the arms trade.

How big is the International Arms Trade?
by Sam Perlo-Freeman
(Revised and Updated July 2018)

This paper attempts to produce a global estimate, or rather a range of estimates of the financial size of the international arms trade. It also explains problems with the data, including for some of the largest western arms exporters, from whom one might expect a greater level of transparency: most notably, the USA.

The Emerging Global Order, Multilateralism and Africa”, background paper for African Union Annual Mediators’ Retreat
Alex de Waal
October 3, 2017

What does the turmoil in the multilateral world order mean for peace and security in Africa?  World Peace Foundation’s Alex de Waal argues that Africa, as a weak continent, has much to gain from multilateralism, and especially from its stronger more normative versions.

South Sudan 2017: A Political Marketplace Analysis
by Alex de Waal
February 5, 2017

This memorandum analyzes South Sudan since independence using the framework of the political marketplace, in order to provide a guide to understanding the trajectory of the current crisis and the steps needed to address it. It provides a succinct overview of the theory of the political marketplace and the ancillary concepts of moral populism and the negotiated sovereign entitlement to kill.

Research Briefings from the African Peace Missions project
Summer 2016

To inform our report, African Politics, African Peace [link], the WPF supported research on a range of themes and cases, authored by area experts. The topics include: African peace and security norms and mechanisms, issues related to Peace Support Operations (mandates, doctrine, sexual exploitation and abuse, and atrocity prevention), conflict mediation, sanctions, and multiple case studies. Access the 23 research briefings and 20 case studies here [link].

A Political Marketplace Analysis of South Sudan’s Peace
By Alex de Waal
March 24, 2016

South Sudan today is a collapsed political marketplace. The country’s political market was structured by competitive militarized clientelism for access to oil rents. Those oil rents have almost disappeared but the structure of competition is unchanged and the price of loyalty has not reduced to a level commensurate with the available political funding. The result is that political loyalty and services are rewarded with license to plunder.

To Intervene or Not To Intervene: An inside view of the AU’s decision-making on Article 4(h) and Burundi
By Solomon Dersso
February 2016

Perhaps the most significant outcome of the 26th summit of the African Union (AU) was the decision scrapping the plan to deploy troops to Burundi for human protection purposes. In December 2015 the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), the continental body’s standing collective decision-making body on peace and security, announced a precedent-setting invocation of the AU’s Article 4(h) authorizing the deployment of a military mission to Burundi to quell violence related to disputed elections.

Assessing the Anti-Atrocity Toolbox
by Bridget Conley-Zilkic, Saskia Brechenmacher and Aditya Sarkar
February 2016

Beginning in the 2000s a new international consensus emerged regarding the need–both ethical and strategic–to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities. Armed with the insight that action need not be considered all or nothing, new energy was channeled into populating what became known as the “Anti-Atrocity toolbox,” that is, the set of discrete but universally applicable policy measures that could be implemented to effectively counter atrocities.

Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy: Implications for Humanitarian Response
by Dyan Mazurana and Daniel Maxwell
January 2016

The purpose of this policy brief is to outline the implications of Sweden’s overall feminist foreign policy for the people they strive to assist, Sweden’s own humanitarian policy operations, and more broadly the whole humanitarian community, with a focus on gender equality and strengthening the rights and empowerment of women and girls in humanitarian crises.

What Went Wrong?: The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front from Armed Opposition to State Governance
A Personal Observation by Paulos Tesfagiorgis
November 2015

This paper discusses how the Eritrea People’s Liberation Front evolved from a liberation front (1971-1991), into a highly successful organization with clear social and political agenda, and, ultimately, into an oppressive state where power is concentrated in the hands of the President and his close network.

Gender, Conflict and Peace
by Dyan Mazurana and Keith Proctor
October 2013

This paper provides a summary of key literature, frameworks and findings in five topic areas related to Gender, Conflict, and Peace, as well as proposes opportunities for further research. Some of the questions the Occasional Paper addresses include: How does a gender analysis inform our understanding of armed conflict and peace-making? What are the gendered dimensions of war, non-violent resistance, peace processes, and transitional justice?

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