Decades of conflict and violence coupled with drought and earthquakes have had devastating impacts not only the people of Afghanistan, but also on its natural environment, once pristine and rich in biological diversity, but now suffering from years of overexploitation of natural resources and habitat loss. It was clear from the outset that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as part of the overall response by the United Nations, would give its support to the people and authorities of Afghanistan by offering its expertise in post-conflict environmental assessment and analysis. This report presents facts on the state of the environment, specific findings concerning the urban environment and the natural resources of Afghanistan and recommendations on how to improve environmental conditions and policies.
UNEP was able to meet this challenging task thanks to the close cooperation with the Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and environment, and I extend my thanks to the Minister, Dr Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, for his collaboration and strong commitment, and for the hard work by his staff. Moreover, the activities were planned in close coordination with the Afghan Assistance Coordination Agency (AACA) and the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Every conflict generates risks to human health and to the environment. The post-conflict situation in Iraq compounds a range of chronic environmental issues, and presents immediate challenges in the fields of humanitarian assistance, reconstruction and administration.
Now that major military combat operations have ended, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is addressing post-conflict risks to the environment and to human health, and promoting long-term environmental management. Timeliness is paramount. Lessons learned from earlier conflicts show that the immediate environmental consequences must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid a further deterioration of humanitarian and environmental conditions. For this reason, UNEP, as a part of the wider UN family, integrated its post-conflict activities into the UN Humanitarian Flash Appeal launch on 28 March 2003.
Earlier UNEP post-conflict studies also demonstrate that the environment can have major implications for human livelihoods and for sustainable economic development. As such, environmental issues must be integrated across all sectors in post-conflict situations. Following
this most recent conflict, Iraqi citizens may have fears about environmental threats from military activities, such as air pollution, drinking water contamination, and the presence of hazardous substances, including heavy metals and depleted uranium. Objective and reliable information will help set aside such fears where the risk is minimal, and will help to target measurement and clean up activities in areas where the risk is higher. For these reasons, and based on this study and the information currently emerging from Iraq, UNEP is recommending that field research and analysis be carried out in Iraq at the earliest possible time. The approach of this Desk Study is environmental and technical. The intent is not to attach blame for various environmental problems. Rather, it is to provide an overview of chronic and war-related environmental issues, and to identify the steps needed to safeguard the environment. Top priorities include environmental issues that have a direct link with easing the humanitarian situation, especially the restoration of water, power, sanitation networks and ensuring food security.
I am delighted to present this report on the assessment of contaminated sites in Iraq. This pioneering work has been conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of Environment and its professional experts under the guidance and supervision of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The project is part of a series of capacity building activities being undertaken by UNEP, with support from the Government of Japan through the UN Iraq Trust Fund. While UNEP has been undertaking post-conflict environmental assessments since 1999, the situation in Iraq posed some unique challenges. Initial field visits by the UNEP team indicated the need to urgently assess the level of contamination at a number of industrial sites. However, the security situation did not permit UN staff to work inside the country.
UNEP therefore developed a specific approach to assess the contaminated sites using a team of Iraqi experts from various Ministries that were selected and trained by UNEP experts to undertake the work. The data gathered inside Iraq was supplemented with satellite imagery,
and samples were analysed in international laboratories. All of the field work was documented in great detail using global positioning systems and digital cameras. The outcomes of the work highlight a number of important findings and lessons. First and foremost, the report demonstrates that while there are contaminated sites in Iraq, the environmental risks are still very localised and the opportunity exists to initiate immediate clean-up before public health is threatened. Urgent action should be taken as soon as possible to contain the large quantities of toxic chemicals lying unattended and unguarded. In this regard, I am extremely pleased that the findings of this project have resulted in UNEP being awarded additional financial resources by the UN Iraq Trust Fund to initiate clean-up activities. Throughout this work, UNEP has also learned that an approach based on remote supervision, modern communications equipment and remote sensing can produce very useful results even in conditions where the United Nations cannot be present on the ground. This vastly expands the operating envelope for future UNEP interventions in other parts of the world.
This Executive Summary provides readers with a short overview of the key environmental issues, factors and drivers of environmental
change in Afghanistan, and highlights the latest achievements and prospects ahead. It is intended as an overview of the more multifaceted First State of Environment (SOE) Report for Afghanistan, which is being produced by the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) in accordance with section 9(12) of the Environment Law, 2007, and will be published in mid-2008, with the assistance of the United Nations Environment Programme. It is designed for both a national audience (Government officials, community leaders, and natural resource policy-makers at a central and local level) and the broader international community: donors and international organizations, policy-makers in neighbouring countries, people and institutes interested in Afghanistan. It provides in a consolidated format the best available information and also identifies gaps in data on the state of the environment.
The disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process in Afghanistan, widely acknowledged as flawed, has contributed to fragmentation and insecurity within Afghanistan. Based upon discussions with more than 500 DDR programme beneficiaries, the article describes the manner in which the reintegration process increased former combatants’ and commanders’ vulnerability to remobilisation in support of or in opposition to the Taliban-led insurgency by weakening cohesion between combatants and their former commanders and by fostering ineffective and culturally inappropriate livelihoods. The author argues that the DDR process and other international and Afghan government interventions have, furthermore, contributed to the fragmentation of the country and the straining of internal, regional tensions. The Taliban, as well as those fighting under its banner, has been the primary beneficiary of this fragmentation and has consolidated a highly diverse coalition of fighters. The opposing trends of a fragmented social, economic and political context, in relation to both individual former combatants and the country as a whole, and an increasingly cohesive insurgency will continue to contribute to greater insecurity and the potential for intra-state conflict.
This article analyses which of the major lessons learned from previous experiences in nation building have been applied or ignored in Iraq. It focuses on the first six months of the post-combat period, a time frame generally recognised as being critical for laying the foundations for a stable and democratic future. A review of previous cases points to six lessons that, in fact, have been unlearned, and only two that have been realised in this initial phase in Iraq.
This book was commissioned by the Canadian military to help senior officers better understand the development dimension of peace and security missions in fragile post-conflict states. It also helps development practitioners better understand their military colleagues in these challenging missions. While it draws mainly from experience in Afghanistan, it has wider application: USAID project staff in Iraq say it is very helpful and “eerily accurate” in describing issues they encounter in their work.
This article argues that the mixed tribunals of Sierra Leone and Cambodia provide important lessons about the problems and dilemmas in achieving the legitimacy that is necessary for transitional justice mechanisms to have a positive local impact. High hopes have been held for the mixed model, but experiences show that this model is no easy fix to the legitimacy problems faced by the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. By locating a tribunal in the post-conflict setting, new dilemmas of legitimacy may arise. This article suggests that transitional justice mechanisms should strike a balance between backward-looking and forward-looking justice, and between international and national participation in the tribunals, but this is not done by simply locating a tribunal in the affected country.
Written from the dual perspective of scholar and practitioner Rich qualitative and quantitative data-set Innovative conceptual framework Democratic Peacebuilding examines the evolution of international peacebuilding since the cold war, identifying the factors that limit the progress of international actors to institutionalize democratic authority and the rule of law in war-shattered societies. It gives particular attention to Afghanistan’s Bonn Agreement process (2001-2005) and post-Bonn period (2006-2009), in which the country’s multiple, competing forms of authority (e.g., religious leaders, tribal elders, militia commanders, and technocrats) challenged efforts to create “modern” forms of political authority rooted in democratic norms and the rule of law. Despite the significant risks involved, this volume argues that the institutionalization of democratic legal authority can create the conditions and framework necessary to mediate competing domestic interests and to address the root causes of a conflict peacefully. At the same time, one overlooked problem of international peacebuilding stems from the divergent conceptions, between international officials and the local population, of authority and its sources of legitimacy. By helping a conflict-affected society reconcile the inherent tensions between competing forms of authority, international peacebuilders can contribute to improved conditions for governance and a reduction in intra-state political violence. Due to high expenditures in a period of global economic uncertainty and frustrations in Afghanistan and elsewhere, democratization as an approach to conflict management and resolution is in retreat in some influential policy circles. But it is only a deepening of democracy, rather than lowering the metrics for progress and conditions for exit, that will determine whether fragile states are placed on a viable course toward stability and greater self-sufficiency.
Previous analyses have provided extensive and in-depth insights into the external relations of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan, particularly the division of labour between them and the humanitarian assistance community. This article broadens and deepens this literature by focusing on the internal relations of PRTs, particularly the cooperation between military and civilian sections within them. It shows that the successes and failures of PRTs are not just on the part of individual advisers, officers or uncooperative partners, but can also be located in the organizational culture of a PRT as a whole. On the one hand, a PRT constitutes a forum in which diverging civilian expert, military and national interests may collide, producing a potential for a ‘clash of mindsets’. On the other, such a collision can lead to fruitful results and innovative policies in which different viewpoints complement each other.
Public health problems in armed conflicts have been well documented, however, effective national health policies and international assistance strategies in transition periods from conflict to peace have not been well established. After the long lasted conflicts in Sri Lanka, the Government and the rebel LTTE signed a cease-fire agreement in February 2002. As the peace negotiation has been disrupted since April 2003, a long-term prospect for peace is yet uncertain at present. The objective of this research is to detect unmet needs in health services in Northern Province in Sri Lanka, and to recommend fair and effective health strategies for post-conflict reconstruction. First, we compared a 20-year trend of health services and health status between the post-conflict Northern Province and other areas not directly affected by conflict in Sri Lanka by analyzing data published by Sri Lankan government and other agencies. Then, we conducted open-ended self-administered questionnaires to health care providers and inhabitants in Northern Province, and key informant interviews in Northern Province and other areas. The major health problems in Northern Province were high maternal mortality, significant shortage of human resources for health (HRH), and inadequate water and sanitation systems. Poor access to health facilities, lack of basic health knowledge, insufficient health awareness programs for inhabitants, and mental health problems among communities were pointed by the questionnaire respondents. Shortage of HRH and people’s negligence for health were perceived as the major obstacles to improving the current health situation in Northern Province. The key informant interviews revealed that Sri Lankan HRH outside Northern Province had only limited information about the health issues in Northern Province. It is required to develop and allocate HRH strategically for the effective reconstruction of health service systems in Northern Province. The empowerment of inhabitants and communities through health awareness programs and the development of a systematic mental health strategy at the state level are also important. It is necessary to provide with the objective information of gaps in health indicators by region for promoting mutual understanding between Tamil and Sinhalese. International assistance should be provided not only for the post-conflict area but also for other underprivileged areas to avoid unnecessary grievance.
Rather than nation-building, the rule of law was the framework for my volunteer service. Consistent with ISLP’s mission, I was volunteering in order to support and advance the rule of law in India. My specific assignment was to provide “senior lawyer” assistance to a group of public interest lawyers who handled human rights cases on behalf of the poor. Given the facially healthy appearance of India’s democratic institutions, I assumed that the rule of law issues embedded in that work would be somewhat nuanced and subtle, well along a continuum of rights and principles that had already been established. However, as I was to discover, many rule of law principles in India are at a more nascent stage of development. It is true that virtually all of the fundamental legal principles associated with a democratic system of law are eloquently articulated in India’s Constitution, codes, and judicial opinions. However, many of these laws-especially those affecting individual rights and protections- are so unevenly and inadequately enforced that they effectively do not exist for large segments of India’s population. The size of the gap between the law on the books and its access by and application to all levels of a society is one crucial indicator of a country’s progress on the rule of law continuum. By that measure the nation of India, while not outside intervention or fundamental restructuring, is still in the building process.
The idea of ‘transformation’ implies that facilitators bring an agenda to situations of conflict. What is that agenda and how is it promoted? I believe the aim should be to use conflict as a moment, or more precisely, a series of moments of rich opportunity to contribute to human development. Facilitators, a term I use to refer to peacemakers working in group and inter-group settings, meet this agenda with responses that fall into two broad categories: by assisting empowerment, that is, supporting the persons involved in conflict to more fully achieve their own potential as human beings; and by fostering ‘right relationships’, that is, relationships characterized by recognition of the other, fairness, respect, mutuality and accountability. In very simple terms, they encourage parties to pay attention to the needs of both the self and the other.
This essay explores the interdependence between statebuilding, narcotics and conflict through an analysis of interviews and a survey conducted, in the spring of 2005, in the Laghman and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan. Rural Afghanistan is characterized by weak conflict-processing mechanisms, combined with a high propensity towards the escalation of violence. State-sponsored institutions for conflict processing hardly exist, and donor attempts to prop up traditional institutions, such as the village shura, as a substitute for local government have failed to produce tangible results. Farmers widely acknowledge the benefits of opium as one of the few available cash crops. As a result, competition over scarce land and propensity for violence are affected indirectly by the drug economy. The study concludes with a criticism of current poppy eradication efforts. Under an informal eradication contract, provincial leaders are induced to comply with the request of the central government to reduce opium cultivation, in exchange for increased political autonomy and the promise of donor funds.
The DDR process that took place in Lebanon after the internal wars (1975-89), based on the Ta’if Accord (1989), was not co-ordinated by any international organisation. This paper assesses the reintegration of a number of combatants of one of the militias, the Lebanese Forces, placing particular emphasis on the context in which it unfolded. A programme of reintegration into the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) was proposed to the ex-combatants, but because of the high number on one side and because of the situation within the LAF itself (a pluri-religious organisation under reorganisation) this programme had little effect on the process. Instead the majority of the ex-combatants came to rely on their family and network established within the militia for their social and economic reintegration. This study finds that there has been little rupture between life as combatants and life as civilians. Three contextual factors were particularly important: the small size of the country, the rhythm of the war where periods of combat alternated with periods of calm, and the close contact combatants managed to keep with their family, work, schools and universities. A key lesson for DDR processes more generally stems from the study: DDR initiatives are likely to be most effective when they work alongside and augment indigenous positive social processes contributing to reintegration.
Peacekeeping has been a significant part of Australia’s overseas military engagement since the end of the Second World War. Yet it is a part of the country’s history that has been largely neglected until the 1990s, and even since then interest has been slow to develop. In the last sixty years, between 30,000 and 40,000 Australian military personnel and police have served in more than 50 peacekeeping missions in at least 27 different conflicts. This insightful, engaging and superbly-edited volume approaches Australian peacekeeping from four angles: its history, its agencies, some personal reflections, and its future. Contributors discuss the distinction between peacekeeping and war-fighting, the importance of peacekeeping in terms of public policy, the problems of multinational command, and the specialist contributions of the military, civilian police, mine-clearers, weapons inspectors and diplomats.
Studies of peacekeeping have helped to reveal the complexities, dilemmas and challenges of operations since their inception, and almost certainly into the future. Yet, despite the empirical and theoretical breadth of this canon, the field continues to be dominated by political science, development studies, international law and military studies, whose scholars tend to draw on problem-solving, macro-level and positivist perspectives in their writings. The impact of post-structural and post-positivist epistemologies developed in sociology, human geography and cultural studies remain marginal in the field. Given this, the present article seeks to complement and develop the study of peacekeeping through its framing of blue-helmet activity as embodied, spatial-security practice that is performed ‘out front’ for the beneficiary audience. In so doing we draw on critical geopolitics, military/human geography and sociological theorizing with a focus on space and performance. Our main aim is to show how the concepts of space and performance can be used to illuminate perceptions of everyday security by recourse to a modest, illustrative empirical component based on fieldwork in Haiti, Kosovo and Liberia.
Peacebuilding is a contested concept which gains meaning as it is practised. While academic and policy-relevant elaboration of the concept is of interest to international experts, interpretations of peacebuilding in the Central Asian arena may depart immensely from those envisaged within the western-dominated ‘international community’. This article opens up the dimensions and contingent possibilities of “peacebuilding” through an investigation of two alternative approaches found in the context of Tajikistan. It makes the critique that peacebuilding represents one contextually grounded basic discourse. In the case of Central Asia, and in particular post-conflict Tajikistan, at least two other basic discourses have been adopted by parties to the post-Soviet setting: elite “mirostroitelstvo” (Russian: peacebuilding) and popular ‘tinji’ (Tajik: wellness/peacefulness). Based largely on fieldwork conducted in Tajikistan between 2003 and 2005, the argument here is that none of these three discourses is merely an artificial or cynical construct but that each has a certain symbolic and normative value. Consequently, a singular definition of Tajik ‘peacebuilding’ proves elusive as practices adapt to the relationships between multiple discourses and identities in context. The article concludes that ‘peacebuilding’ is a complex and intersubjective process of change entailing the legitimation of new relationships of power.
Prevention of conflict is the first promise in the UN Charter, and yet, local parties, governments, and international organizations constantly betray it. Preventive action is at the center of international health policy and action, is vital to environmental improvements globally, and is accepted in many human rights treaties and in efforts to reduce the number and scale of natural disasters. However, prevention is practiced poorly and piece-meal. The essays in this volume represent some of the best scholarly and policy-relevant work on the practical challenges of conflict prevention within the UN system. They review some of the recent findings regarding conflict trends and their causes with a view to better informing conflict prevention strategy and implementation undertaken by the host of UN Departments and Agencies active in this area. They also identify opportunities for making existing and nascent capacity for conflict prevention more effectively operational within the UN system at large.
In modern industrial societies, the demand for policing services frequently exceeds the current and foreseeable availability of public policing resources. Conversely, developing nations often suffer from an inability to provide a basic level of security for their citizens. Community Policing and Peacekeeping offers a fresh overview of the challenges of community policing in advanced societies and peacekeeping in weak nations, demonstrating how going beyond traditional models of police work can provide solutions in troubled communities. Featuring contributions from world-class scholars, this volume emphasizes the importance of cultural and political sensitivities in police work. Offering comparative perspectives from the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, South Africa, and China, it explores the paradigm of community policing that involves consultation with community members, responsiveness to their security needs, collective problem-solving to identify the most appropriate means of meeting these needs, and mobilization of police services. Exploring the challenges and pitfalls of these collaborative efforts, the book examines how traditional models of police work have evolved to embrace the needs of communities. The second part of the book focuses on police peacekeeping efforts in countries torn apart by civil strife. It includes chapters on police collaboration with the United Nations, Australian and Canadian efforts abroad, CIVPOL (civilian police peace operations), and programs in Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. The book shows how expanding the role of the police beyond the limits of fighting crime can help contribute to safer, more stable communities.
Internationally, there is a current rising demand for police to participate in complex peace operations. Achieving multilateral â€˜integrated missionsâ€™ has become a key objective for these operations. One of the key requirements for such operations is interoperability between police drawn from different countries. Australia has had police serve in multilateral and other kinds of missions in Timor-Leste since 1999. In this article, we draw on interviews with 64 Australian police officers who participated in different missions in Timor-Leste. Integrating the insights from cultural analysis, the paper explores the specific challenges of bringing together police from different nations to work effectively within these operations.
Local perceptions of aid in crisis contexts is an under-researched area. This article, which is based on extensive interviewing of affected individuals and communities in Afghanistan, sets out key issues affecting the provision of international assistance and in particular analyses the ‘perceptions gap’ between outsiders and local communities and its implications for the aid community. Humanitarian action is seen by local people as part of a ‘northern enterprise.’ Even if the universalist values of the enterprise do not clash with local views of the world, the baggage, modus operandi, technique and personal behaviour of aid workers often do. Suggestions on how this gap could be addressed are also put forward.
The stabilization and reconstruction of failed states and war-torn societies has become one of the defining challenges of our era. International interventions have repeatedly been mounted in weak, disintegrating, and collapsed states that have become sources of regional disorder, transnational terror, and humanitarian calamity. Yet the process of nurturing stable, responsible governance has proven elusive. All too often, lofty and politically attractive goals have been proclaimed only to be rendered unattainable by unrealistic time frames, woefully inadequate resources, and constrained authorities. To bring strategic goals and resources into better balance, policymakers require an objective metrics system that will enable them to take stock of the magnitude of the challenges before intervening and to continuously track the progress of their efforts toward stabilization.
This article, which is grounded in qualitative interview data, takes as its starting point the contention that war crimes tribunals can aid reconciliation, and more specifically the claim made by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that its work is contributing to reconciliation in the region. Focusing on Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH), the first question that it seeks to answer is not whether the ICTY has positively impacted on reconciliation, but rather the more immediate question of whether reconciliation actually exists in BiH. Defining reconciliation as the restoration and repair of relationships and as the acknowledgement of war crimes and responsibility, it argues that there is no reconciliation in present-day BiH. There is only negative peace an absence of conflict. The second crucial question that this article explores, therefore, is whether and how this negative peace can be developed into positive peace characterized by reconciliation. Emphasizing two critical obstacles to any reconciliation process in BiH, namely insufficient contact between interethnic groups and the existence of denial and competing truths, it identifies three important measures to address these. These are the abolition of the divisive ‘two schools under one roof’ education system, the replacement of the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) with a constitutional structure that encourages interethnic contact rather than separation, and the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC). On the issue of whether the ICTY can itself contribute to reconciliation in BiH, the article concludes that while retributive justice is an important mechanism in postconflict societies, the difficulties and challenges that the ICTY faces in BiH underscore the limitations of criminal trials and the imperative of a multifaceted approach to reconciliation combining different transitional justice elements.
What explains electoral stability and change in competitive authoritarian regimes? This article addresses the question by comparing eleven elections that took place between 1998 and 2008 in competitive authoritarian regimes countries located in the postcommunist region. Using interviews conducted with participants in all of these elections and other types of data and constructing a research design that allowed the authors to match these two sets of elections on a number of important dimensions, they assess two groups of hypotheses;those that highlight institutional, structural, and historical aspects of regime and opposition strength on the eve of these elections and others that highlight characteristics of the elections themselves. The authors conclude that the key difference was whether the opposition adopted a tool kit of novel and sophisticated electoral strategies that made them more popular and effective challengers to the regime.
This article analyzes the effects of household-level activity choices on farm household welfare in a developing country affected by mass violent armed conflict. The study uses household survey data from postwar Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces in Northern Mozambique capturing many activity choices, including market participation, risk and activity diversification, cotton adoption, and social exchange, as well as income-and consumption-based measures of welfare. The study advances the literature on postwar coping and rural poverty at the micro level by estimating potentially endogenous activity choices and welfare outcomes using instrumental variables. The study finds that increasing the cultivated area and on-farm activities enhances postwar welfare of smallholders exploiting wartime survival techniques. Subsistence farming reduces income but does not affect consumption, while market participation has positive welfare effects. This suggests that postwar reconstruction policies should encourage the wartime crop mix but offer enhanced marketing opportunities for such crops. Cotton adoption, which was promoted by aid agencies in the postwar period, reduces household welfare per capita by between 16% and 31%, controlling for market access. This contradicts previous studies of postwar rural development that did not control for the war-related endogeneity. Hence, addressing the potential endogeneity of activity choices is important because the standard regression approach may lead to biased estimates of the impact of activity choice on welfare, which in turn may lead to biased policy advice. The article discusses and contextualizes these findings, concluding with a discussion of suitable pro-poor reconstruction policies for national governments and donors.
Post-conflict governments and donors prioritize rebuilding the justice sector through state delivered rule of law and access to justice programmes. Misunderstanding the nature of the post-colonial state, such programmes make questionable assumptions. First, that a lack of access to state justice is the same as an overall absence of justice. Second, that the state system that is being built is what people want. Third, that the state system of justice that is being built could provide a sustainable nationwide network in the foreseeable future. Based on interviews conducted with policy designers, practitioners, local people and chiefs at three sites in southern Sudan 2007, this article calls for a rethinking of donor-supported justice and police development and advocates an approach that recognizes the importance of local justice.
Why do international peacebuilders fail to address the local causes of peace process failures? The existing explanations of peacebuilding failures, which focus on constraints and vested interests, do not explain the international neglect of local conflict. In this article, I show how discursive frames shape international intervention and preclude international action on local violence. Drawing on more than 330 interviews, multi-sited ethnography, and document analysis, I develop a case study of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s transition from war to peace and democracy (2003-2006) I demonstrate that local agendas played a decisive role in sustaining local, national, and regional violence. However, a postconflict peacebuilding frame shaped the international understanding of violence and intervention in such a way that local conflict resolution appeared irrelevant and illegitimate. This frame included four key elements: international actors labeled the Congo a “postconflict” situation; they believed that violence there was innate and therefore acceptable even in peacetime; they conceptualized international intervention as exclusively concerned with the national and international realms; and they saw holding elections, as opposed to local conflict resolution, as a workable, appropriate, and effective tool for state- and peacebuilding. This frame authorized and justified specific practices and policies while precluding others, notably local conflict resolution, ultimately dooming the peacebuilding efforts. In conclusion, I contend that analyzing discursive frames is a fruitful approach to the puzzle of international peacebuilding failures beyond the Congo.
In the pages that follow, we shall address these questions regarding the impacts of agencies that work in or on conflict. We shall begin, in Sections II and III, by describing two collaborative efforts undertaken by agencies to learn more about their impacts on conflict within the societies where they work. The first, the Local Capacities for Peace Project (LCCP), involves a number of humanitarian and development assistance agencies seeking to understand how their efforts to save lives, alleviate suffering and support indigenous development interact with, and in some cases reinforce, inter-group conflicts in areas where they provide aid. The second project, Reflecting on Peace Practice (RPP), involves a number of agencies that specifically work on conflict; that is, those agencies that undertake inter-group mediation, reconciliation, peace education, conflict management, conflict transformation and other approaches to reducing the dangers of conflict. In these sections we describe the background, approaches and outcomes of these two projects. In Section IV, we turn to a review of what has been learned through LCCP about how to assess the impacts of humanitarian and development programmes on conflict and, in Section V, we present the findings about how to assess outcomes of efforts intended to reduce conflict and build peace. Finally, in Section VI, we discuss the similarities and differences in assessment techniques required, depending on whether one is working in conflict or on conflict.
After the ceasefire, a group of architects and planners from the American University of Beirut formed the Reconstruction Unit to help in the recovery process and in rebuilding the lives of those affected by the 2006 war in Lebanon. Here, a series of case studies documenting the work of the Unit discusses the lessons to be learned from the experiences of Lebanon after the July War, and suggests how those lessons might be applied elsewhere. The cases are diverse in terms of scale, type of intervention, methods, and approaches to the situation on the ground. Critical issues such as community participation, heritage protection, damage assessment and compensation policies, the role of the state, and capacity building are explored and the success and failures assessed.
The increased sophistication of peacekeeping missions has inevitably expanded the roles of all actors in the field particularly the military who have to play law enforcement functions, in addition to their traditional role, until civilian police are deployed. This essay discusses the consequences of the military role as law enforcers in conflict situations. The author proposes the concept of Formed Police Units (FPUs) to close the security gap that arises in these cases.