Edited by Charles T. Call
USIP Press Books
January 2007
273 pp., 6" x 9"
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“Charles Call has produced an excellent resource for practitioners and scholars concerned with rebuilding societies following violent conflict. Drawing from a rich set of case studies, Constructing Justice and Security after War is a well-researched study that will help policy-makers avoid repeating mistakes of the past. This volume provides much-needed clarity on these often complex, but always central, elements of the rebuilding challenge.”

Robert C. Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, United Nations

"Charles T. Call has drawn on his long and engaged experience in many countries emerging from conflict, to produce a rigorous and highly readable study of the challenges of post-conflict reconstruction, and of experiments to introduce judicial, police and military reform (both successful and failed). He has also assembled an impressive array of experts on different countries and situations, thereby enriching the book with lessons to be drawn from a wide spectrum of experience. Professor Call and his colleagues have thereby produced an early systematic look at what is being done to reform institutions that have, in the recent past, been the instrument of egregious abuse. This book is indispensable reference material for policy-makers and practitioners in the growing field of institutional reform; more importantly, it starts us in the learning process that will produce better results in the near future."

Juan E Méndez, President, ICTJ and Special Advisor to the Secretary General (UN) on the Prevention of Genocide

"This is a first-rate volume addresses one of the most challenging but important issues of our time: how to construct a stable and self-sustaining public security apparatus after war. Time and again policymakers have confronted the simple fact that the failure to develop legitimate security and justice institutions after war has increased the risk of a return of violence. It is incredibly difficult to get it right. But this collection convincingly demonstrates that there are policies that can improve the chances of success - and, conversely, policies that must be avoided at all costs. An excellent volume that is must reading for anyone interested in Third World security, peacebuilding, and the challenge of creating stability after war."

Professor Michael Barnett, Stassen Chair of International Affairs and Professor of Political Science, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Three of the most successful peace processes of the 1990s—El Salvador, South Africa, and Guatemala—experienced worse violent crime after their wars concluded. Organized crime in Bosnia deepened after the 1995 Dayton peace agreement. These and other cases of post-conflict societies displaying serious and persistent problems of citizen insecurity and an absence of the rule of law underscore one of the central challenges of international security in the twenty-first century: How can external actors not only establish security in the immediate aftermath of war, but also create self-sustaining systems of justice and security?

In Constructing Justice and Security after War, the distinguished contributors—including scholars, criminal justice practitioners, and former senior officials of international missions—examine the experiences of countries that have recently undergone transitions from conflict with significant international involvement. The volume offers generalizations based on careful comparisons of justice and security reforms in some of the most prominent and successful cases of transitions from war of the 1990s drawn from Central America, Africa, the Balkans, and East Timor.

The contributors also offer answers to the question How can societies emerging from armed conflict create systems of justice and security that ensure basic rights, apply the law effectively and impartially, and enjoy popular support?

Charles T. Call is assistant professor of international relations at American University. Before that he served as peacebuilding consultant to the UN Department of Political Affairs and coordinated the Governance in War-Torn Societies project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. He has conducted field research on justice and security reforms in Central America, Haiti, the Balkans, and Afghanistan.


  • Introduction - Charles T. Call
  • Part I: Latin America and the Caribbean
  • El Salvador - Charles T. Call
  • Haiti - Sandra Beidas, Colin Granderson, and Rachel Neild
  • Guatemala - William D. Stanley
  • Part II: Africa
  • South Africa - Janine Rauch
  • Rwanda - Charles Mironko and Ephrem Rurangwa
  • Part III: Europe and Asia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina - Michael H. Doyle
  • Kosovo - Colette Rausch
  • East Timor - Ronald A. West
  • Conclusions
  • Engendering Justice and Security after War - Tracy Fitzsimmons
  • Constructing Justice and Security after War - Charles T. Call

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