Wartime Order and Its Legacies
What happens to institutions in areas taken over by insurgent groups? While conventional wisdom portrays war zones as chaotic and anarchic, they are often orderly. Although fear and violence exist, chaos is seldom the norm. Rather, in many places a new order emerges: there is a sense of normality—even if different from that of peacetime—and people are able to form expectations about what may or may not happen on a daily basis. That new order varies substantially across time and space: even adjacent villages and neighborhoods controlled by the same armed actor often end up living under very different institutions—that is, formal or informal rules of conduct. This talk will discuss the origins of these distinct types of order and disorder in warzones as well as a research agenda on the legacies in the post-conflict period.
Ana Arjona is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. She was the Director of the Center for the Study of Security and Drugs at Los Andes University in Bogota, Colombia in 2018-2019, where she is now Associate Researcher. She obtained her PhD in political science from Yale University (with distinction), and has been a Fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research investigates the dynamics and legacies of organized violence, especially civil wars and organized crime, local governance, state building, and the foundations of political order. She is the author of the award-winning book Rebelocracy: Social Order in the Colombian Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2016), co-editor of Rebel Governance in Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and author of several articles and book chapters.
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- Image Credit/Caption: Photography by Sergio Trujillo Davila
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