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    Unsettling the peace? The role of illicit economies in peace processes

    Bhatia, Jasmine (2021) Unsettling the peace? The role of illicit economies in peace processes. International Journal of Drug Policy 89 (103046), ISSN 0955-3959.

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    The long-term legacies of civil war economies—often characterized by widespread illicit economic activities and the proliferation of criminal and quasi-criminal networks—pose significant challenges to achieving sustainable postwar settlements. This essay surveys predominant strategies to address war economies in peace processes for countries emerging from war. I identify three prevailing approaches—criminalization, co-option, and neglect—and discuss trade-offs associated with each. While there is no clear consensus on which approach is most likely to succeed and most countries will require a balanced combination of all three, it is increasingly clear that peace agreements that fail to sufficiently incorporate the perspectives of communities dependent on illicit economies and to account for how illicit economies shape national and subnational political settlements are more likely to produce unstable postwar regimes in the medium to long-run. I conclude with some reflections on future research agendas and potential policy implications that merit further exploration.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Jasmine Bhatia
    Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2022 13:33
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:14


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