Preventing Rebel Resurgence after Civil War: A Field Experiment in Security and Justice Provision in Rural Colombia

American Political Science Review, Forthcoming

99 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2021 Last revised: 6 Feb 2022

See all articles by Robert Blair

Robert Blair

Brown University; Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Manuel Moscoso

Brown University - Department of Political Science

Andrés Vargas

Independent Research

Michael Weintraub

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Date Written: February 4, 2022

Abstract

How can states prevent armed groups from exploiting local governance gaps to (re)establish territorial control during transitions to national peace? We report results from an experimental evaluation of Colombia's ComunPaz program, a scalable, inexpensive intervention that sought to replace rebel governance by harnessing complementarities between state and communal authorities and by improving security and justice provision in areas once dominated by FARC, the country's largest rebel group. We find that ComunPaz enhanced the quality of local dispute resolution, increased citizens' trust in (some) state institutions, and strengthened coordination between state and communal authorities. It also appears to have reduced citizens' trust in, and reliance on, armed groups. The program did not, however, increase reliance on either state or communal authorities to resolve disputes, nor did it increase citizens' trust in communal institutions. We discuss the implications of our findings for peacebuilding and statebuilding in countries transitioning from civil war.

Keywords: rebel governance, statebuilding, peacebuilding, civil war, rule of law, Colombia, field experiments

JEL Classification: D74, C93

Suggested Citation

Blair, Robert and Moscoso, Manuel and Vargas, Andrés and Weintraub, Michael, Preventing Rebel Resurgence after Civil War: A Field Experiment in Security and Justice Provision in Rural Colombia (February 4, 2022). American Political Science Review, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3815789 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3815789

Robert Blair

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

Manuel Moscoso

Brown University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 1844
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Andrés Vargas

Independent Research ( email )

Michael Weintraub (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

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