The Importance of Winning: Victorious Insurgent Groups and Post-Conflict Politics
13 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 25, 2013
Civil wars that end in rebel victory follow distinct war-to-peace transitions compared to the more often analyzed cases of negotiated settlement and internationally supported peacebuilding. In many cases, strong authoritarian parties dominate post-war politics insurgent triumph. Four cases in East Africa illustrate this pattern. The victorious Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), Uganda’s National Revolutionary Army (NRA), and Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), all remade themselves into authoritarian parties that dominated post-conflict politics. How is war termination by rebel victory linked to post-conflict authoritarian regimes? This paper proposes a mechanism that explains this pattern that emphasizes characteristics of the insurgent movement and the distinct characteristics of transition following victory.
Keywords: war termination, civil war, authoritarian party, Africa
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