Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Colin Flint

Abstract

Many peace agreements fail despite external mediation and intervention, prompting a deconstruction of the predominant conceptions of peace and methods of peacebuilding. Of the weaknesses of these conceptions, the lack of concern for post-conflict structural violence is one of the strongest, and the main focus of this research. Infant mortality rate variations demonstrate the salience of structural violence in post-conflict situations. Further, to look deeper at the weaknesses of the hegemonic ideals on peace and its implementation by external actors, the cases of Rwanda and Cambodia are analyzed using the comparative method, and situated within critical peace literature. The comparison finds that rapid military integration may cause violence to restart, and that non-state entities appear more likely to be disarmed than recognized states during the post-conflict phase. This research also suggests that not disarming rebels in the peace process is an indication of a move towards a more just and inclusive society that will lead to a decrease in both direct and indirect violence, including a decrease in structural violence as indicated by a decline in the infant mortality rate.

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