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Post-2015 Consensus: Conflict and Violence Viewpoint, Aucoin Russell

Viewpoint Paper

Aucoin (former Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum) and Russell (Stability: International Journal of Security and Development) look at how the case for intervention against societal violence could be made more compelling. The paper would benefit from clear definitions and consistent terminology and also from a discussion of both the link and overlap between societal and communal violence. Several underlying assumptions would benefit from more explanation, for example that the costs of child, female and male homicide are the same. The authors do not make clear whether the data to support their argument on the comparatively low level of funding for legal and judicial programs includes that which flows through UN peacekeeping and special political missions. It is also arguable that spending on both early childhood and female education and health programs aimed at substance abuse have significant effects on crime. A discussion of extrajudicial killings by the police might strengthen the arguments made. They agree with Fearon and Hoeffler’s suggestion that interventions to improve the police and justice system are a fertile area for research. Overall, they believe that more emphasis on tackling the roots of violence, including poverty, inequality and gender disparity would further strengthen the case.