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Research Report

Peacebuilding as the Link between Security and Development:: Is the Window of Opportunity Closing?

Necla Tschirgi
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2003
Pages: 25
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep09591

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. None)
  3. (pp. i-ii)
  4. (pp. 1-1)

    Since the end of the Cold War, it has become commonplace to assert that peace and development are intimately linked and that the United Nations and other international actors need to address these twin goals through concerted and integrated policies and programs. Shedding its early definition as “postconflict reconstruction,” the term “peacebuilding” has broadened its scope in the 1990s to encompass the overlapping agendas for peace and development in support of conflict prevention, conflict management and post-conflict reconstruction. Yet, peacebuilding remains an amorphous and evolving project that continues to be tested, contested, and challenged by many quarters.*

    This paper starts...

  5. (pp. 1-2)

    The end of the Cold War ushered in a new era in international affairs. Not only did the threat of a military confrontation between the two Cold War power blocs dissipate with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but many protracted proxy wars of the Cold War era also ended with the withdrawal of the external support that kept them fueled. The dominant security doctrines of the Cold War had averted war on a global scale, opening the door for the settlement of other lower-level wars and armed conflicts.

    However, the anticipated peace dividend did not materialize for hundreds of...

  6. (pp. 2-6)

    Most of the violent conflicts that confronted the international community in the aftermath of the Cold War were not products of power relations among states. Instead, they arose from and found fertile ground primarily in countries with poor governance, ethnic or religious tensions and structural inequities—issues falling within the development arena.

    From an international or macro perspective, peacebuilding therefore meant that the elaborate doctrines, strategies and institutions that were developed during the Cold War to deal with issues of international peace and security were inadequate for dealing with many of these conflicts. Instead, appropriate strategies had to be found...

  7. (pp. 6-10)

    The Cold War did not only distort the international agenda, it also distorted the domestic priorities and prospects of many developing countries. One of the most profound legacies of the Cold War is that the postcolonial struggles for national liberation that led to the creation of many newly independent states did not also lead to economic independence. In fact, many newly established states, closely aligned to one of the two superpowers, became client states, depending heavily on external military assistance and economic aid for their survival. National governments that attempted radical reforms, such as Iran and Guatemala, saw their efforts...

  8. (pp. 10-13)

    The growing international consensus and collaboration in the 1990s on the importance of the peacebuilding agenda were shaken by September 11 and further undermined by the U.S. war on Iraq. After September 11, there has been a rapid return by numerous countries, and most importantly the United States, to state-centric conceptions of security with human security, conflict prevention and peacebuilding moving to the back of the international agenda.

    Yet the key lesson of the 1990s is not that state-centric security is unimportant. On the contrary, the failed and failing states that came to threaten peace and security in the last...

  9. (pp. 13-13)

    An unusual window of opportunity opened in the 1990s which provided the international community with the promise and the potential for addressing the global search for security and development through integrated peacebuilding approaches. That window of opportunity risks being closed while international attention again turns to issues of hard security. The advances made in the 1990s are not unimportant, but they are fragile enough to be reversed. The challenges described above require serious attention and commitment by a wide range of actors, including the member states of the United Nations, national governments, and non-governmental organizations and institutions. It would be...

  10. (pp. 14-15)
  11. (pp. 16-18)
  12. (pp. 19-20)