Even when armed conflicts formally end, the transition to peace is not clear-cut. Mounting evidence suggests that it is rather ‘unlikely to see a clean break from violence to consent, from theft to production, from repression to democracy, or from impunity to accountability’. The transition out of war is a complex endeavour, interrelated in many cases with other transformations such as changes in the political regime (democratisation) and in the economy (opening of markets to globalisation). In addition, in the same way as wars and conflicts reflect the societies they befall, post-war orders may replicate and perpetuate some of the drivers of war-related violence, such as high levels of instability, institutional fragility, corruption, and inequality. Thus, even in the absence of a formal relapse into war and the re-mobilisation of former insurgents, many transitional contexts are marked by the steady and ongoing reconfiguration of criminal and illegal groups and practices.
Kurtenbach, Sabine & Angelika Rettberg (2018) Understanding the relation between war economies and post-war crime, Third World Thematics 3 (1): 1–8.