At War's End: Building Peace After Civil Conflict

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Cambridge University Press, May 24, 2004 - Political Science - 289 pages
All fourteen major peacebuilding missions launched between 1989 and 1999 shared a common strategy for consolidating peace after internal conflicts: immediate democratization and marketization. Transforming war-shattered states into market democracies is basically sound, but pushing this process too quickly can have damaging and destabilizing effects. The process of liberalization is inherently tumultuous, and can undermine the prospects for stable peace. A more sensible approach to post-conflict peacebuilding would seek, first, to establish a system of domestic institutions that are capable of managing the destabilizing effects of democratization and marketization within peaceful bounds and only then phase in political and economic reforms slowly, as conditions warrant. Peacebuilders should establish the foundations of effective governmental institutions prior to launching wholesale liberalization programs. Avoiding the problems that marred many peacebuilding operations in the 1990s will require longer-lasting and, ultimately, more intrusive forms of intervention in the domestic affairs of these states. This book was first published in 2004.

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Roland Paris examines recent international peacekeeping missions in an effort to determine their success and ways to make peacekeeping even more successful in leading to lasting peace. Mr. Paris ... Read full review

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Sustaining Peace and Conflict Prevention which are buzz phrases and critical priorities of Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General (SG) are not new in academic and policy circles but have often been the preserve of sovereign states to dispense-of, as best as they saw fit. However, with the United Nations (UN) coming under immense pressure for being reactive and unable to prevent armed conflicts, its model of making, keeping and building peace has been questioned by amongst others, Roland Paris. After examining fourteen UN-led peace operations between 1989 and 1999, Paris challenged the organization's modus operandi in his, At War’s End: Building Peace after civil conflict. In fact, the sustaining peace agenda and conflict prevention are forged not only on political buy-in from states but also on multilateralism; and international organisations have in the last two decades increasingly elected to protect civilians and leaned towards lifting the sovereign veil of countries that grossly violate international humanitarian law or seeking to conserve and cease power unconstitutionally.
In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted comprehensive reviews of its Peacebuilding Architecture, Peacekeeping and its Resolution 1325 amongst others. These reviews pointed to the need for a sweeping overhaul of the organization’s way of doing business, and somewhat confirmed Roland Paris’ greatest fears that the international community’s reactive approach of building states ran aground by war leaves a lot to be desired. Paris is particularly critical of the fixation around organizing elections which in certain instances, have been perceived as an end rather than a means to, and process towards, building resilient institutions, sustaining peace and preventing relapse. He therefore posits the imperative of a comprehensive peacebuilding model which cuts across the entire peace-cycle, is long-term and adaptive to local and changing realities of states.
Having examined 10 UN-led interventions in 10years (1989-1999), Paris theoretically and empirically unearths dilemmas of post-conflict reconstruction. His diagnosis of why peacekeeping fails goes to the very heart of the consequences of Peacekeeping, which is rarely a topic for scholarly exploration or policy debate. Using the examples of the Peace Theory which was a central theme in Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy, Paris demonstrates how a democracy like the US and under Wilson attacked other democracies contrary to his thesis that democracies do not attack other democracies. And by so doing, Paris demonstrated that interest-politics drives the deployment of UN peacekeeping and so not much should be expected from peacekeeping in its current architecture. Expanding on the Interest-politics, Paris also takes a swipe at Clinton’s foreign policy which contemplates that liberal democracies and market-oriented economics foster a culture of fairness and that such fairness is less likely to trigger conflict. He showcases how the plundering of resources of some states has bred governance deficiency and neglect of the populace who out of options revolted and protest actions grew to armed hostilities and war.
Paris’ analysis not only detail the considerations around the deployment of the missions he examines but more broadly, he accompanies his readers on a journey of discovering the evolution of peacekeeping as a conflict management tool. His critic of the UN and the international system is well researched, substantially backed and allows for the UN as well as any policymakers grappling with challenges of how to build peace in post-conflict society to access why peacekeeping fails and why it succeeds in one stop: At Wars End …
In conclusion, while intractability persists and the relapse of previously resolved conflicts continue to undermine UN modus operandi for managing conflicts, in 2015, the UNGA recognized the importance of structural reforms in the UN and adopted the reviews of three crucial high-level expert panels that reviewed the UN




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