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This book suggests a new explanation for why international peace interventions often fail to reach their full potential. Based on several years of ethnographic research in conflict zones around the world, it demonstrates that everyday elements - such as the expatriates' social habits and usual approaches to understanding their areas of operation - strongly influence peacebuilding effectiveness. Individuals from all over the world and all walks of life share numerous practices, habits, and narratives when they serve as interveners in conflict zones. These common attitudes and actions enable foreign peacebuilders to function in the field, but they also result in unintended consequences that thwart international efforts. Certain expatriates follow alternative modes of thinking and acting, often with notable results, but they remain in the minority. Through an in-depth analysis of the interveners' everyday life and work, this book proposes innovative ways to better help host populations build a sustainable peace.
The book examines the dynamics between domestic and international statebuilding actors. While the dynamics between "local" and "international" statebuilding actors have been previously theorised through concepts such as hybridity and friction, there have been few attempts to develop conceptual tools for the empirical study of statebuilding dynamics. By drawing on a set of concepts and mechanisms developed in the Contentious Politics literature, this book fills this gap. It deploys concepts such as political opportunity structures, mobilizing structures and framing to trace the interactions between domestic and international statebuilding actors in the case of post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina. The analysis identifies a set of practices operating at various domains of Bosnia’s society—institutional, symbolic and discursive—through which domestic statebuilding actors seek to influence the internationally-driven statebuilding process. Responses by the international statebuilding actors to such activities have often resulted in further contention. The book argues that the dynamics between the different statebuilding actors and agendas in the Bosnian case are characterised not only by conflict and contention but also symbiosis whereby the presence of non-conforming local actors justifies the extension of international mandates while the continued international presence generates further contestation. These observations and the conceptual tools introduced in the book add to our understanding of the often slow and arduous statebuilding processes in post-conflict societies. This book will be of much interest to students of statebuilding, peacebuilding, European politics and international relations in general.
Why Europe Intervenes in Africa analyses the underlying causes of all European decisions for and against military interventions in conflicts in African states since the late 1980s. It focuses on the main European actors who have deployed troops in Africa: France, the United Kingdom and the European Union. When conflict occurs in Africa, the response of European actors is generally inaction. This can be explained in several ways: the absence of strategic and economic interests, the unwillingness of European leaders to become involved in conflicts in former colonies of other European states, and sometimes the Eurocentric assumption that conflict in Africa is a normal event which does not require intervention. When European actors do decide to intervene, it is primarily for motives of security and prestige, and not primarily for economic or humanitarian reasons. The weight of past relations with Africa can also be a driver for European military intervention, but the impact of that past is changing. This book offers a theory of European intervention based mainly on realist and post-colonial approaches. It refutes the assumptions of liberals and constructivists who posit that states and organisations intervene primarily in order to respect the principle of the 'responsibility to protect'.
The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC) was established in December 2005 to develop outlines of best practice in post-conflict reconstruction, and to secure the political and material resources necessary to assist states in transition from conflict to peacetime. Currently, the organization is involved in reconstruction and peacebuilding activities in six countries. Yet, a 2010 review by permanent representatives to the United Nations found that the hopes of the UN peacebuilding architecture "despite committed and dedicated efforts...ha[d] yet to be realized." Two of these hopes relate to gender and power, specifically that peacebuilding efforts integrate a "gender perspective" and that the Commission consult with civil society, NGOs, and women's organizations. This book is the first to offer an extensive and dedicated analysis of the activities of the UN Peacebuilding Commission with regard to both gender politics, broadly conceived, and the gendered dynamics of civil society participation in peacebuilding activities. Laura J. Shepherd draws upon original fieldwork that she conducted at the UN to argue that the gendered and spatial politics of peacebuilding not only feminizes civil society organizations, but also perpetuates hierarchies that privilege the international over the domestic realms. The book argues that the dominant representations of women, gender, and civil society in UN peacebuilding discourse produce spatial hierarchies that paradoxically undermine the contemporary emphasis on "bottom-up" governance of peacebuilding activities.
This book explores the last 25 years of international peacebuilding and recasts them as a growing crisis of confidence in universal ideas of peacebuilding and self-government. Since current peacebuilding interventions are abandoning domineering, top-down and linear methodologies, and experimenting with context-sensitive, self-reflexive and locally driven strategies, the book makes two suggestions. The first is that international policymakers are embracing some of the critiques of liberal peace. For more than a decade, scholarly critiques have pointed out the need to focus on everyday dynamics and local initiatives and resistances to liberal peace in order to enable hybrid and long-term practice-based strategies of peacebuilding. Now, the distance between the policy discourse and critical frameworks has narrowed. The second suggestion is that in stepping away from liberal peace, a transvaluation of peacebuilding values is occurring. Critiques are beginning to accept and valorise that international interventions will continuously fail to produce sensitive results. The earlier frustrations with unexpected setbacks, errors or contingencies are ebbing away. Instead, critiques normalise the failure to promote stability and peace. This book will be of much interest to students of peacebuilding, international intervention, conflict resolution, international organisations and security studies in general.

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