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Title: "The West and 'the rest'"? : critiquing the 'hierarchical assumption' of global peace enforcement capacity
Author: Kaplan, Josiah
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Which international actors are best suited to the military challenges of peace enforcement? Within contemporary peace operations scholarship and policy, the answer to this question is typically framed by the division of the global peacekeeping community into a small group of capable, "first tier" Western states - limited largely by a lack of political will to act - and their less-capable developing world counterparts who lack capabilities but form the bulk of contributions to contemporary peace operations. This "West and the 'Rest'" hierarchy relies upon a set of assumptions regarding the transformative potential of Western military power for conflict management, and a bias towards Northern knowledge and best practice common throughout international security and development policy communities. In the following thesis, I challenge and problematise this conventional wisdom through a critical review of the peacekeeping literature, and a qualitative case-study analysis comparing Western and developing world militaries in peace enforcement operations. I identify a set of premises regarding Western and non-Western peace enforcement capabilities - which I refer to collectively as the "Hierarchical Assumption" of global peace enforcement capacity - and level three central critiques against the empirical and conceptual validity of this assumption using a deconstructive review of contemporary peacekeeping scholarship and policy discourse, supported by interviews with policymakers and peacekeeping practitioners. I next contrast the capacity and mission effectiveness of four cases - the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka, the Nigerian-led Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOWAS) in Liberia, the US in Somalia, and the UK in Sierra Leone-to demonstrate how such broad divisions between Northern and Southern PE capability and efficacy are blurred in practice. I conclude by discussing the troubling record of peace enforcement in practice by both developing world peacekeepers and their well-equipped, well-resourced Western counterparts-a conclusion with significant implications for global peace enforcement policy and practice.
Supervisor: Caplan, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: War (politics) ; Humanitarian emergencies ; Emergencies and humanitarian assistance ; Conflict