Academic journal article Military Review

AT WAR'S END: Building Peace after Civil Conflict

Academic journal article Military Review

AT WAR'S END: Building Peace after Civil Conflict

Article excerpt

AT WAR'S END: Building Peace after Civil Conflict, Roland Paris, The University of Cambridge Press, New York, 2004, 289 pages, $65.00.

Since the early 1990s, the international community has become increasingly involved in efforts to rebuild states that have been torn by war and violent conflict. The UN alone is engaged in more than 10 political and peace-building missions around the world, building on a record that has included postconflict reconstruction efforts from Cambodia to Guatemala to Mozambique.

With massive operations underway in Afghanistan and Iraq, peace-building represents a major global growth industry. Yet how much do we really know about its effectiveness in reducing conflict and supporting postconflict reconstruction? Roland Paris questions whether the predominant models of peacekeeping, with their emphasis on rapid democratization and market liberalization, are appropriate in fragile postconflict contexts.

Paris challenges the peace theory-a central principle of President Woodrow Wilson's foreign policy-that democracies do not attack democracies and, through the spread of democracy, promote peace in domestic and international affairs. Policymakers past and present believe that democracy contributes to safety and prosperity. One of the central tenets of President Bill Clinton's foreign policy was that liberal democracies and marketoriented economies are less prone to internal violence because market democracies are less hostile in their international affairs. …

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