1/2008 Content

83 (2008) 1: Peace by Statehood?

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Volker Rittberger


Post-Conflict: Rebuilding of States 
Volker Epping

The rebuilding of states is a phenomenon still receiving growing attention by the international community. Missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo account for some of the most prominent rebuilding engagements at present. The German Peace Research Foundation made possible studies on these missions by providing funds for a post-conflict research project. This project aimed at describing, analysing, and assessing these four missions in terms of international law. It was about to show how the international community reacted towards the dissolution of statehood or should have reacted respectively. This article summarizes the project’s main results.

More Analysis, More Courage to Cooperate: Peacekeepers, State and Non-State Armed Groups in Africa
Andreas Mehler

What qualities do non-state armed groups and state actors of violence have to display before being made part of policies of peacebuilding? “Legitimacy” and “efficiency” – in the eyes of the local population – are obvious criteria that have been neglected so far. This contribution emphasises the complexity of relations between actors of violence including international peacekeepers when they stay for a longer period of time. All actors show ambivalent effects and have the potential to protect or threaten particular groups of the population. The dichotomy of “state” versus “non-state” is problematic in this context. The choice of an appropriate method to analyse actors of violence can be ameliorated significantly. A practice-oriented conclusion is that working self-help mechanisms should at least not be destroyed, but rather promoted by external players.

Statehood and Intervention in Afghanistan
Conrad Schetter / Katja Mielke

This paper develops the argument that reconstruction in Afghanistan cannot be measured against putative successes in state-building since the state-building paradigm only recently – in 2006 – gained overall recognition and was taken on as priority. By distinguishing three dimensions of the intervention – military, political and civil-humanitarian – the paper discusses state-building in relation to the fight against terrorism, manifestations of the liberal peace paradigm and stabilization efforts to which state-building had been subordinated before. Based on the case study of the intervention in Afghanistan lessons will be drawn for future intervention and academic thinking about it.

Further Article

Learning from Mistakes? The Upshot of 18 Months United Nations Peacebuilding Commission
Volker Franke / Marie-Christine Heinze

This article attempts to assess the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission’s (PBC) work during its inauguration phase, which was accompanied by high expectations. It sketches the central steps in the development of the PBC, explains its organizational structure and tasks, and evaluates the effectiveness of the measures that have been implemented to date. Our specific focus is on the UN’s learning capacity and the opportunities for improved coordination of peacebuilding missions. The analysis finds that the PBC has achieved more than could have been expected considering its inadequate financial and personnel resources. Nevertheless, to fulfill its mandate, a greater integration of all relevant actors is necessary, as is the securing of technical capacities and financial support. Just as important is a systematic accounting of the many and varying ‘lessons learned’ in the area of peacebuilding as well as the establishment of ‘institutional memory’.