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Title: Clausewitz inspired reflections on aid operations in turbulent environments : the case of Nepal 1999-2005/06
Author: van Duijn, Leonard Franklin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 7814
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2009
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This research is an exploratory single case study, which focuses on the interplay between aspects of Clausewitz's theory on war and the practice of aid agencies in Nepal between 1999-2005/06. During which period Nepal was embroiled in an escalating violent contlict between Maoist rebels and the ruling establishment. which had a severe impact on the operations of aid agencies present in Nepal. The study draws primarily on Clausewitz's theory on war to provide analytical tools of help to the aid industry and those in strategizing roles at country level in thinking through the challenges faced in unstable and deteriorating operational contexts, in order to further poverty and contlict reduction efforts. The research reflects on the processes of strategizing and implementing aid operations in turbulent environments from a Clausewitz-inspired perspective and advances two main findings. First, the thesis finds that one key concept used in this retlection process, which shows itself to be of practical help, is the 'aid trinity'. The 'aid trinity' is a normative reflective framework that consists of three interacting layers, being psychological, social and managerial, which facilitates the thinking through and strategizing of aid operations. Second, by borrowing Clausewitz notion of friction, the research demonstrates that the existence of multiple forms of friction present in processes of strategizing and implementing aid operations in turbulent contexts like Nepal, could severely hamper these operations. Friction can be understood as the mediating force between what was perceived as the ideal fonn of conducting aid operations in Nepal and their actual character, resulting in the inability of the international aid community to address appropriately the dynamics of poverty and conflict. The research highlights the need to factor in the reality of these multiple forms of friction and to allow for their impact in policy, strategizing and implementation processes, in the hope of maximizing poverty and contlict reduction efforts in fragile states and other turbulent environments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available