Constructing the Stable State: Goals for Intervention and Peacebuilding

By Kathleen Hill Hawk | Go to book overview

Introduction

In recent years, increasing attention has been focused on the large number of people dying in the internal conflicts occurring around the world. As the news media have broadcast pictures worldwide of the casualties—up to 90 percent of whom are noncombatants—many citizens have clamored to their governments to “do something” to stop the violence. With the end of the cold war and the success of the concerted action to push Iraq out of Kuwait, there were high hopes that the United Nations could play an active role in saving “succeeding generations from the scourge of war” as expressed in the preamble of its charter.

In this context, external actors have intervened in a number of internal conflicts throughout the 1990s, generally justifying the action on humanitarian grounds. In most cases, external military intervention largely halted the fighting and allowed humanitarian assistance to be distributed. However, it has become painfully apparent to the international community that simply halting the fighting has not allowed these countries to create stable governments and harmonious societies. Thus, if intervention is to have any lasting impact, the external actors have recognized that it is necessary to undertake what increasingly is being called “post-conflict peacebuilding.”

Post-conflict peacebuilding, as commonly used, refers to operations that begin after an end to the violence has been negotiated (or imposed) and attempt to bring about an environment that can create a stable, self-sustaining peace. Depending upon the needs of the society, this may include efforts to reform state institutions, promote economic development and ethnic tolerance, develop political parties, hold elections, foster civil society, and other projects.

-ix-

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Constructing the Stable State: Goals for Intervention and Peacebuilding
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Chapter 1 - The State of the State 1
  • Chapter 2 - Introduction to the Case Studies 25
  • Chapter 3 - Somalia 31
  • Chapter 4 - Bosnia and Herzegovina 59
  • Chapter 5 - Kosovo 83
  • Chapter 6 - Drawing Lessons from Past Experiences 107
  • Chapter 7 - Conclusions and Recommendations 127
  • References 139
  • Index 151
  • About the Author 163
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