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Title: Maintaining order : justice and security sector reform in Liberia : a critical analysis of the West's efforts to transform 'failed' societies into stable members of the international community
Author: Gürler, Sibel Yasemin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 0093
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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Internal wars and state failure are cited amongst today 's key threats to international security because of their potential to contribute to the growth and empowerment of illegal transnational networks and terrorism. As a result, the international community has launched increasingly ambitious and complex peace consolidation and state building projects. The promotion of the rule of law and human rights through far-reaching reform of the justice and security sectors (SSR) has thus become an important component of peace building. This is especially true in Africa where almost half of the current UN peacekeeping missions are operational. SSR is considered crucial for bolstering state authority and promoting efficient and democratic state institutions that safeguard internal peace and stability and thus in turn international security. The reality on the ground shows, however, that despite the huge efforts put into such state reconstruction ventures, the initially set goals are rarely met. This thesis examines, with the example of Liberia, a country that after two successive civil wars became host to one of the largest UN peacekeeping forces, why such comprehensive reforms have had so little success to date. The empirical data reinforcing the analysis was gathered during six months of extensive fieldwork, mainly in Lofa County, Liberia. Not concerned with policy relevance, this thesis focuses on an overall examination of the peace building framework and its underlying assumptions. The thesis argues that the Western approach is problematic. There is a misconception in the assumption that an internal political order can be externally prescribed and imposed. Chief concepts about internal conflict, and the management thereof, that have been shaping the response of the international community neither contribute towards peace consolidation nor the furthering of development. Rather, they lend themselves to achieving a deadlock where the possibility of continuous conflict and political emergencies may become a reality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available