Abstract

Within international relations, discussions about how civil wars end have focused mainly on the qualities of the belligerents (ethnicity, commitment to the cause) or on the strategic environment of decision making (security dilemmas). Work in sociology and development economics, however, has highlighted the importance of war economies and the functional role of violence. This article combines these approaches by examining the mechanisms through which the chaos of war becomes transformed into networks of profit, and through which these in turn become hardened into the institutions of quasi states. The first section offers a brief overview of current research on civil war endings. The second section outlines the course of four Eurasian wars and identifies the de facto states that have arisen after them: the republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (in Azerbaijan), the Dnestr Moldovan republic (in Moldova), and the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (in Georgia). The third section analyzes the pillars of state building in each case: the political economy of weak states, the role of external actors, the mythologizing function of cultural and educational institutions, and the complicity of central governments. The concluding section suggests lessons that these cases might hold for further study of intrastate violence.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3338
Print ISSN
0043-8871
Pages
pp. 524-552
Launched on MUSE
2001-07-01
Open Access
No
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