From State Failure to State-Building: Problems and Prospects for a United Nations Peacebuilding Commission
Journal of International Law and International Relations, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2005
22 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2007
This article focuses on the exceptional circumstances where the United Nations assumes some or all sovereign powers. Whether such operations are an appropriate activity for the United Nations remains controversial, but the expanding practice through the 1990s and early 2000s suggests that even if greater capacity is not developed the demand is unlikely to diminish. The first section highlights some of the difficulties inherent in such a political project of thrusting democracy and good governance on a population; section two then outlines the prospects for improvement, with particular reference to the proposed Peacebuilding Commission of the United Nations. A survey of the practice shows significant improvement in technical areas such as staging elections; the Peacebuilding Commission may remedy some of the coordination problems and funding gaps that plague post-conflict operations. It is far from clear, however, that the political contradictions inherent in such operations are being adequately understood let alone addressed.
Keywords: peacekeeping, United Nations, state-building, peace-building, state failure
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