The long-term legacies of war economies, often characterised by widespread illicit economic activities and the consolidation of criminal and quasi-criminal networks, pose significant challenges to achieving sustainable and inclusive post-war transitions.

Peace agreements that fail to sufficiently incorporate the perspectives of communities dependent on illicit economies and to account for how illicit economies shape national and subnational political settlements run the risk of producing unstable post-war transitions.

This policy brief looks at the impact of illicit economies on the character of peace agreements, the challenges that war economies pose for achieving long-lasting peace settlements, and different strategies used by governments and donors to engage with illicit economies in peace processes.

Citation: Drugs & (dis)order (2021) Addressing illicit economies in peace processes, Drugs & (dis)order Policy Brief 3 

This policy brief is a collective effort, based on an article in the International Journal of Drugs Policy. The brief was drafted by Karen Brock with input from Jasmine Bhatia.

Read the full article: Bhatia, J. (2021) ‘Unsettling the peace? The role of illicit economies in peace processes’,
International Journal of Drug Policy. Free to download until 15 June.