Failed statebuilding : intervention and the dynamics of by Oliver Richmond

By Oliver Richmond

Western struggles—and failures—to create functioning states in international locations resembling Iraq or Afghanistan have encouraged questions about even if statebuilding initiatives are in any respect potential, or whether or not they make the lives in their meant beneficiaries higher or worse. during this groundbreaking booklet, Oliver Richmond asks why statebuilding has been so challenging to accomplish, and argues that an enormous a part of the matter has been Westerners’ failure to appreciate or have interaction with what neighborhood peoples truly wish and wish. He interrogates the liberal peacebuilding undefined, asking what it assumes, what it's getting fallacious, and the way it may be extra effective.

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6 This implies that ethnically fragmented ‘statelets’ should not come to dominate the world order. Yet the UN has presided over a process of colonial and state fragmentation and the affirmation of the modern state as the dominant actor. This system’s interventionary capacity has been tested by a wide range of conflicts over the last twenty-five years, during which time the liberal peace has retreated from the democratisation- and human rights-oriented ambitions of peacekeeping in Central America, sub-Saharan Africa and Cambodia in the early 1990s.

Is rarely commensurate with that of the context their frameworks are applied in (currently mostly in developing, post-conflict settings outside the global North, with the exception, perhaps, of a few cases such as Bosnia or Kosovo). Thirdly, and as a result of these problems, both statebuilding and liberal peacebuilding strategies fail to connect with their target populations. It is notable that many peacebuilding and statebuilding ventures in the last twenty-five years have seen even limited forms of pluralist politics collapse into mono-ethnic units, as in the Balkans.

3 Thus, peacebuilding and statebuilding represent the achievement, but also the limits, of intervention and progressive politics in the modern era. This ‘Eurocentric’ approach to peacebuilding comprises the United Nations (UN), International Financial Institutions (IFIs), international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and major state donors. Its architectural blueprint revolves around democracy, human rights, law, free trade and an international community that promotes associated values. The liberal peace aims at producing a secure and consensual international order and states-system based on liberal norms and institutions, much as has seemingly existed since the end of the Cold War.

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