The article identifies how the nexus between democracy, security, humanitarianism and development was built up from the 1990s. It analyses how the discourse of post-conflict peacebuilding has emerged as a notable component of a liberal democratic international order. The article argues that the transformations in peacekeeping operations depend upon a specific spatiotemporal combination ? a cleavage between a global and a humanitarian space and the temporality of development. For South American countries, participation in peacekeeping operations became a way to assert themselves as participants of a liberal democratic international order and a reflexive mode to strengthen the process of transformation of their own societies in order to be integrated into a new global cartography.
In the two to five years immediately following end of conflicts, UN peacekeeping operations have succeeded in maintaining peace, while income and consumption growth rates have been higher than normal and recovery on key education and health indicators has been possible. Aid also has been super-effective in promoting recovery, not only by financing physical infrastructure but also by helping in the monetary reconstruction of postconflict economies. However, sustaining these short-term gains was met with two difficult challenges. First, long-term sustainability of peace and growth hinges primarily on the ability of postconflict societies to develop institutions for the delivery of public goods, which, in turn, depends on the capacity of post-conflict elites to overcome an entrenched culture of political fragmentation and form stable national coalitions, beyond their immediate ethnic or regional power bases. Second, after catch-up growth runs its course, high levels of aid could lead to overvalued real currencies, at a time when growth requires a competitive exchange rate and economic diversification. Successful peace-building would, therefore, require that these political and economic imperatives of postconflict transitions be accounted for in the design of UN peacekeeping operations as well as the aid regime.
This article focuses on the role of the special representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in the context of UN integrated missions. The article argues that the primary leadership function of the SRSG is to facilitate a process that generates and maintains strategic direction and operational coherence across the political, governance, development, economic, and security dimensions of a peacebuilding process. The power and influence of the SRSG does not reside in the resources that he or she can directly bring to bear on a specific situation, but in the ability to muster and align the resources of a large number of agencies, donors, and countries to sup port the peacebuilding effort in a given context. This type of leadership role implies that persons with skills, experience, and a personality suited to multistakeholder mediation and negotiations are more likely to be success full SRSGs than someone who is used to top-down, autocratic, military, pri vate sector, or direct-control type leadership styles. This perspective on the role of the SRSG has important implications for the way in which people are chosen and prepared for these positions, as well as for the ways in which support can be provided for this role, both at the United Nations and in the field.
The sheer ambition and scale of UN peacebuilding today inevitably invokes comparison with historic practices of colonialism and imperialism, from critics and supporters of peacebuilding alike. The legitimacy of post-settlement peacebuilding is often seen to hinge on the question of the extent to which it transcends historic practices of imperialism. This article offers a critique of how these comparisons are made in the extant scholarship, and argues that supporters of peacekeeping deploy an under-theorized and historically one-sided view of imperialism. The article argues that the attempt to flatter peacebuilding by comparison with imperialism fails, and that the theory and history of imperialism still provide a rich resource for both the critique and conceptualization of peacekeeping practice. The article concludes by suggesting how new forms of imperial power can be projected through peacebuilding.
Transitional justice and security sector reform are critical in post-conflict settings, particularly regarding the reform of judicial systems, intelligence services, police, correctional systems, the military, and addressing systemic massive human rights abuses committed by individuals representing these institutions. Accordingly, the relationship between security sector reform and transitional justice mechanisms, such as vetting, the representation of ethnic minorities in key institutions, the resettlement and reintegration of the former combatants deserve special attention from scholars. This article presents a comparative analysis of the reform of police and security forces in Kosovo, and explores the causes of different outcomes of these two processes.
There is a growing body of practice and literature on the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in preventing and responding to violence. There is also a lot of excitement and corresponding literature about the role of the internet in non-violent change and democratization. The use of mobile phones, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and user-generated content (UGC) like blogs and YouTube videos in the protests in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as throughout the wider middle-east and North Africa (MENA) region have shown how ICTs can complement and augment the exercise of rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of peaceful assembly. This literature focuses on the use of ICTs before and during conflict, for example in conflict prevention and early warning. What about the use of ICTs in post-conflict situations; after the negotiation of peace agreements? How can ICTs be used in post-conflict interventions; more specifically in post-conflict peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction and recovery? What role of can be played here by social media and user-generated content?
Local peace initiatives have been introduced in post-conflict settings in aid of statebuilding processes. However, contradictions in such efforts that undermine the state become apparent in a development context when government institutions are, generally, functioning. Peacebuilding initiatives in the arid lands of Kenya are a good example of this. While they have proved successful in resolving conflicts at the local level, they challenge the state structure in three ways. First, some of their features run counter to the official laws of Kenya and jeopardize the separation of powers. Second, they pose a dilemma, since their success and legitimacy are based on grassroots leadership and local concepts of justice. Both can be at odds with democratic decision-making, inclusiveness and gender equity. Third, they provide yet another tool for abuse by politicians and other local leaders. This reveals a dilemma: aspects of peacebuilding can actually undermine a statebuilding endeavour.
Since the end of the cold war, interventions to stabilize post-conflict societies have grown in number, length and scope, no longer just interposing troops between combatants and negotiating a peace agreement, but engaging in far-reaching efforts of institutional and societal transformation to prevent a relapse into war and to encourage a sustainable peace. On the one hand, this expansion of peacebuilding reflects the recognition that functioning institutions are central to post-conflict stability, as they can help to manage conflicts over power, resources and identity in divided societies. For most of the international organizations and donors involved in post-conflict peacebuilding, these institutions are liberal-democratic ones by necessity because they are considered to give all conflict parties a stake in the new, post-war order, they are concomitant with the protection of human rights and the rule of law, and they encourage economic growth. On the other hand, the expansion of peacebuilding activities reflects a growing understanding of how war economies have perpetuated conflict and how economic power structures and dynamics can persist well into peacetime. As well as causing war and sustaining it, the political economy of conflict also shapes the possibilities and the nature of the peace that follows. This emphasis on the role of political institutions and political economy in post-conflict peacebuilding has increasingly shifted the attention of peacebuilders towards the issue of corruption. Closely associated with the distortion of the market and the malfunction of political institutions, corruption is considered a key challenge to consolidating peace because it hinders economic development, perpetuates the unjust distribution of public resources, and undermines the legitimacy and effectiveness of government. In recent years, there has been a growing literature on the impact of corruption after conflict. This collection of papers aims to contribute to this debate by examining the specific conceptual and political challenges that corruption poses to post-conflict peacebuilding. Across the different papers in this special issue, a complex set of issues emerges to shape our understanding of postconflict corruption, its impact on stability and development, and the consequences of anti-corruption measures in the context of peacebuilding efforts. In this introduction, the implications for peacebuilding will be discussed in greater detail.
The dominant approach to counter-piracy strategy off Somalia is astonishingly narrow-minded. Deterrence, surveillance and military operations do not provide sustainable or efficient solutions; better strategic alternatives must draw on the lessons of 21st-century peace operations. This perspective leads to an understanding of counterpiracy as a problem of peacebuilding. This allows restructuring and reframing of the problem to permit a much wider repertoire of policy solutions than is currently conceived. This repertoire may include development and security assistance programmes as well as state-building programmes. The approach also permits integration of lessons learned in the frame of international peacebuilding operations, including avoiding technocratic solutions, focusing on power constellations, integrating local knowledge and incrementalism. If the international community wishes to take piracy seriously and respond to its complexities, it would be well advised to adopt a policy in which such alternatives are considered.
The social reintegration of ex-combatants is one of the most critical aspects of peacebuilding processes. However, contrary to economic reintegration in which it would be possible to set up some quantitative indicators in terms of accessing vocational training opportunities, employment and livelihoods income for the assessment of success, social reintegration is an intangible outcome. Therefore, what constitutes a successful social reintegration and how it could be assessed continues to be the challenge for both academics and practitioners. This article will undertake an investigation of the preliminary parameters of social reintegration at the macro, meso and micro levels in order to identify a set of indicators for programme assessment. A nuanced understanding of ex-combatant reintegration is expected to allow the development of context-based indicators according to the specific characteristics of that particular environment. The article also recommends the use of participatory research methods as they would be more appropriate for the measurement of social reintegration impact.
This article critically examines the notion that wealth sharing in the aftermath of internal armed conflicts can bring about long-lasting peace. While wealth sharing is increasingly considered a crucial element of peacebuilding, the evidence concerning its success is inconclusive. Previous studies unfortunately suffer from weak theoretical and empirical definitions of wealth sharing and from examining only a subset of postconflict societies. This article improves the research by disaggregating the concept of wealth sharing to concrete policy relevant natural resource management tools and by introducing new and better data on wealth sharing and including more postconflict peace periods than previous studies. This article examines the relationships between armed conflict, wealth sharing and peace by studying two independent but interlinked research questions: In which postconflict societies is wealth sharing most likely to be adopted? And can wealth sharing bring stable peace in postconflict societies? The analyses show that wealth sharing is more likely to be implemented after natural resource conflicts. Nonetheless, the article does not find that wealth sharing is successful in bringing postconflict peace after these conflicts. Reasons for this can be that (1) other factors than wealth sharing explain the outcome better, and (2) the wealth sharing policies are poorly designed and implemented. The article concludes that wealth sharing can only be a suitable path for societies recovering from armed conflict if such policies are carefully designed to fit the specific context and take into account the challenges that will arrive.
This article explores the relationship between the UK and Rwanda, using the lens of the UK Department for International Development’s integrated approach to state building and peace building in fragile and conflict-affected states. It identifies a number of priorities for UK aid under such a framework, but shows that in the case of Rwanda these have not been foregrounded in the bilateral aid relationship. The article suggests a number of reasons for this, arguing that, by refusing to acknowledge or address Rwanda’s deviations from what was considered a positive development trajectory, the UK is becoming internationally isolated in its support for the rpf regime. It concludes that, while this bilateral relationship may support achievement of stability and relative security in Rwanda, promoting such a narrow form of state building is detrimental to more holistic peace building, both nationally and regionally.
This article uses security sector reform as a prism for exploring the dilemmas that confront multidimensional United Nations peace operations as they seek to build peace by building states. It claims that the United Nations finds itself severely restricted when trying to translate ideas of human security into practice in the form of a people-centered approach to postconflict security assistance.