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Lecture 10

Lecture 10: Intervention and State (Re)-Building in Fragile Polities

15 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
Paul Kingston

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POLA90 – Lecture 10 (March 20) Intervention and State (Re)-Building in Fragile Polities Intro  The „central goal‟ in promoting development and democracy in post-conflict societies is the building of a „state‟. Without building the state, nothing else can really happen. Need to distinguish it from the regime.  This is an extremely challenging goal – all processes of state formation being long, violent, and “messy”.  The question is: Can state building be promoted and led by external actors and, if so, how and how long would it take? What does this process look like? What are the challenges? Barnett Rubin: “(Re) Building Afghanistan: The Folly of Stateless Democracy”  On the one hand, Rubin recognizes that any project of state- building would be incredibly challenging:  Why? o Historically it was a weak state, weak monopoly over means of violence AND a weak taxation base. Most of its money coming from the external arena. o Evidenced by its collapse in the wake of the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 o Further complicated by the rise of powerful, regionalized warlords. This is the legacy that they are dealing with today. o They in turn have been empowered by ability to capture revenue sources that might have gone to the state (local taxation/extortion, links to transnational economy – drugs, etc, external patronage/rent)  On the other hand, Rubin highlights some fundamental problems with Western approaches to state-building in Afghanistan: o Quickly pushed for a democratic transition in Afghanistan before the institutions of a state were in place o At the same time, they also promoted the „shadow‟ power of non-state actors, namely the various regionalized warlords – failing, for example, to promote their disarmament and demobilization or re-channel their revenue sources into the state o wonders whether the International Community is up to the difficult, violent, and long term task that promoting state-building in Afghanistan would require Historical Background to Issues of Conflict Resolution and International Intervention…  Explaining the Rise of Military Intervention as a Policy Option for the International Community. o Initially, sovereignty was the overarching principle that governed relations between states – going back to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648…  Reflected in the UN Charter that describes sovereignty as “inviolable” – there is a bias against intervention in order to promote a stable world order.  Everyone intervening in other countries would lead to a lot of instability and conflict.  Newly decolonized states of the developing world also determined to protect their new-found independence. Sovereignty gave them a legal basis to keep other out while they try to figure out their problems.  UNSC‟s ability to enact “collective security” measures restricted by the Cold War divisions and veto power of the great powers (USA and USSR in particular).  Emergence of Competing Norms in the Post-World World Two Era o Article One of the UN Charter:  Emphasizes that the promotion of human rights is a fundamental mission of the organization  If the state is oppressing individuals, there is a conflict between helping them and sovereignty.  Symbolized by the adoption of the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UNDHR) in 1948…. o Rise of a Global Human Rights Movement  Emerges in the West in response to political repression in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union  Given expression by the Helsinki Accord in 1975 that was said to spark a “wave” of underground civic activism on human rights issues  Paralleled by the rise of global human rights non- governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Amnesty International founded in 1961  All began to challenge norms of state sovereignty and non-interference in domestic affairs  Now…human rights criteria are important pre- requisites for the delivery of foreign aid and for membership in many international organizations such as the EU and NATO (eg. Turkey) o The End of the Cold War and the Rise of Discussions of “Peace Dividends”  End of Soviet veto power in the UNSC  Easier to reach agreement because the US AND USSR weren‟t just vetoing anything that the other wanted to do.  Hopeful discussion of a “new world order”  Reduced expenditures on armaments  No more Cold War accumulation of missiles  Increased expenditure on development  Rise of collective security and humanitarian interventions to protect people  Rising phenomenon of collapsing and „failed‟ states – Somalia, etc. o Dramatic Expansion in Size and Scope of UN Operations abroad in the 1990s  # Of UN troops/peacekeepers increases from 4,000 to 70,000 between 1991-1998  World Food Program dramatically increases it capacity  UN becomes increasingly involved in rebuilding failed states (Mozambique, Haiti, Cambodia, el Salvador, Angola, Kurdish “safe haven” in northern Iraq, etc.) o Responsibility to Protect Doctrine (R2P)  Formulated by International Commission of Intervention and State Sovereignty ICISS (of which Canada played a major part) in 2001  Created in response to a series of failed interventions in the 1990s – principally Somalia (1991) and Rwanda (1994)  Passed by the UNGA in 2005…  Aim was to establish norms on which decisions about intervention could be based.  R2P Principals  Goal must be to avert human suffering – targeting “grave” and “large-scale” violations of fundamental human rights…  Rules guiding military interventions...  all military options must be explored. Must be a last resort.  scale of intervention must correspond/be proportionate to acts of violence  operation must have a reasonable chance of success. o This is why many people are hesitant about helping Syria.  All interventions must be sanctioned by either the UNGA, the UNSC, or by a regional security body  Interventions carry with them the responsibility to “rebuild” and subsequently “prevent further abuses of human rights” o The War on Terror  Revealed failed states to be a serious security threat  “a tear in the global ozone layer” - Ignatief  Michael Ignatief described interventions and subsequent state building programs in the wake of 9/11 as being one of the “key imperatives” of the 21 century  Resulted in two US-led interventions in two years - Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) o Interim Conclusions  Emergence of „a half-way house‟ between sovereignty and a commitment to the protection of human rights…  One the one hand, sovereignty remains the main principle underlying the international order today. The real question is in what circumstances can we cross that border.  Yet, the emerging norms around human rights have opened up space for new dynamics in international politics…  How this may affect fragile and collapsed states in the Global South is what we turn to now… The Challenges and Dilemmas of Re-Establishing Security in Post- Conflict Situations  The Dilemmas of International Intervntions in Failed States/Civil Wars o Understanding the complex dynamics of conflict o How best to intervene to stop the fighting?  What will work best.  How can they guarantee that they will have reasonable success. o How to find a sustainable state-building formula after the fighting stops?  The Complexity of Conflict Situations o NOT the result of „ancient‟ and/or „irrational‟ ethnic/religious hatreds  simplistic and analytically shallow  can lead to what Ignatief called „the seductiveness of moral disgust‟  Saying that things aren‟t related to us so we shouldn‟t get involved, but most of the world conflicts are related to colonial legacies caused by the western countries. o Nonetheless, complex and unpredictable set of conditions which makes decision-making processes difficult:  Weak and permeable state structures  High degree of social-political factionalism.  Multiple rules of the game, multiple forms of institutions.  Emergence of „war economy‟ dynamics  often ones that are transnational/global in scope  High degree of civilian casualties – heightening moral imperatives for action  The context of new wars. o Two broad set of complex dynamics:  Unfavorable structural conditions…  Disincentives on the part of various actors/parties to decide to end the conflict… o Given that structural conditions difficult to change quickly, international interventions often focus initially on changing calculations and incentives.  We should look at the reasons why countries intervene, and what their incentives were.  Wonder how they can create an incentive to get the fighting groups to settle their differences. o Once the conflict has stopped, however, it is the subsequent state-building programs that seek to alter the structural conditions that underlie weak polities  Intervening to Stop the Fighting o “Intervening powers can affect the structure of incentives for continued violence and influence the calculations of belligerents about the benefits of negotiated settlement” (p. 14). - Charles King, Ending Civil Wars, International Institute for Security Studies, 1997. o Options?  Making Conflict Unprofitable.  Purpose is the sever the links between conflict, war, and profit.  Actions: sanctions, freezing of assets, control over financial/remittance flows, eradication of crops (opium, coca, etc.), regulating resource flows („blood diamonds‟, etc.), care with regards humanitarian assistance that can serve to „fuel‟ conflict  Complicating Issues:  Resources, profits, andgreed are rarely the sole source of conflict. o Causes of conflict complex, intertwining… o Weight of importance varies from conflict to conflict…  Moreover, contradictory results (Eg. sanctions often backfire)…  Hence, no silver bullets!  Creating Incentives for Negotiating a Political Settlement.  The purpose is to forge an agreement to re- create the state. An internal agreement rather than an imposed external agreement.  It will only work if the political leaders agree to it.  For them to do so, they must be given a stake in the process – they must be able to see that they will derive advantage from this new state.  To put this another way, the new state will need to be seen to create opportunities for these powerful actors to acquire power, wealth, and security  Statebuilding requires an elite privileging aspect.  How to do this:  Control over different parts of the state. Give different groups different roles.  Mutual veto powers within the decision-making apparatus of the state.  Security guarantees – at worst allowing each of the negotiating parties to maintain their militia enterprises. o Example: Lebanon, one guy was allowed to keep his militia.  Sharing of administrative offices of the state. Divide them up proportionately according to former amounts of power.  Allowing for group autonomy. Let groups deal with their own social welfare. o Example: the groups in Lebanon had full control over their laws regarding divorce, child custody, etc. And no one could veto it.  Allowing for amnesties and impunity of wartime atrocities  The Challenges:  Since 1945, less than 25% of all civil wars has ended with negotiations and power-sharing…  Those that have, most have established an unstable peace – with 50% of all negotiated settlements returning to civil war within 5 years…  Why? o Distrust o Highly factionalized environments make the re- creation of the state difficult
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