The statebuilding in conflict-affected situations has received considerable attention in recent years. The idea implies attempts for reforming fragile and dysfunctional states into functional ones through international assistances, for the purpose of establishing durable peace and ensuring the international security. This special issue includes ten articles, in addition to this introduction part, analyzing today’s international statebuilding through theoretical and empirical approaches.
This introduction provides a concise overview of current discussion on this issue. To begin with, it explains historical backgrounds of the recent focus on the statebuilding, and singles out different logics searching for the functional state. In this context, three kinds of logics are distinguishable. The first one, claimed by peace-builders like United Nations, requires the functional state, as it is indispensable for containing internal violence and establishing sustainable peace. Secondly, the development community uses slightly different logic, seeking the legitimate states for the sustainable state-society relationship and economic development. Thirdly, the national interests of Western countries need the strong states for strengthening the international security and the existent international political order. Characters of the international engagement in the statebuilding reflect the balance of these three logics.
Next, the paper examines some critical views on current international state building, and distinguishes those who admit the statebuilding as a necessary policy measure for peacebuilding and those who oppose it in claiming that the statebuilding has not contributed to durable peace. The two groups, however, agree on the importance of enhancing legitimacy of the state in the eyes of ordinary people.
With regard to this point, the paper points out two interesting developments in recent arguments of statebuilding. Firstly, premise of the statebuilding has been revisited. Arguments on satebuilding used to regard its main objective as the reconstruction of the Weberian state monopolizing the legitimate violence. However, facing with the reality that autonomous communities, often being provided with military capacity, still exist in a number of developing countries, particularly in Africa and Pacific islands, attempts are recently made to build a “hybrid” type of state in promoting in a certain extent autonomous activities of such communities.
Secondly, interest in the human security in everyday life has been developed in arguments about statebuilding and peacebuilding. While the main-stream statebuilding literature has tended to focus on macro-level institution building, some of recent peacebuilding studies emphasize the importance of micro-level security, such as land and property rights, as it is directly related to the nature of state, namely statebuilding.
At the final section of the introduction, summaries of ten papers constituting this special issue are briefly presented.
This essay illustrates the dilemma between peacebuilding and statebuilding in the process of the expansion and evolution of “universal international society.” In so doing, the essay compares contemporary post-conflict statebuilding activities with the traditional formation of sovereign states in modern Europe and raises the question of the role of war for statebuilding processes.
This essay argues that it is more constructive to understand armed conflicts as a phenomenon during unstable phases of the long process of statebuilding rather than as flaws in perfect international society. Namely, contemporary universal international society has not reached a complete end-point; it is still in a process of evolution. The point is shown by what this essay calls the world’s conflict-prone zone ranging from Sub-Sahara Africa to South-East Asia. Most of contemporary armed conflicts are taking place within this zone where newly independent states born after de-colonization accumulate. Those new states are still fragile in terms of the social foundation of their existence.
The traditional sovereign states like Great Britain, France, and Germany established their existence after revolutionary forces won internal or civil wars to be autonomous entities in international society. They also severely competed with each other by enhancing their military capacity for international wars. The accumulation of capital and population through the development of taxation and conscription was a crucial factor of statebuilding in the period of traditional European international society. War and preparation for war were the major catalyst of democratization and welfare state, as the government needed to take responsibility for its policies to mobilize the mass population. Without war mechanisms traditional sovereign states would not have been able to develop their social foundation for stable existence.
It is problematic to say that statebuilding has something to do with war experiences in domestic society as well as international society; Statebuilding is usually supposed to be a solution to the problem of armed conflict. However, in reality, it is quite often the case that statebuilding is a result of policies to cope with internal and external armed conflicts. Statebuilding is expected to be part of peacebuilding, but it is only so with the understanding that both statebuilding and peacebuilding are part of a long process of completion of universal international society, which is not yet finished.
There is a growing consensus that a functioning state is the key to solving the challenges of fragile states. Problems of statehood and stateness provide a significant explanatory ground for state fragility. Yet little study has been done on the linkage between statebuilding and the problems of stateness and statehood. This article therefore reviews contemporary statebuilding from the perspective of stateness and statehood.
The difficulty of establishing an effective state authority is perceived in those states where there are stateness and/or statehood problems. This is largely because that the stateness and statehood problems are linked with the horizontal and vertical legitimacy, as suggested by Kalevi J. Holsti, which arises from the problematic relations among the communities and the weak relationships of the rule and the ruled within the territory. Therefore, the states that suffer from either or both stateness or/and statehood problems tend to have limited control and thus weak governance.
Contemporary international assistance for statebuilding for those states shows broadly two distinctive approaches: top-down and bottom-up. The top-down approach principally aims at establishing the Webarian form of state, where power is centralized with rational-legal bureaucracy. Under this approach, the actual international assistance is provided in order to strengthen and develop state institutions. On the other hand, the bottom-up approach emphasizes the importance of informal local authority that has more effectively provided security and services in reality. The two approaches are founded on different interpretation of legitimacy and authority of a state. While the top-down approach attempts to create a legitimate state that is, in the long run, expected to be an authority by gaining popular support, the bottom-up approach utilizes the existing authority in the given society, which usually has gained popular support and thus legitimacy.
Nevertheless, the international community faces critical challenges in implementing both approaches. These challenges are not necessarily linked with operational problems, rather, they are derived from the complex power relations in a state where there have been pre-existing authorities that interplay with the formal authority in the course of transforming a modern state. In such places, state’s capacity to efficiently provide goods and services is not the sole source of legitimacy. Legitimacy is also founded on indigenous social relations, such as patron-client relations and the elder system, which, at one time, challenge to the state authority while, at another time, utilize the state authority in order to attract aid and external support. Thus, contemporary statebuilding requires a broader understanding of legitimacy to reveal how the pre-existing authority and local social relations have been changed in connection with the state formation during and after the colonial period.
From one perspective, a major agenda in contemporary peacebuilding policy is to improve in statebuilding efforts. A term “peacebuilding consensus” is often used to elaborate on those who see a direct link between peacebuilding and statebuilding, especially among practitioners in the development community. On the other hand, there are so-called critical wing of peacebuilding studies questioning the underlying assumption behind the peacebuilding consensus by pointing out the status quo as “virtual peace.” The critical circles of peacebuilding researchers are pointing out that peace that is being built through contemporary statebuilding efforts are less multidimensional as advocates would like to think, and stresses needs to pay attention to the social context of the country in concern. Paying attention to this intricate relationship between peacebuilding and statebuilding, this paper will set a following question: Do non-state actors contradict statebuilding? Incorporating non-state actors into statebuilding may sound like an anomaly for those following the path of the state monopoly over the legitimate uses of the force from works of Max Weber. However, can non-state actors be incorporated into statebuilding, and benefit overall peacebuilding and statebuilding efforts in the country concerned? To address these questions, this paper will refer to a case from the northern Kenya. In northern Kenya, a phenomena known as the community declaration is emerging since the beginning of the 1990s, and is starting to be acknowledged by the Kenyan Government through the National Steering Committee on Peacebuilding and Conflict Management within the Office of President. The first section will explain a discussion surrounding contemporary statebuilding policy with emphasis on critical engagement, and the second section will focus on the case study of community declarations from northern Kenya, mainly from 2001 to 2006. The third section will analyze the case study,and what lessons can be drawn from Kenyan case study for statebuilding practices. In short, community declarations originating from the northern Kenya suggest that, because non-state actors are diverse, some non-state actors can complement and be acknowledged by the state at the same time. Whether or not a government chooses a path of pacification or that of coexistence with non-state actors is a political decision to be made by both the government and people concerned. In that light, community declarations from Kenya can be perceived as an example illustrating a possible different route for statebuilding: i.e. hybrid political order.
Twenty years have passed since the end of the 16-year-long devastating war in Mozambique. Since then, the country has managed to conduct four multi-party elections without the recurrence of large-scale violence, and its economic growth rate has reached close to 10% each year. Due to these accomplishments, Mozambique enjoys a strong reputation of stability and democracy, and is considered to be “one of the most successful post-conflict peacebuilding countries” around the world.
In 2009, however, this positive evaluation of Mozambique’s democracy began to reverse. Both Freedom House and the Polity Score Project down-graded its scores, with Mozambique no longer included in the list of the “democratic” countries, and instead categorized as an “open anocracy”. There are also some studies pointing out that “Mozambique is sliding back to one-party rule”.
This article examines the current situation of democratization and stability in Mozambique, and clarifies its challenges, focusing on the much debated 2009 elections and their aftermath. Through detailed analysis,it becomes clear that Mozambique is in the process of constructing “electoral authoritarianism”, with sophisticated approaches to manipulating elections allowing the current regime to continue to receive strong support from the international community. Within this sophisticated electoral manipulation, two important features are identified by the author: (1) the creation of an “un-level playing field” for multi-party elections by the ruling FRELIMO, (2) and the cooption of civil society agents and the biggest opposition party, RENAMO, as “partners”. Both aspects contribute to the efforts of the government to exclude a newly emerging third party in the electoral arena.
This approach ensures continued stability of security within Mozambique since the ex-rebel RENAMO acts as the “official opposition”. One year after the elections of 2009, however, the biggest riot in the postconflict history occurred in the capital, Maputo, and surprised not only foreign observers but also the government. The stability established by FRELIMO’s hard grip on power and its sophisticated manipulation does not mean total absence of contestation by the people. Rather, the realization that both civil society and the current opposition parties cannot represent nor respond to the popular will for more democratic and just state governance is creating apathy among voters, resulting in only 30-40% turnout in last two elections increases in violent confrontation.
Based on the above findings, the author concludes that it is necessary to begin re-examining stability and democratization in Mozambique from a viewpoint beyond the “post-conflict” discourse that tends to overly focus on ex-war parties and a state of “no war”.
Hasty statebuilding in the post-conflict state with introduction of electoral institutions may often accelerate identity politics, if it is composed with multi-ethnic/ religious communities and considered to be still under the process of nation-building. Post-war situation in Iraq can be considered as a case typical where ethic/sectarian cleavages are mobilised when majority systems are introduced instantly through elections. Electoral blocs in the post-war Iraq appear to have been formed along sectarian lines in order to gain a majority of voters collectively, in a situation where most of the major political parties were composed of expatriates and had not yet established nationwide supportive bases inside Iraq. Purpose of this article is to focus on the followings: (1) whether the identity politics along the sectarian cleavage was consolidated, and (2) when and in which circumstances might post-war political identities change among the Iraqi society. In order to clarify the above points, this paper attempts to analyse which factor do the political parties consider as a key social identity that can mobilise majority of the voters in the election.
Mobilisation patterns are diverse according to the political parties. UIA relied on Shiite sectarian networks, mainly in the southern governorates. By contrast, Iraqiya succeeded in obtaining a majority of votes in the central regions, where the most of the residents are considered to be Arab Sunnis, not by Sunni sectarianism but by combining various sources of mobilisation, such as tribal, local, kinship networks, through which the fame of candidates was established. Iraqiya emphasises the residents’ preferences on their choosing political leaders in each governorate independently. Among them the fame of the candidates is established by their careers in the local communities, either through social services or through activities of regional parties, in the regions which experienced the civil war. Success of Iraqiya in establishing its power base in the middle and northern governorates in Iraq can be ascribed to their absorption of the regional political powers which emerged as a result of the civil war.
Conflicting point that the voters matters has shifted from sectarianism to the regional identities, and gap between the central political powers and regional interest became more crucial, not only in the areas where Iraqiya dominates but also among the supporters of UIA, in parallel with the development of national and provincial elections. This paper proposes the necessity of introducing socio-economic analysis based on regional factor, instead of ethno-sectarian presupposition.
The Kurds, who fought for autonomy for many decades in northern Iraq, had never played a leading role in the Iraqi oil industry. However, since the Iraq War began in 2003, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has launched its own oil industry.
In 2007, the Iraqi Parliament began discussing a draft oil law that would have comprehensively controlled the nation’s upstream oil industry; however, the negotiations soon deadlocked. The federal government did not agree to allow the KRG to develop oil in the region without federal consent. On the other hand, the KRG was unwilling to give up the right to have the final say on the development of oil in that region.
Following the breakdown of the negotiations, the KRG began building the oil industry unilaterally in that region. It drafted a regional oil law and accelerated oil development contracts with international oil companies (IOCs). The KRG claims that its policy is totally consistent with the new constitution, ratified in 2005. The constitution grants the KRG strong authority in the “Region,” a newly created administrative unit. However, international scholars are still debating on how to interpret the constitution.
More than 40 IOCs have entered into oil development contracts with the KRG, partly because they are attracted by KRG’s more lucrative contract terms than those offered by the federal government. The KRG is willing to offer better terms not only to develop its economic base but also for its own security. Every country normally keeps close eye on its economic interests possessed by IOCs and KRG hopes that any of those countries will try to prevent the federal government from militarily jeopardizing the oil industry in the region or the region itself, when thing go wrong.
In addition, the recent close relations with the neighboring energy-thirsty Turkey give hope to the KRG and the IOCs of direct oil exports, allowing them to eschew Iraqi pipelines controlled by the federal government. Turkey’s natural resources minister mentioned in May 2012 that the country was ready to import oil from the Kurdistan Region.
In the 10 years since the regime change, the Iraqi oil industry has turned out to be divided between the Kurdistan Region and the rest of Iraq. The KRG has been able to pursue a unilateral oil policy not only because of the constitution, which authorizes decentralization internally, but also because it has attracted the IOCs and maintained close relations internationally with an oil-consuming neighbor. In other words, the direct connection between the local actor, the KRG, and the international actors, such as the IOCs and the neighboring country, has shaken the national framework of Iraq.
The General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP), signed in 1995, provided an extremely difficult challenge of statebuilding to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). It created a structure consisting of two ethnically-based entities, and it sets the goal of reconstructing a plural society. This paper discusses two different levels of issues concerning property in order to analyse such controversial statebuilding.
The first issue is the unresolved question of State property in the country. The State of BiH and two entities have not been able to agree on how the properties, entitled in accordance with the agreement on succession issues from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, should be registered and allocated. A decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, issued in July 2012, effectively gave an answer to the above question. The Court held that the State of BiH was entitled to continue to regulate the state property of which it was the title holder, recognising that the state property reflected the statehood, sovereignty and territorial integrity of BiH. The Court also expressed its opinion on positive obligations of the State to take into account the harmony of all levels of government in regulating the matter of State property. Although this decision itself is a significant step of statebuilding, one of the two entities, the Republika Srpska (RS), refuses to recognise the role of the State as a guardian of property, and the State is not able to gain the trust of the RS. Citizen’s welfare is not in purview of this discussion.
The second issue concerns property restitution for refugees and internally displaced persons. Various activities were carried out in this area, including establishing a commission for real property claims,suspending or amending discriminatory property laws, imposing new legislation, removing obstructing housing officials and politicians, planning implementation of property right decisions, publishing monthly statistics of implementation rate by municipality, and conducting information campaign. Such laborious activities led to the unprecedented success of post-conflict property restitution. By treating all the relevant citizens equally under the same principle and harmonised procedure, rule of law in this specific area of property rights was established. However, most of the activities were accomplished by the international community and thus they had nothing to do with State legitimacy. Although the nationalistic local authorities relinquished their control over property, the restitution did not lead to massive return, and the plural society is regenerated in limited localities.
Unless citizens raise voice seeking a direction which is different from what their nationalistic elites are leading them to, or the elites themselves change their view of State, there is only thin hope for the progress of statebuilding in BiH.
Is it necessary or desirable to involve international actors in post-conflict state building processes? If the answer is yes, in which way? And, how it should be made compatible with the principle of local-ownership? This paper takes the position that interventions by the international community are sometimes essential to bring and keep the peace since parties of violent conflicts are usually not able to agree on the resolution by themselves and, even when agreed, they often lack necessary resources to build a functional mechanism to keep and consolidate the peace. However, if involvement of international actors is not regarded as legitimate by local actors, there is no chance for the solution brought in by outsiders to take root among local actors and endure after international concern over the case declined. This paper conceives the legitimacy as the key for the international actors to be successful in intervening in the post-conflict statebuilding process and considers the legitimacy from 3 perspectives: how acceptable for local actors; how consistent with international and local norms; how suitable to international and local laws and rules.
Based on this notion, this paper looks into the process of statebuilding in Macedonia. Although it had enjoyed relative peace and stability in the region through the turbulent 1990s, Macedonia finally faced an internal armed conflict in 2001. The National Liberation Army (NLA) attacked police and military units and accused the Macedonian government of treating Albanian people, the largest national minority in Macedonia, like second-class citizens. They demanded that the government introduce measures to upgrade the status of Albanians in several spheres, including recognizing them as a constituent nation, granting their mother tongue official language status, and so forth. The majority, ethnic Macedonian side rejected these demands and refused any negotiation with the NLA accusing them as terrorists. Then, the EU, NATO,and the United States, self-acknowledged representatives of the international community, intervened and brokered the peace accord. This accord, the Ohrid Framework Agreement, was based on the notion that the grievances of the Albanian people concerning the alleged discrimination against them were the biggest cause of the conflict and approached this by significantly improving the Albanian people’s status. On the other hand, it caused major discontent to the Macedonian side and led part of them to resist its acceptance and implementation.
This paper closely looks into the process whereby international actors attempted to overcome such resistance by simultaneously pressuring and giving incentives to Macedonians to implement the accord. In the end, the author finds that external commitments were crucial for the peace process but at the same time had several significant flaws from the perspective of legitimacy and not leading local actors in a genuine co-existence or building fully functional state.
The central role NATO played by ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan was exceptional in its scope and intensity. The first steps of NATO into peacebuilding operations were in post Cold War Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. In these two cases, NATO remained in the role of keeping the secure environment and did not step in to the administrative and reformative roles. These were done mainly by the UN and EU.
NATO took up its role in Afghanistan, partly in order to save the alliance from its biggest crisis. Initially, ISAF’s area of responsibility was limited to Kabul and its surroundings and its task was understood to be providing security. It soon had to take up reconstruction as local governments proved unable to provide basic services.
The Taliban reassembled itself within Pakistani northern territory and started to fight back from late 2005, causing severe damage. This led to the geographical and functional extension of ISAF operations. It expanded to cover the whole of Afghanistan in four stages, and its functions expanded. From the beginning,the PRTs (provincial reconstruction teams) contained inherent contradictions in that it brought together soldiers, diplomats and development specialists together, who had never before worked as a team. In many cases, soldiers and development specialists had different priorities and different time planning. The soldiers tended to opt for short term concrete projects which could “win the hearts and minds” of local people, whereas the development specialists preferred more long term sustainable projects which may not yield quick returns.
As the Tallibans regained control of southern Afghanistan, the security missions of ISAF started to include high-intensity fighting with insurgency. This led to a severe crisis of alliance relationships in that some countries were very reluctant to take up the fighting roles and even those who did, had to work under intense pressure of domestic politics in their home country. Canada and the Netherlands both tried to reconcile domestic politics and what it perceived to be alliance and international responsibilities. In the end they both had to bring back combat forces home earlier than the end of ISAF mission. What remained in the end for NATO were relatively low-intensity police and military personnel training mission.
The ISAF experience gives important lessons for future cases where international community will be asked to reconstruct states in the absence of general stability. We need to develop better insight into who can do which job best, and to respect each others’ logic and make room for different actors.
What effect does organization of rebel groups have on the processes of postwar statebuilding? Many of the existing studies on postwar statebuilding address the question of how international actors should intervene in conflict-ridden countries. These studies presume that a proper mode of intervention by international actors is the key to the success of statebuilding. Still, it is not the international organizations or foreign governments but domestic actors who have the keenest interest in the process of postwar statebuilding. They also possess valuable resources such as location information and social networks. These resources are indispensable for a statebuilding project to succeed, and are not easily accessible to international actors. This observation indicates that domestic actors’ organizations and policies influence the course of postwar statebuilding as much as, if not more than those of international actors. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party and the National Resistance Movement in Uganda achieved a significant level of success in postwar statebuilding, in spite of the relative lack of international assistance, while some other attempts failed miserably in more favorable conditions.
In this article, I examine the effects of rebel organizations on postwar state building. My study is due in part because, in addition to local information and networks, rebel groups possess certain means of violence, which qualify them as candidates for effective spoilers in postwar statebuilding processes. Also, relatively few studies have been conducted on the relationship between rebel organizations and postwar statebuilding,in comparison to the number of studies on the effects of state capacities or institutions.
The main argument of this study is that three aspects of rebel organizations—their power to hurt, power to resist, and organizational credibility—affects the chance of successful statebuilding in postwar society. I conduct survival analyses of postwar peace duration between 1950 and 2004 to test the hypotheses, and find some support for the argument.
Findings in this study not only identify the need to pay attention to organizational characteristics of rebel groups in studying postwar peace duration, but also suggest the need to re-examine the effects of a few variables on postwar peace duration identified in the literature such as power-sharing agreement and external intervention, as their effects may be partly spurious.
This article answers the question of whether the Harold Wilson government actually intended to maintain the British “independent” nuclear deterrent in the Atlantic Nuclear Force (ANF) concept. During analysis, three main factors—Wilson, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence—were observed.
Wilson had found no military value to the British “independent” nuclear deterrent because he considered a solitary British nuclear war against the Soviet Union as unreal. Thus, he decided to propose the nuclear force concept which abandoned “independence”. In addition, he intended to not only prevent the Multilateral Nuclear Force (MLF) concept proposed by the US government but also rebuild NATO’s nuclear defence posture. The Draft Working Party, which consisted of bureaucrats from the Cabinet Office, Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence was formed on Wilson’s directions, and the ANF draft was drawn up.
In the beginning, the opinion that it was essential to abandon “independence” was dominant in the Party in order to allow allied countries to accept the proposal. However the Ministry of Defence claimed that maintenance of “independence” is indispensable because it is the last resort for ensuring national security and interests. To maintain minimum “independence”, they devised various plans and worked with other government agencies, and insisted that the British “independent” nuclear deterrent should be deployed in the East of Suez to provide with a nuclear guarantee British Asian allies or friendly nations which came to bear a threat to nuclear armed China. Gradually, this insistence was accepted by the government.
Therefore, the Wilson government decided to propose the ANF concept by committing a part of its strategic nuclear forces unconditionally to the ANF for employing a western nuclear deterrent within NATO’s framework, but retaining the rest under national control, in order to deploy to the East of Suez. Since minimum “independence” was maintained in the East of Suez, the Ministry of Defence finally accepted the concept. However, Wilson intended to abandon “independence” in the future to employ the British nuclear deterrent within an alliance in the East of Suez.
The Harold Wilson government had actually intended to abandon the British “independent” nuclear deterrent in the ANF concept. Wilson had aimed at gaining not only the solution of NATO’s nuclear issue advantageous to Britain, but also the maintenance of her defence role in the East of Suez.
Although the ANF concept was proposed seriously, it was given up because of many complications. Thus, the Wilson government followed the policy of the Conservative government by maintaining the British “independent” nuclear deterrent.