Internal Conflict
Adaptation and Reaction to Globalisation

Corner House Briefing 12

by Mark Duffield

first published 31 January 1999

Summary

Many internal wars in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, far from representing societal breakdown, can be seen as a rational response on the part of rulers (and would-be rulers) to ensure their economic and political survival in a context of globalisation and the changing nation-state.

Contents

 

Introduction

For several decades, the majority of violent conflicts around the world have been occurring within state boundaries rather than between formally-constituted governments.1 The incidence of these so-called internal wars has increased five-fold since 1960 to reach about 50 in the mid-1990s.

Internal wars tend to be regarded as conflicts between different groups in an irrational departure from everyday life. Researcher David Keen compares the majority of analysts of modern warfare and conflict to outsiders:

"arriving at a sporting event whose first question is: 'Who's it between?' Such analysts may be quickly reassured with a set of competing initials (for example, UNITA versus the MPLA) or a set of competing ethnic groups (the Serbs versus the Muslims)."

As Keen observes, however, "It is not always clear ... that the roots of conflict have been illuminated in such dialogue."2

Moreover, war can in fact reflect the very workings of everyday life. Far from being irrational, war or conflict may well serve a purpose for some groups or individuals. "Part of the problem", says Keen, "is that we tend to regard conflict as, simply, a breakdown in a particular system, rather than as the emergence of another, alternative system of profit and power."3

Put this way, many internal wars can be seen as a rational response on the part of Southern rulers (or would-be rulers) to ensure their economic and political survival in a context of globalisation and the changing nature of the nation-state.

Globalisation and the Demise of the Nation-State

It is widely agreed that the processes of "globalisation" are changing the nation-state in both North and South. The nation-state's competence used to lie in its ability to provide public goods, uphold international commitments, oversee economic planning and implement socially redistributive measures. Such competence has gradually been redefined and qualified as new pressures, actors and intermediaries have arisen at supra-national, international and sub-national levels.4

At the supra-national level, deregulated markets and international commercial networks have increased in significance. The influence of inter-governmental organisations, such as the World Bank, regional bodies, such as the European Union and NATO, and international non-governmental organisations, for example, Oxfam and World Vision, has also risen. At the sub-national level, the processes of privatisation and localisation have weakened state monopolies, while the voluntary sector has become an increasingly important welfare provider.

The qualification of nation-state autonomy by these various non-state actors has given rise to an international system of global governance that is characterised by:

  • competing institutions and overlapping jurisdictions of both state, non-governmental and private interest groups;
  • more fluid territorial boundaries within and across states, and increasing inequality and isolation of various underclass and marginalised groups;
  • the growing importance of identity politics, ethnicity and multiple and fragmented loyalties;
  • contested property rights, legal statutes and conventions;
  • the spread of geographical and social "no go areas" where the rule of law no longer extends; and
  • a growing disarticulation between the economically dynamic and technologically innovative Northern regional systems and the Southern areas outside them.5

Inclusion and Exclusion

Indeed, while there are broad similarities in the processes of nation-state transformation in the countries of the North and South, there are some critical differences which reflect the divergent opportunities globalisation has created for Northern and Southern rulers.

At an international level, globalisation -- understood literally as economic deregulation and the growing influence of markets -- has not in fact produced a homogenous world economy which exerts a strong levelling effect on culture and society.6 Instead, it has encouraged a process of differentiation, regionalisation, localisation and social discontinuity. Long-standing interconnections between countries and economies have been built on to create powerful processes of inclusion and exclusion.

In the North,7 for instance, transnational regions have emerged where states are linked by cross-cutting economic agreements and instruments, together with multilevel linkages between supra-national, international and sub-national institutions. The three main regional systems are the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), the European Union (EU), and the more ad hoc regional arrangements among the economies of East Asia.8 It is these competing regionalised models of capitalism which are shaping the global economy.

Within these regional systems, nation-state competence has been qualified by deregulation, increasing market competition and growing business risk. The interests of states and companies have tended to merge and the activities of transnational companies have become more geographically focused.9

Since the 1970s, the conventional global economy (economic transactions regulated by law, quantifiable and open to audit) has become concentrated within and between these three trans-national regional systems.10 The share of EU imports from the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, for instance, fell from 6.7 per cent in 1976 to just 2.8 per cent in 1994, despite the Lomé Conventions which were designed to give these countries preferential and improved access to Europe.11 EU exports to these countries follow a similar pattern. Over the same period, however, EU trade with Asia trebled.12

In those areas outside the main transnational regions -- Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union -- measurable economic activity has decreased. According to UN figures, over a quarter of the world's population now have incomes that are lower today than 10 or even 20 years ago.13

To contend with their contracting conventional economies and declining development assistance from the North, many Southern rulers have devised adaptive and innovative strategies for their economic and political survival. They have forged new alliances with international actors, including commercial ties, to develop the informal economy. These ties involve both semi-legal and illegal parallel activities,14 which often involve the control, coercion or expropriation of peoples and their assets,15 and often exact a high social cost.

Warlord Strategies

Warlord strategies in several countries of the South are now viable, innovative and alternative non-state forms of political authority.16 The term "warlord" first came into popular usage to describe local strongmen in China during the 1920s who were able to control an area and exploit its resources while at the same time keeping a weak central authority at bay. By the early 1980s, the concept had appeared in Africa to describe, for example, the situation in Chad where regional fragmentation within the country had become pronounced.17

Like the parallel economies on which they rely (see Box, p.5), warlord structures are often extra-legal. Present-day warlords, however, do not just control a local area; they also forge linkages with the international economy, even in crisis regions. The successful ones think globally but act locally.

Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) in Western Africa is illustrative.18 From being a small-scale invasion force in 1989, the NPFL reached its zenith in 1992-93 when Taylor exercised control over much of Liberia and part of Sierra Leone, a fluid area which the NPFL called "Greater Liberia" or "Taylorland".

Greater Liberia dispensed with judicial state structures, but had its own currency, banking system and TV station. Complementing local coercion, Taylor established a vigorous external trade in timber, agricultural produce and diamonds to cement his control -- trade which was conducted through a number of foreign firms and commercial networks.

Those foreign firms where essential in consolidating Taylor's social position. Several US companies -- Firestone, Tyre and Rubber Co, and Swindler and Berlin, (a Washington DC public relations company) -- and French commercial interests were all involved. During the early 1990s, Taylor was France's third largest supplier of tropical hardwoods.

Taylor was a pioneer in the use of foreign companies as a source of hard currency and, importantly, as a means to control territory physically and to deny resources to opponents. NPFL activity is thus a good example of the blurring of legitimate and extra-legal parallel economic transactions.

The growing reliance on foreign firms and intermediaries for resources instead of on state institutions is a new development. As researcher William Reno points out:

"to attract some foreign collaborators, rulers may convince prospective partners that they can profit from non-enforcement of regulations and benefit from the private use of state power."19

Within the grey zone of international commercial activity, which has become increasingly important as global markets have expanded into unstable areas,20 companies are able to secure a degree of privilege and protection through negotiating private deals with warlord-type rulers. Not constituting a state, meanwhile, warlords such as Taylor are free from creditor demands.

The Viability of Parallel Economies

Parallel economies are dynamic: as fresh opportunities arise and circumstances alter, they change. They are also extremely heterogeneous, reflecting different local circumstances and the linkages between a variety of actors and intermediaries.21

Within Africa, for example, parallel actors that control and exploit valuable commodities such as hardwoods and diamonds can be distinguished from those that do not. This establishes a rough distinction between West and Southern Africa as opposed to the Horn, where diaspora remittances and humanitarian assistance have played a more important role in the parallel economies.

Remittances and external political networks, for example, were a vital aspect of the political economy of the Eritrean Peoples' Liberation Front's (EPLF).22 They have also played a major role in northern Sudan's parallel economy.23

To obtain humanitarian aid, most of the rebel movements in the Horn have formed humanitarian wings to interface with the aid community, whereas in West and Southern Africa, such developments are less noticeable. In this respect, John Garang's Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) is among those movements most dependent on foreign aid. Its dependence accounts for several differences between the SPLA and Jonas Savimbi's UNITA in Angola, for example, or Taylor's NPFL. As a means of accessing foreign aid, the SPLA has developed a client civil administration well-versed in the aid speak of "empowerment", "capacity building" and "civil society".

Even for aid-dependent organisations like the SPLA, however, the nature of the reliance upon foreign or humanitarian aid has changed with shifting internal and external relations. During the 1980s, the core of the SPLA drew on relief assistance being distributed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to border refugee camps within Ethiopia.24

Within southern Sudan, however, the SPLA developed by playing on ethnic tensions as it instigated a process of stripping assets from opposing or vulnerable ethnic groups.25 With the fall of the Ethiopian Dergue regime in 1992 and the expulsion of the SPLA from their base camps in Ethiopia, the organisation had to consolidate itself within southern Sudan. Asset stripping (but not ethnic schisms within the SPLA itself) gave way to promoting parallel trade and the covert taxing of aid distributed through the UN's Operation Lifeline Sudan.

Comparable changes in parallel economies over time can be detected in southern Africa. During the 1980s, both RENAMO in Mozambique and UNITA in Angola used displaced and captive labour to develop base areas dedicated to agriculture. To deprive the government of assets, zones outside these areas were reserved for either forced taxation or systematic infrastructural destruction.26

UNITA's home area was in southern Angola adjoining Namibia, a location which facilitated the cross-border assistance it received from South Africa. In 1989, as a result of the changing external political environment, this cross-border assistance ceased. Consequently, the centre of gravity of UNITA's political economy moved northwards to Angola's diamond fields.27

During the uneasy lull following the 1994 peace accords between UNITA and the Angolan government, UNITA, competing with army officers in many areas, consolidated its position in the diamond fields. At the same time, it developed links with Zaire's patriarch, Mobutu Seseko, establishing bases in the south of this country. In this way, UNITA became part of Mobutu's diamond network which linked Lebanese, Angolan and South African commercial networks.28 In the mid-1990s, Angolan government revenue from diamonds was $36 million per year. At the same time, it was estimated that nearly ten times that amount, some $350 million, was leaking out through the Angola part of this network alone.29

UNITA's reluctance to relinquish control in the diamond fields continually undermined UN efforts to oversee the demobilisation of the organisation after the peace agreement.30 Proposals were even made to divide the diamond fields between the government and UNITA and allow the latter to mine them legally.

This state of affairs all changed in May 1997 when Mobutu fell to Laurent Kabila's Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL), helped by Angolan, Ugandan and Rwandan forces. This change led to a realignment among those exploiting the mineral wealth of the region. In what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, even before Mobutu was ousted, foreign mineral companies were busy brokering deals with Kabila and severing their relations with the dying regime.31

Somalia is another country which illustrates the compatibility of parallel economic activity, warlordism and foreign commercial interests. The Somalian economy is a burlesque of free market deregulation. Since June 1995, the capital, Mogadishu, has been partitioned between three warlords. The southern area, currently the main zone of instability, is divided between two of them. The central districts have been devastated by fighting, and there is no running water or electricity.

But the currency is stable and the economy is widely regarded as expanding.32 There are three telecommunication companies operating mobile telephone networks. Since fighting has destroyed the physical infrastructure, satellite technology is in demand. Prices for calls are said to be cheaper than before the war.33 A Malaysian company has recently established a bank, and there are now regular commercial flights to Djibouti, adjacent to Somalia. A US and an Italian company are also producing and exporting bananas. At the same time, Lebanese and Bosnian companies are importing arms.

Many Somali businessmen are supported by remittances from abroad. Although there are no state institutions, the commercial community is said to be optimistic. As one trader explained, "There are no regulations. The competition is very healthy for the businesses and for the customers."34

Examination of parallel economic activity belies the impression given by conventional wisdom and statistics that Africa has more than its fair share of the world's poorest countries (a club which many areas of the European East are now joining). Regions in which the average lot is increasing poverty also appear to be awash with money for some and opportunities to command organised violence. It is estimated, for example, that during the early 1990s, Charles Taylor's activities in Liberia netted him an income of around $400-450 million per year.35 Between 1992 and 1996, Savimbi's Angolan diamond and other operations earned a similar annual return, about $1.5 billion in total.36 Even after weapons have been purchased, this is still a reasonable income. Estimates of the amount of wealth in private hands, calculated by considering the extent of capital flight from northern Sudan, for example, suggest that such wealth is often more than enough to pay the foreign debts of the countries concerned.37

Contrary to conventional wisdom, it is not poverty per se which is at issue in many countries of the South. It is the wide governance gap -- a gap between rulers and ruled prompted by globalisation and the reduced accountability of state and non-state actors -- which allows various elites to pursue strategies for their survival regardless of the social cost. This gap ensures that little if any of the wealth amassed is shared with the general population. Indeed, much of it is made at its expense.

Privatisation and Illiberalism

The pressures contributing to political separatism and regional fragmentation have produced demands in many countries of the South for the reconstitution of some form of central authority. In Eastern Europe, this has been described as a simultaneous process of "destatisation" and "restatisation".38

Thus out of the decomposition of African development and European socialist-party states, a range of new state entities have emerged such as Africa's one-party regimes and many of the ethnocracies of the European East.

This transformation has been underpinned not only by internal pressures but also by external ones, including those exercised by donor governments and lending institutions, for a legal and responsible political authority. In many cases, the acceptance by the new rulers of neo-liberal prescriptions from Northern institutions has been part of an often violent process of elite succession.

Privatisation of state assets and services has been central to these prescriptions, as has the conditionality governing aid and international acceptance. It is a symbolic language that many Southern rulers have learnt to speak. Indeed, new forms of regime classification are being imposed by the North on the countries of the South not in terms of political ideology as before but in terms of a state's willingness to adopt neo-liberal economic policy and to cooperate with lender demands.

There are broad similarities in the predominant patterns of privatisation evolving in Africa and the European East, but also some important differences. In the European East, two main privatisation strategies have been followed since the mid-1980s: the expansion of the second or parallel economy, and the acquisition of enterprises by former managers (see Box, pp.6-7).39 Over the same period in Africa, however, the involvement of foreign companies, especially in relation to extractive or service concessions, appears more pronounced.

Privatisation has also been applied by many so-called rogue states. For example, because of its human rights record, the fundamentalist National Islamic Front (NIF) regime in Sudan is regarded as a political pariah by most Northern governments. To consolidate its position, however, the regime has made extensive use of privatisation to purge and marginalise its opponents; for instance, it has sold state assets at derisory prices to its allies. As one commentator has noted:

"The NIF have privatised and rationalised with a dedication that out-Thatchers Margaret Thatcher, but with few of the constraints she faced."40

For Western governments and lender agencies, privatisation represents the willingness of rulers in Africa to turn their backs on patrimonialism and state corruption and to embrace the prospect of development. For the European East, it signals the end of a socialist nightmare and the first step in the transition to liberal democracy.

Indeed, within the North's conceptual universe, the idea of democracy is now closely linked to that of privatisation. More than half of the world's nearly 200 states are classed as democracies. Many have emerged since 1989 following the wave of democratisation which swept Africa and the European East.

In some quarters, however, there is a growing unease about what happens after democratic elections. Newly-elected governments have often used their powers to close representative institutions, restrict freedom of movement and curb the free media. The spectre of what analyst Fareed Zakaria has called "illiberal democracy" has emerged in the South. Far from being in transition, many countries seem to be settling into a form of government which mixes a substantial degree of democracy with a substantial degree of illiberalism.41

In fact, many new rulers have used their acceptance of the free-market to secure Northern resignation to authoritarianism following actual or promised democratic or semi-representative elections. The introduction of economic liberalism has not translated into the development of those constitutional checks and balances -- the rule of law, rights to property, freedom of speech and assembly, the separation of powers -- that protect individuals from the arbitrary or discriminatory exercise of power by rulers, characteristics which are more representative of democracy in Western countries than representative elections.

Indeed, as Somalia and Taylorland indicate, markets are capable of flourishing without states at all. The new generation of Southern rulers has argued for strong central powers or restricted representation in terms of the greater good,42 that is, the need to break down vested interests, overcome feudalism and backwardness, resist tribalism and bring order to a chaotic situation. Since this rhetoric usually has a free-market spin, donors and the lending institutions have shown themselves sympathetic to these arguments.43 Yet the lack of analysis of actual relations, especially the ideological closure to the possibility that new and illiberal forms of political projects are emerging, simply compounds the problem of instability and policy setback.

The Privatisation of Protection

Whatever patterns of privatisation have evolved, all have created the demand for private protection. Indeed, the one thing that has characterised the expansion of global markets in unstable regions is the increasing use and sophistication of private protection to assure the control of assets.44

As the competence of the nation-state has eroded, so has its monopoly on violence.45 Legal frameworks and a consensus as to who holds legitimate authority have become blurred.46 The inability or unwillingness of the state to uphold the rule of law has had powerful repercussions throughout Africa and the European East.

In Russia, the rise of the mafia can be understood in terms of the transition from monopoly ownership to private property in a context of the state's inability to define and protect that property legally.47 As further rounds of reform and privatisation have increased the numbers of property owners, the state has been noticeably ineffective in producing clear legislation regarding that property or in enforcing property rights. As a result, the demand for private protection among the new property owners has grown.

So, too, have opportunities for extortion and racketeering. Estimates of the number of mafia-type groups operating in Russia in the mid-1990s range from 2,600 to 5,000.48 Moreover, businessmen frequently resort to violence between each other as a means of settling commercial matters. By the early 1990s, the need for protection and the hiring of private guards had spread to Russia's privatised agricultural sector.

Demand for protection is insufficient, however, to explain the spread of mafia-type organisations. It also requires a ready supply of people willing and able to carry out violent and protective duties.49 In Russia, an important part of this supply has come from the shrinking security and police services. During the early 1990s, the discharge rate in the armed services alone was some 40-50,000 people per year.

Africa exhibits a similar trend. The greying and deregulation of the small-arms industry has allowed many African subsistence groups to "militiarise" so as to protect their threatened common law rights and subsistence assets,50 and has allowed many of those now surplus to a threatened and decaying subsistence economy to take up protection duties. In Mogadishu, for example, at the beginning of 1997, a Somali company, Barakaat, opened one of the first banks in the city for several years. Of the company's 300 employees, one-third are armed guards.51 The spread of the "Kalashnikov culture" owes more to these processes than an alleged degeneration into banditry, chaos and barbarism.52

The New Corporate Armies

There are many similarities between mafia or warlord type structures and commercial security outfits providing protection for foreign companies in unstable areas. They are both privatised forms of protection existing in relation to so-called weak states. They also compete over similar productive assets, concessions and mineral wealth. One difference, perhaps, is that mafia/warlords are largely extra-legal, while commercial security companies tend to be grey operations providing linkages to the conventional international economy.

Despite the instability in many African countries, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the continent's extractive industries -- diamonds, oil and hardwoods -- has steadily grown since the 1980s.53 Given the changing competence of the state and the erosion of the rule of law, the protection of such activities is a prerequisite, and companies increasingly make their own security arrangements.

As in Russia, the demand for private protection in Africa has needed a ready supply of people with the required skills. They have largely come from the post-Cold War and post-Apartheid downsizing of Western and South African military establishments respectively.

London is now an important centre for the new commercial security companies and organisations, such as Control Risks Group, Defence Systems Limited, Sandline International and Saladin Security.54 As Major General Stephen Carr-Smith of Defence Systems Limited explains:

"Our clients include petrochemical companies, mining or mineral-extraction companies, multinationals, banks, embassies and so on. Very often the sort of 'first-in'-type companies that are trying to get things going. We provide them with a service which allows them to operate wherever they are."55

These private security companies are a new phenomenon, not to be confused with the mercenaries of the 1960s and 1970s. They claim they are not just guns for hire, but "the advance guard for major business interests engaged in a latter-day scramble for the mineral wealth of Africa."56

Sierra Leone is an example that has wider application. Although forming a judicial state, Sierra Leone's rulers have increasingly adopted warlord strategies and tactics as a means of political survival. Valentine Strasser, who came to power in 1992, invited foreign companies to take charge of Sierra Leone's diamond mining. During the first half of the 1990s, several such companies attempted, with partial success, to use their own security forces to police their concessions. In 1994, for example, Sierra Rutile (a subsidiary of the US-owned Nord Resources) explored the possibility of using the British firm, Gurkha Security Guards, to provide protection for its mining activities.57

Such acts of "privatisation" satisfy a number of different agendas. For rulers, they secure hard currency while denying resources to opponents. Lending institutions, meanwhile, are satisfied that resources are being efficiently exploited and that debts will be repaid.

Many policymakers, moreover, now regard private security companies as having a comparative advantage over UN peacekeepers. To a former military officer on the London circuit, the advantage is clear:

"The Third World War has already started. It's these fragmented little scraps in everyone's backyard -- you can't name a part of the world where there isn't one. It's gone full circle, nuclear deterrence is old hat. We're back to bullets, bayonets, clearing trenches and repressing the local-tribesmen-type scenarios -- which requires exactly our types of skills and our type of people."58

Part of the comparative advantage of private protection is that it is not governed by international laws and conventions. Astute security companies have realised that the scaling down of Western armies and the negative public opinion arising from combat deaths can help garner political support for an expanding role for themselves.59

Many private security companies are thus able to bridge two distinct agendas. They can support ruler survival strategies in the South while at the same time satisfying donor demands for privatisation and efficiency. For some donors, the promise of political stability and the efficient exploitation of resources, together with reconstruction, represents the ultimate technical fix. That it also entrenches illiberalism and undermines international conventions is a detail that will probably be missed.

Conclusion

Globalisation is as much concerned with heterogeneity and division, including new processes of inclusion and exclusion, as it is with the levelling effects of market forces. These broad changes are affecting both the North and the South. They are part of the processes of "normal" everyday life. But while there are several similarities at a global level, the opportunities open to Northern and Southern rulers differ greatly. In the North, one response to globalisation has been the concentration of the conventional world economy into several transregional productive systems, a measure aimed at sustaining comparative advantage. This has been accompanied by a growing deregulation of welfare services and labour markets.

In contrast, in the South, the conventional economy has contracted, to be increasingly complemented by a largely unrecorded mixture of parallel and grey activities. Linked to this development is the emergence of new political projects based on non-state and post-adjustment state actors, projects which are often associated with illiberalism in the form of religious fundamentalism, ethnic exclusivism, political separatism, and so on. Rather than regional integration, such developments underpin regional tensions and schism. Moreover, illiberalism of this nature easily translates into the collapse of the rule of law, authoritarianism, widespread human rights abuse and extensive social dislocation.

Such occurrences are not a temporary aberration from the path of development. They are a reflection of embedded and long-term processes.

Mainstream aid policy is at a disadvantage in understanding and effectively responding to this world. Not only does its view of internal war remain state-centred; it is also reliant on an understanding of conflict as stemming from a combination of poverty, ignorance and weak institutions. Rather than being the result of international economic inequality and external interference, conventional wisdom holds that protracted instability in countries stems from the ready availability of firearms or population growth or unemployment or rapid urbanisation or environmental degradation. Questions of justice and responsibility tend to play a subordinate role in this model. In other words, conflict is depoliticised.

Policy springs directly and intuitively from this definition. It becomes a mixture of sustainable development, conflict resolution and civil society support measures; an ideological "one size fits all" approach equally at home in both Africa and the European East. Within this framework, the role of aid is to restore the balance that aberrant and irrational conflict has upset. Its mission is to relaunch society towards the functional harmony (assumed to be the natural or normal state of society) of liberal democracy. However, with its tendency to underplay and entrench illiberalism, one wonders how effective -- or even safe -- this enterprise is.


Box 1: Globalisation, Eastern Europe and Africa

From the early 1970s onwards, various processes of globalisation have set in train the re-establishment of Western influence over the countries of Africa, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

By the 1970s, the economies of African development states and East European and Soviet socialist party states were being outpaced by tremendous economic advances in the West.

In response, many countries of the South demanded a reform of international trade relations, particularly those that regarded underdevelopment in the South as a function of development in the North.

But instead of reform, it was the OPEC-induced oil crisis in the early 1970s which slowed the overall rate of global economic expansion. It also left Western banks sitting on a mountain of petro-dollars which they were happy to lend.

In many parts of Africa, borrowing money was one way of addressing the declining terms of trade for primary produce, for instance, by mechanising and intensifying agricultural production. Economies that had been largely geared towards internal consumption became increasingly externally-orientated.

For the socialist party states of the European East, meanwhile, taking Western loans became a common means of attempting to put off the widely-accepted need for reform of "actually existing socialism".

Debt financing also served to replace attempts to reform the international trading system.

During the 1980s, as loans turned to debts which could not be serviced, Africa and the European East began to lose their economic sovereignty through the growing ability of the West to insist on structural adjustment -- market deregulation and state debureau-cratisation. By the end of the 1980s, this pressure had been formalised as political conditionality -- the tendency to tie development aid to liberal democratic reform.

Meanwhile, the attempt of Third World countries to establish a new international trade order did have an impact in the North, although probably not the one intended. It helped unleash a defensive wave of technological innovation which increased the distance between the North and the South still further. A synthetics revolution in manufacturing, for example, significantly reduced the dependence of Northern industries on Southern raw materials.

Confronted with the West's technological revolution and "just-in-time" production methods, the planned economies of the European East were increasingly anachronistic. The European East was manufacturing commodities that no one wanted while Africa was producing raw materials that few countries needed.

By the early 1980s, Third Worldism in Africa was a spent force, and within less than a decade, the same was true of the socialist party state. The political demise of both these forms of organisation -- those which have the state as their main agent -- was a necessary precondition for the spread of the processes of globalisation.

Given that Africa is no longer a generalised supplier of raw materials to the global economy, market deregulation, coupled with new type of political projects, has allowed a new kind of political economy to emerge: a more selective extraction of commodities such as diamonds, oil and hardwoods and the production of specific agricultural goods, such as flowers, tobacco and exotic tropical fruits. These commodities generally do not require a local market and are sold direct in international markets for hard currency.


Source: Duffield, M., War and Famine in Africa, Oxfam Research Paper No 5, Oxfam, Oxford, 1991; Verdery, K., What Was Socialism, And What Comes Next? Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1996; Walton, J. and Seddon, D., Free Markets and Food Riots: The Politics of Global Adjustment, Blackwell, Oxford, 1994; ODI, Aid and Political Reform, ODI, London, 1992; Frank, A.G., "Sociology of Development and the Underdevelopment of Sociology", Catalyst, 3, 1967, pp.20-73; Adams, N.A., Worlds Apart: The North-South Divide and the International System, Zed Books, London, 1993; Kaounides, L., "The Materials Revolution and Economic Development", IDS Bulletin, 21 (1), 1990, pp.16-27.



Box 2: Parallel and Grey Economies

Parallel and grey economies in Africa and Latin America have evolved in response to colonial borders, punitive tariffs and the price distortions of structural adjustment. Such economies are extensive, forming part of transregional, even transcontinental, grey trading networks.

Parallel economic activity is no less important than legitimate or conventional trade. The UN currently estimates, for example, not only that the world's illegal narcotic drug trade has grown dramatically over the last decade: it also calculates that with an estimated annual turnover of $400 billion, it is now equivalent to eight per cent of world trade -- larger than the international trade in motor vehicles, steel or iron.

The magnitude of this parallel economy is further indicated by its significance for an individual drug-producing country. During the late 1980s, for example, coca cultivators in Bolivia were estimated to have earned some $316 million from their crops, more than the value of all the rest of Bolivia's agricultural production. At this time, Bolivia was also producing about one million kilogrammes of cocaine paste. Leaf cultivation and paste production were the main source of foreign currency, exceeding the performance of all legal exports. Estimates for the total amount monetised range from $0.5-1.5 billion per year -- at the higher range, about one-third of Bolivia's official GNP.

In themselves, such magnitudes are not that remarkable. They could be matched by other cocaine producers as well as by parallel economies in Africa and the European East.

Albania, for example, is estimated to realise one-fifth of its national income through smuggling. What is notable about Bolivia, however, is that when the IMF reviewed the Bolivian economy, it made no mention of the drug industry despite its size and importance. Because it is illegal, it cannot be measured or controlled; therefore, for official purposes, it does not exist.

The inability to record parallel and grey economic activity -- which is expanding in many areas of the South -- has led to a gaping hole in economic data pertaining to the countries of the South and Eastern Europe. This in turn gives the impression that these regions are economy-less. Such an impression supports the pervasive development view of internal conflict, for instance, that predatory resource wars stem from impoverishment, ignorance and weak institutions which will disappear once development and conflict resolution measures tackle the causes and symptoms of scarcity.


Source: Meagher, K., "The Hidden Economy: Informal and Parallel Trade in Northwestern Uganda", Review of African Political Economy, Spring (47) 1990, pp.64-83; Taylor, C., "Drugs '8pc of World Trade'", The Guardian, 26 June 1997, p.21; Borger, J., "Albania Racked by Regrets", The Guardian, 26 Apr. 1997, p.13; Anderson, M.B., Do No Harm: Supporting Local Capacities for Peace Through Aid, Local Capacities for Peace Project, The Collaborative for Development Action, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1996.



Box 3: From Nation-States to Multiple Sovereignties

Many socialist party states suffered from continual crises of legitimacy. The nature of socialist production contained several inherent tensions and contradictions. Instead of capitalism's inner logic of maximising profit and promoting consumerism, central planning encouraged different and contrasting trends, including the hoarding of materials by the managers of enterprises in order to increase their bargaining power with other state functionaries.

In consequence, most people endured erratic supplies and endemic shortages. Client relationships between managers and consumers, together with hoarding to increase bargaining power, continually undercut central party control and legitimacy.

The typical response of the party was two-fold. First, the development of an extensive machinery of surveillance, and second, an attempt to actualise the paternalistic socialist state through social spending and redistribution. Whereas capitalism aims to sell goods and services, the socialist party state attempted to secure legitimacy by giving them away.

Structural shortages, however, continually undermined this legitimacy. Moreover, they prompted the emergence of the so-called second economy. Since the planned economy could not guarantee supply, people developed a range of informal activities to obtain the goods they needed. These included workmen moonlighting with materials obtained from their factory, shopworkers keeping scarce goods for special customers, and collective farmers cultivating "private plots". The second economy was not a substitute for the planned economy; rather it was parasitic upon it.

Unlike Western capitalism, where the firm is essentially an economic institution, the Soviet work organisation was a primary unit of society providing access to goods, services and patronage: a base of political power in its own right. As the competence of the socialist party state began to erode from the 1970s onwards, the directions of the transformation were shaped by existing contradictions and tensions within the system. In particular, as the centre weakened, there was a growing autonomy of regions, together with their enterprises and related client networks.

Separatism and Re-traditionalisation

By 1990, the regions in the Soviet Union were already exerting a visible autonomy from the central government. It was increasingly uncertain where government and the law resided. Productive enterprises and firms were being run in an increasingly personalised way as separate suzerainties. Managers and local political bosses were attempting to use their control of resources as leverage to protect their workers and clients. In many ways, eroding nation-state competence was leading to a greater dependence of people on locality, their workplace, or their boss for access to food, housing and loans, and the erection of local barriers to exclude outsiders and migrants.

Carl-Ulrik Schierup's analysis of the break-up of Yugoslavia reflects and amplifies this approach. Yugoslavia's "self management" reform, rather than modernising the socialist system, led to a growing autonomy of the republics and a weakening of the Federation.

By the 1980s, the republics where already beginning to look and act like small nation-states. Local party bosses and managers attempted to maintain legitimacy by continuing to provide employment and social services despite worsening economic conditions. In competition with the others, each republic, often at the level of the individual enterprise, tried to forge links with international companies. Technology transfer was uncoordinated and irrational.

The deepening crisis tended to reinforce local relations and kinship ties. In a reversal of the international trend towards urbanisation, this included a strengthening of urban-rural links. Maintaining family land or helping relatives on their farms was an increasingly important dietary supplement, a trend which would develop further during the war of the early 1990s. Schierup stresses that the republic structures were:

"to blend organically with the most authoritarian features of the social and political relations of real socialism. The local party elites and the increasingly 'national' working classes of the single republics' autonomous provinces were to be bound together by innumerable ties of an increasingly traditionalistic character. These were displayed in idioms such as kinship, friendship, locality and ethnicity, taking the form of a complex network of reciprocal favours, pervading the entire society."

Based on the bureaucracies which self management had created at the republic and province level, ethnic part-icularism developed politically into distinct nationalist ideologies and movements which supported the emergence of separatist economic tendencies. Republics attempted to protect their interests and those of their clients, including forming linkages with foreign companies, by blocking and undermining similar attempts by others. As a prelude to war, closed sub-economies emerged and the level of intra-republic investment dwindled.

The term "ethnic cleansing" entered the public domain following the brutal activities of Serbian paramilitary units in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina in 1991-92. This process, however, has a longer history in the region and was used by all parties prior to the outbreak of open war. From 1990, for example, following the first multi-party elections in Croatia, Serbs were purged from the government bureaucracies. A similar process of administrative cleansing took place in Bosnia Herzegovina following the election of ethnically-oriented parties in 1991.

While the Balkan war may have coined the term "ethnic cleansing", the process of social inclusion and exclusion involved has a much wider application. It is typical of the reworking of political authority in a period of declining nation-state competence and globalisation. It is these processes -- and not the alleged reappearance of age-old and suppressed ethnic hatreds -- which are important.

In the European East, the effects of the demise of central authority have been greatest where pre-existing federal systems collapsed as republics declared their autonomy, that is, in Yugoslavia and parts of the Soviet Union, while less violent but similar processes have been taking place in other areas, including Hungary and the Czech Republic.

The instability and wars that have accompanied the reworking of political authority are not irrational events somehow unconnected with long-term and socially-embedded political processes. Rather, the wars of the 1990s appear, if anything, as a quickening or intensification of these processes. In most cases, the resulting conflicts can be regarded as successful in that they have established the separatist ethno-nationalist states that their perpetrators sought.

In the case of the Balkans, this is despite unprecedented Western involvement. Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina (divided into three ethnic enclaves) and Macedonia have established ethno-centric political systems. In the Transcaucus region, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (practically divided into three or four enclaves) are similar. Albania, Moldovia and Slovakia could also develop in this manner. While not established by overt violence, the secession of the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania has also added to the growing list of ethno-nationalist states, that is, states which implicitly or explicitly define citizenship in ethnic terms and, moreover, use both de facto and de jure measures to oppress and exclude minorities. For such states, maintaining internal social boundaries is important to achieve the sectarian political legitimacy on which they depend.

Abandoning Evolutionism

Conventional wisdom implicitly assumes that the European East is in the throws of transition from socialism to capitalism. The South in general is regarded as progressing, albeit haltingly, towards liberal democracy. Encouraging market reform, privatisation and the creation of representative institutions are regarded as essential parts in this transformation.

Such assumptions tend to ignore or minimise the separatist and exclusionist processes that globalisation has encouraged. Election irregularities in the European East, for example, become signs of the immaturity of the democracies concerned, something which, it is assumed, will disappear as the habits of socialism die out. Instead of analysing actual relations, policymakers interpose an abstract image of what these societies ought to become, or what they should be like now.

What is minimised or ignored is the emergence of new and singular political dynamics in the South. Southern rulers may, in fact, be adapting the new globalised system to suit their own capabilities and long-term interests -- which implies that the spread of liberal-democracy cannot be taken for granted.


Source: Verdery, K., What Was Socialism, And What Comes Next? Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1996, pp.22-23; Humphrey, C., "'Icebergs', Barter and the Mafia in Provincial Russia", Anthropology Today, (7) 1991, pp.8-13; Schierup, C.-U., "Quasi-Proletarians and a Patriarchal Bureaucracy: Aspects of Yugoslavia's Re-Peripheralisation", Soviet Studies, 44 (1), 1992, pp.79-99; Schierup, C.-U., "Eurobalkanism: Ethnic Cleansing and the Post Cold War Order", paper presented at. International Conference on "The Yugoslav War and Security in the Balkans and in Europe"; Bologna, 10-11 Dec. 1993; Schierup, C.-U., "Memorandum for Modernity? Socialist Modernisers, Re-Traditionalisation, and the Rise of Ethnic Nationalism" in Schierup, C.-U., (ed.) Scramble for the Balkans: Nationalism, Globalism, and the Political Economy of Reconstruction, Macmillan, London, 1997, pp.47-80; Kaplan, R.D., "The Coming Anarchy: How Scarcity, Crime, Overpopulation, and Disease are Rapidly Destroying the Social Fabric of Our Planet", Atlantic Monthly, Feb. 1994, pp.44-76; Kennedy, P., Preparing For the Twenty-First Century, Random House, New York, 1993; Ivekovic, I., "Distant Proximities: Modern Authoritarian Ethnocracy, the Balkanization of Political Space and the Political Economy of International Relations" in Schierup, C.U., (ed.) Scramble for the Balkans, op. cit., pp.81-112; Guerra, S., The Multi-Faceted Role of the ODIHR, OSCE ODIHR Bulletin, Spring, 4 (2) 1996, pp.10-20.



Box 4: From Protection to Rehabilitation

One of the more well-known private security organisations is Executive Outcomes. It was created from Apartheid's erstwhile security establishment in 1989. Based in South Africa, it is run by the former deputy commander of the 32 Buffalo Battalion which spearheaded South Africa's regional destabilisation programme during the 1980s.

Executive Outcomes currently forms part of a commercial alliance between two umbrella companies, the South African-registered Strategic Resources Corporation and the London-based Plaza 107.

Executive Outcomes is one of a dozen members of Strategic Resources Corporation and forms the security interest for the Corporation.

Plaza 107, meanwhile, is a commercial group which includes off-shore registered mineral extraction companies including Branch Energy, Diamond Works and Heritage Oil and Gas. Other corporate members cover civil engineering, chartered accountancy and air transport. Executive Outcomes has been registered in Britain since 1993 as part of Plaza 107.

This corporate structure allows for much internal subcontracting, thereby lowering the profile of its individual members. When Executive Outcomes first entered Sierra Leone in April 1995, for instance, its contractual relation with the Sierra Leone government was handled by mineral companies belonging to Plaza 107.

Executive Outcomes was operational in Sierra Leone between April 1995 and February 1997 and had a much greater impact than other security companies. It initially supported the military government of Valentine Strasser until elections in February 1996. The new civilian government continued to use Executive Outcomes's services until the company left in February 1997.

During this period, it was able first to clear the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) from the outskirts of the capital, Freetown, and then out of the mineral fields. Such clearances tipped the balance in favour of the government, allowing elections and ultimately pushing the RUF into a peace agreement.

In May 1997, however, only a couple of months after Executive Outcomes had left Sierra Leone, the military ousted the elected government and invited the RUF to join them. This reversal illustrates both the protracted nature of such instability and the unproven long-term utility of commercial security as a means of conflict resolution.

Executive Outcomes usually barters its services for a stake in the mineral wealth of the country concerned. It is currently operating in about 20 countries, mostly in Africa. Angola and Sierra Leone are its two most celebrated ventures to date. Ranger and Heritage Oil, members of the same corporate group, helped finance Executive Outcomes's operation in Angola (1993-95) in exchange for government oil concessions.

During its two-year operation, the Angolan government allegedly handed Executive Outcomes $80 million for its services. In Sierra Leone, Branch Energy obtained a diamond concession as part of Executive Outcomes's involvement. For the 22 months it spent in the country, it claimed that the government also paid $35 million in cash.

Exactly how much Executive Outcomes earns is disguised in the trade-off between the value of concessions and cash payments to the various members of the corporate group.

In terms of its military operations, Executive Outcomes uses a modern variant of the approach developed during the wars of colonial conquest: a relatively small core of trained and disciplined troops supported by local army units or militia forces. In Sierra Leone, for example, Executive Outcomes's own personnel averaged around 150, only touching 300 for a few months at the height of the fighting. The company's ground forces are predominantly Angolan, the officers mainly white South Africans. This core is supported by an impressive range of equipment. For example, Ibis Air, an associate company, has two MI-17 helicopters, two Hind M24 gunships, two jet fighters, several Boeing 727 transports together with a number of other small aircraft. For many rebel groups, Executive Outcomes represents a potent force. It amounts to the first corporate army in Africa since the nineteenth century.

A British intelligence report on Executive Outcomes argues that the company is gaining a reputation for efficiency, especially with the rulers of smaller countries. By contrast, the UN is seen as slow and cumbersome, as often freezing the status quo and creating protracted relief operations rather than allowing one side to resolve the issue. While Executive Outcomes's casualty rates are confidential, in both Angola and Sierra Leone, deaths are said to have been in double figures.

Executive Outcomes now wants to diversify beyond security and protection work into the field of post-conflict rehabilitation, especially:

"reconstruction and the enormously lucrative logistics of rehabilitation. It is cultivating expertise in water projects, road-building, housing, tourism, conservation, clinical care and medical supply, perhaps extension farming."

Such contracts for Executive Outcomes, or rather its associated companies, are coming up in Mozambique and Zambia. In many respects, this move would seem a logical development.60


Notes and References

1 Gantzel, K. J., "War in the Post-World-War-II-World: Empirical Trends, Theoretical Approaches and Problems on the Concept of 'Ethnic War'" in Turton, D., (ed.) War and Ethnicity: Global Connections and Local Violence, University of Rochester Press, Rochester New York, 1997, pp.115-130.

2 Keen, D., "War: What is it Good For?" Contemporary Politics, Spring; 2 (1), 1996, pp.23-36.

3 Keen, D., "Organised Chaos: Not the New World We Ordered", The World Today, Jan,1996, pp.14-17.

4 Morss, E. R., "The New Global Players: How They Compete and Collaborate", World Development, 19 (1), 1991, pp.55-64.

5 Cerny, P.G., "Globalization, Fragmentation and the Governance Gap: Towards a New Medievalism in World Politics?" paper presented at "Workshop on Globalisation: Critical Perspectives", Department of Politics, University of Birmingham, 14-16 March 1997.

6 Waters, M., Globalization, Routledge, London, 1995. Some critics argue that the global economy today is no more open than it was a century ago. See Hirst, P. and Thompson, G., Globalisation in Question, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1996.

7 The terms "North" and "South" are used to distinguish loosely those countries that are within the main North American, West European and East Asian transnational economic systems from those that are outside or only partially integrated within these de jure or de facto regional arrangements -- Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, the European East and Eurasia.

8 The multilevel and cross-cutting arrangements within these regional systems are markedly different. The EU, for example, is the oldest of these blocs and is the only one that has attempted to establish a regional quasi-state based on horizontal integration, that is, admitting members and deepening integration on the principle of comparable economic performance.

The newer blocs have followed a different approach, evidenced by East Asia's more informal regional arrangements. Rather than horizontal integration, these attempt to exploit skill and resource differentials (the development gap) between areas and economies. Pragmatic and localised agreements between nation-states aim at bringing different actors and resources together on the basis of vertical integration. Usually in the form of geographically circumscribed Sub-Regional Economic Zones, the financial and management skills of one country can by used to exploit the natural resources and labour power of another.

While the EU could be regarded as attempting to organise the parameters of market competition, transnational regional arrangements in East Asia aim at changing market structures. See Duffield, M., "Co-operation and Development in NE Asia: A Briefing Note", Coexistence Sep.27 (3) 1990, pp.215-217; Parsonage, J. "Southeast Asia's 'Growth Triangle': A Subregional Response to Global Transformation", International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 16 (2), 1992, pp.307-317; Morales, R. and Quandt, C., "The New Regionalism: Developing Countries and Regional Collaborative Competition", International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 16 (3), 1992, pp.462-475.

9 Morales, R. and Quandt, C., op. cit, 8; Mittelman, J. H., "Rethinking the 'New Regionalism' in the Context of Globalization", Global Governance, 2 (2) 1996, pp.189-213.

10 UNCTC, World Investment Report 1991: The Triad in Foreign Direct Investment, UN Centre on Transnational Corporations, New York, 1991.

11 Brown, W., "Prospects for Integration with Europe", New Political Economy, 2 (2), 1997, pp.333-336.

12 The regional concentration of the conventional economy is also suggested in the figures on global income distribution. Over the past 30 years, the ratio of income held by the richest fifth of the world's population compared to the poorest has doubled from 30:1 to 61:1, according to UNDP's 1996 Human Development Report, a trend that is still accelerating.

13 Such figures are alarming, but should not be interpreted as implying that the South is economy-less. They are indicative of the extent to which economic activity has been informalised and, as such, is beyond conventional accounting. See Tabak, F., "The World Labour Force" in Hopkins, T. K. and Wallerstein, I., (eds.) The Age of Transition: The Trajectory of the World-System, 1945-2025, Zed Books, London, 1996, pp.87-116.

14 Such differences of opportunity underpin the contrast between Northern and Southern regional dynamics in response to globalisation. In the former, processes of integration are taking place. In the latter, separatist and politically assertive formations are evolving. As Vesna Bojicic and his colleagues have observed of the Balkans, "despite being geographically the south-eastern flank of Europe, [the Balkan region] manifests a profound marginalisation and fragmentation, which has gone on in parallel with the process of integration in the European core." See Bojicic, V., Kaldor, M. and Vejvoda, I., Post-War Reconstruction in the Balkans, a background report prepared for the European Commission, Sussex European Institute Working Paper No 14, European Institute, Sussex University, 1995, p.10.

15 Duffield, M., "The Political Economy of Internal War" in Macrae, J. and Zwi, A., (eds.) War and Hunger: Rethinking International Responses to Complex Emergencies, Zed Press, London, 1994, pp.50-69.

16 Reno. W., "Warlords and De-Bureaucratising African States", paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, April 1995.

17 May, R., "Political Authority in Chad: The Relevance of the 'Warlord' Model", paper presented at African Studies Association of the United Kingdom, University of Birmingham, May 24 1985.

18 Reno, W., op. cit. 16; Reno, W. "Reinvention of an African Patrimonial State: Charles Taylor's Liberia", Third World Quarterly 16 (1), 1995, pp.109-120.

19 Reno, W., op. cit. 18., p.112.

20 Pech, K. and Beresford, D., "Corporate Dogs of War Who Grow Fat Amid the Anarchy of Africa", The Observer, 19 Jan. 1997, p.19.

21 Parallel economic networks are just as likely to be supported by the remnants of state entities to gain effective political authority as they are by warlords. Many such actors are axing state bureaucracies and curbing civil liberties as a means of managing internal opposition, all the while encouraging grey or even parallel activities and forging new alliances with international intermediaries.

22 Duffield, M. and Prendergast, J., Without Troops or Tanks: Humanitarian Intervention in Eritrea and Ethiopia, Africa World Press Inc/Red Sea Press Inc, Trenton, New Jersey, 1994.

23 Brown, R.P.C., Public Debt and Private Wealth: Debt, Capital Flight and the IMF in Sudan, Macmillan, London, 1992.

24 African Rights, Food and Power in Sudan, African Rights, London, May 1997.

25 Duffield, M., op. cit. 15.

26 Duffield, M., "Complex Political Emergencies: An Exploratory Report for UNICEF With Reference to Angola and Bosnia", School of Public Policy, University of Birmingham, March 1994.

27 Vines, A., One Hand Tied: Angola and the UN, Catholic Institute for International Relations, London, June 1993.

28 Reno, W., op. cit. 16., p.26.

29 van Niekerk, P., "Lust for Diamonds Undermines Hopes for Angola Peace", The Observer, 17 Sept. 1995, p.20.

30 Nicoll, R., "Angola's Riches Block Road to Peace", The Observer, 26 Jan. 1997, p.12.

31 McGreal, C., "Rebels in Zaire Cut Deal With De Beers", The Guardian, 17 Apr. 1997, p.2.

32 Bradbury, M., A Review of OXFAM (UK and Ireland) Somalia Programme 1995-1997, OXFAM, Oxford, May 1997.

33 Bellos, A., "Somali Business Echoes the Boom of Rival Gunfire", The Guardian, 20 June 1997, p.20.

34 Ibid.

35 Reno, W., "Humanitarian Emergencies and Warlord Politics in Liberia and Sierra Leone", paper presented at "The Political Economy of Humanitarian Emergencies". UNU/WIDER, Helsinki-Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford, 6-8 Oct. 1996.

36 The Economist, "Angola: The Diamond Cut", 13 July 1996, pp.1-2.

37 Brown, W., op. cit. 11.

38 Verdery, K., What Was Socialism, And What Comes Next? Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1996.

39 Verdery, K. op. cit. 38, p.209.

40 Hirst, D., "Behind the Veil of Sudan's Theocracy", The Guardian, 27 May 1997, p.16.

41 Conventional wisdom often equates representative elections with liberal democracy. Until the twentieth century, however, Western European countries were liberal autocracies. It was not until the late 1940s that most became full democracies with the adoption of universal adult suffrage. A century earlier, the majority had accepted important aspects of what has been called "constitutional liberalism" -- the rule of law, rights to own property, freedom of speech and assembly, the separation of powers, and so on. In other words, it had accepted those constitutional checks and balances that protect the individual from the arbitrary or discriminatory exercise of power by rulers. The Western tradition of constitutional liberalism has little to do with elections: it is more concerned with tempering government authority. Moreover "Constitutional liberalism has led to democracy, but the reverse does not seem to be the case. In contrast to the western and east Asian paths, the past 20 years in Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia have seen dictatorships with little tradition of constitutional liberalism giving way to democracy." See Zakaria, F., "Democratic Tyranny", Prospect, Dec. (25), 1997 pp.20-21.

42 Goldberg, J., "Our Africa Problem", The New York Time Magazine, 2 Mar. 1997, pp.34-76.

43 World Bank and Carter Centre, From Civil War to Civil Society: The Transition from War to Peace in Guatemala and Liberia, World Bank and Carter Center, Washington DC and Atlanta, July 1997, p.7.

44 Shearer, D., "Dial an Army: Executive Outcomes in Sierra Leone", The World Today, 53(8-9) Aug-Sep.1997, pp.203-205.

45 Derlugian, G.M., "The Social Cohesion of the States" in Hopkins, T.K. and Wallerstein, I., (eds.) The Age of Transition: Trajectory of the World-System, 1945-2025, Zed Books, London, 1996, pp.148-177.

46 In many areas of the South, the changing nature of the state has undermined existing common law, property rights and legal codes. Yet many of the new states have not yet adapted legal frameworks. Indeed, in those countries where customary and subsistence rights to land are important, such reform may well not be in the interests of Southern rulers wishing to encourage foreign exploitation of their natural resources. See Verdery, K., op. cit. 38.

47 Varese, F., "Is Sicily the Future of Russia? Private Protection and the Rise of the Russian Mafia", Archives Europeennes De Sociologie, Summer; XXXV (2), 1994, p.231.

48 Ibid., p.232.

49 Ibid., pp.246-47.

50 Turton, D., "Warfare Vulnerability and Survival: A Case From Southern Ethiopia", Cambridge Anthropology, Special Issue: Local Warfare in Africa, 13 (2), 1989, pp.67-85; Keen, D., The Benefits of Famine: A Political Economy of Famine and Relief in Southwestern Sudan, 1983-1989, Princeton University Press, Princeton New Jersey, 1994.

51 Bellos, A., op. cit. 33.

52 Kaplan, R.D., "The Coming Anarchy: How Scarcity, Crime, Overpopulation, and Disease are Rapidly Destroying the Social Fabric of Our Planet", Atlantic Monthly, Feb. 1994, pp.44-76.

53 ODI, Foreign Direct Investment Flows to Low-Income Countries: A Review of the Evidence, Overseas Development Institute, London, Sep.1997. That the conditions for this new political economy are growing is suggested by the recent floatation of South African mining groups on the London Stock Exchange, a move described as "reminiscent of the efforts of the buccaneers who tapped the market to fund their gold and diamond adventures before the Boer war." See Farrelly, P. and Woolf, M., "African Gold Rush From Cape to City", The Observer Business, 1997 8 June 1997, p.8.

54 Bazargan, D., "High-Risk Business", G2 (The Guardian Supplement), 8 Sep.1997. pp.2-3.

55 Ibid., p.2. Other European countries have similar companies. For example, a Dutch-registered security firm, International Defence and Security, is presently mining diamonds in northern Angola, while more and more freelance and mercenary forces from the European East are operating in Africa more generally. See The Economist, op. cit. 36; French, H., "Zaire's Motley Crew Readies for Last Stand", The Guardian, 13 Feb. 1997, p.14; Nicoll, R., op. cit. 30.

56 Pech, K. and Beresford, D., op. cit. 20.

57 Reno, W., op. cit. 35., p.14.

58 Bazargan, D., op. cit. 54, p.3.

59 Ibid.

60 Shearer, D., op. cit. 44; Pech, K. and Beresford, D., op. cit. 20; Harding, J., "The Mellow Mercenaries", The Guardian Weekend, 8 Mar. 1997, pp.32-34,37.

End Note

This briefing was written by Mark Duffield of the School of Public Policy, International Development Department at the University of Birmingham.