War Lords oder Lords in War? Macht in Kolonialismus und Krieg auf den südlichen Philippinen

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:CCS Working Papers (Band 15)
Main Author: Sottsas, Simon
Format: Article
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2011
Online Access:PDF Full Text
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War, fragile states, and warlords are topics of current peace and conflict studies, often linked in this order. The situation on the southern Philippines shows a rather different picture: lords in war outperform warlords and stand at the beginning and end of the chain of causation. They possess a triple power base: i) an inherited socioeconomic ruling position, ii) a gate keeper role collaborating as local politicians with the oligarchic Philippine State, and iii) their violence capacities in a conflict situation between state and rebel groups. The paper compares along material, ideal and institutional dimensions warlords and lords in war, based on a historical-materialist approach. The analytical differentiation of warlords and lords in war is not without ambiguities. However, it helps to highlight that the conceptual antagonism of state vs. warlord conceals that local rulers develop a new hybrid role combining formal and informal capacities and practices. Therefore, reintegration of rebel soldiers, socioeconomic development programs, and a strengthening of state forces will counter warlords. To counter lords in war towards a more democratic society, more elaborated structural change has to occur. This would support the claims of the main rebel groups. However, necessary change does not just encompass the local arena as such, but the Philippine post/neo-colonial power system as a whole. It remains a difficult task for the ongoing peace processes. The analytical results advice peace and conflict studies that a look on social structures can inform their analysis. In post/neo-colonial local government structures, direct violence is not just the top conflict level but an intrinsic factor of ruling. Advocates of change on the other hand have to focus more strongly on the dynamics of crises, dismissing the idea of short and clean-cut revolutionary developments. Thus, social and conflict analyses have to be combined to enable scientific support of peace processes. A further elaboration of the used approach could be a possibility.