The EU aims at being a prominent global crisis responder, but its member states act also through the UN, NATO and OSCE to achieve both short-term stabilisation by military and/or civilian means, and longer-term conflict prevention and transformation. By comparing the policy approaches of these four multilateral organisations to conflicts and crises, this contribution shows how the broad principle of comprehensiveness has been developed to fit different institutional logics, thus leading to divergences in approach. Distilling findings from empirical research conducted in the framework of the Horizon 2020-funded EUNPACK project in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, Mali and Ukraine, this chapter synthesises lessons about varying levels of the EU’s and the other organisations’ conflict sensitivity, effective multilateralism, value-based approach and application of the principle of local ownership in theatre.
Controversies over gaps within EU crisis management policy
Roger Mac Ginty, Sandra Pogodda, and Oliver P. Richmond
The Introduction sets out the structure and essential purpose of the book, and explains EUNPACK – the comparative study on which the book is based. It asks what EU crisis management seeks to address; introduces the innovative typology for crisis response that lies at the heart of the book; and highlights how much of the book is based on fieldwork, while being careful to note how difficult it is for outside researchers to authentically reflect the voices of local populations. The key findings of the book are presented, including the trend identified in a number of later chapters towards security-led approaches in the EU’s crisis response activities in its neighbourhood and further afield. The conclusion offers further thoughts on how EU crisis response has evolved and on its future role.
Based on extensive fieldwork and perception surveys, this chapter examines the nature of the EU’s crisis response in the extended neighbourhood. It finds that interventions have a significant security element leading to questions about the ultimate aim of EU crisis response interventions: stabilisation or something more emancipatory. The chapter also shows how the EU is often insulated in-country and has difficulty connecting with the wider populations and their aspirations.
The aim of this chapter is to identify the potential and limits of the EU’s external crisis response. Rather than focusing on the character of the EU as a foreign policy actor, it concentrates on the EU toolbox or repertoire applied in EU missions and activities in various external crises and conflicts in the near and extended neighbourhood, and also how the Union’s activities are perceived by local stakeholders. A key question is whether there is a match or mismatch between EU intentions, the implementation, and the perceptions of local stakeholders. The analysis in this article draws on both a series of qualitative case studies and a quantitative analysis of a large number of EU documents and statements. This mixed method has enabled us to explore the EU’s crisis response repertoire systematically and from various angles.
This chapter looks at the implementation and perception of the EU’s largest investment into the rule of law sector in the Western Balkans: the EU rule of law mission in Kosovo (EULEX). EU judges, prosecutors, investigators and customs officials were embedded into Kosovo’s rule of law institutions, directly dispensing justice in the most sensitive criminal proceedings. We argue that while the design of EULEX suffers from problems typically associated with liberal peacebuilding operations – lack of local ownership, technocratic approaches, and lack of accountability – the mission mandate embodied ambitions for conflict transformation. We build our argument by drawing on experiences of those most directly responsible for the execution of the EULEX mandate and those directly affected by its outcomes. Our data was collected as part of the EU Horizon 2020-funded EUNPACK project and comes from twenty-five in-depth interviews with practitioners familiar with the day-to-day work of the mission and its reception on the ground.
The Politics of Information and Analysis in Food Security
Daniel Maxwell and Peter Hailey
Famine means destitution, increased severe malnutrition, disease, excess death
and the breakdown of institutions and social norms. Politically, it means a
failure of governance – a failure to provide the most basic of
protections. Because of both its human and political meanings,
‘famine’ can be a shocking term. This is turn makes the analysis
– and especially declaration – of famine a very sensitive subject.
This paper synthesises the findings from six case studies of the analysis of
extreme food insecurity and famine to identify the political constraints to data
collection and analysis, the ways in which these are manifested, and emergent
good practice to manage these influences. The politics of information and
analysis are the most fraught where technical capacity and data quality are the
weakest. Politics will not be eradicated from analysis but can and must be
The search and rescue of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants on the
Mediterranean has become a site of major political contestation in Europe, on
the seas, in parliaments and government offices and in online public opinion.
This article summarises one particular set of controversies, namely, false
claims that the non-government organisations conducting such search and rescue
operations are actively ‘colluding’ with people smugglers to ferry
people into Europe. In spring and summer 2017, these claims of
‘collusion’ emerged from state agencies and from anti-immigration
groups, became viral on social media platforms and rapidly moved into mainstream
media coverage, criminal investigations by prosecutors and the speech and laws
of politicians across the continent. These claims were in turn connected to
far-right conspiracy theories about ‘flooding’ Europe with
‘invaders’. By looking at the experience of one particular ship,
the MV Aquarius, run in partnership by MSF and SOS
Méditerranée, the authors detail the risks that humanitarian
organisations now face from such types of disinformation campaign. If
humanitarian organisations do not prepare themselves against this risk, they
will find themselves in a world turned upside-down, in which their efforts to
help people in distress become evidence of criminal activity.
A Belated but Welcome Theory of Change on Mental Health and
This article critiques the new Theory of Change (ToC) on mental health published
by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) in the last
fortnight of its existence. The ToC offers development actors a framework for
better support of beneficiaries with mental health conditions and psychosocial
disabilities – given disappointingly scant attention by the sector to
date. Yet, 70 per cent of mental disorders occur in low- and middle-income
countries (LMICs), with a 22 per cent prevalence in fragile and
conflict-affected states. Globally, mental ill-health is estimated to affect
almost one billion people. Its intersectionality with poverty and physical
health has been brought into sharp focus by the current COVID-19 pandemic which
has magnified the underlying social and environmental stressors of mental
health. DfID’s ToC provides a conceptual framework for improving mental
health globally, with an overarching vision of the full and equal exercise of
all human rights by those affected by mental health conditions and psychosocial
disability. The framework incorporates a rights-based approach with
user-participation embedded in five critical change pathways to outcomes. The
article analyses the ToC, provides an overview, highlights gaps and comments
upon how DfID might have improved clarity for development actors seeking to
realise its vision.
Middle-Aged Syrian Women’s Contributions to Family Livelihoods
during Protracted Displacement in Jordan
Dina Sidhva, Ann-Christin Zuntz, Ruba al Akash, Ayat Nashwan, and Areej Al-Majali
This article explores the intersections of generational and gender dynamics with
humanitarian governance in Jordan that cause shifts in the division of labour
within displaced families. Drawing on life history interviews and focus group
discussions with seventeen Syrian women in Jordan in spring 2019, we explore the
monetary and non-monetary contributions of middle-aged females to the
livelihoods of refugee households. Older women’s paid and unpaid labour
holds together dispersed families whose fathers have been killed or
incapacitated, or remain in Syria or in the Gulf. In doing so, many women draw
on their pre-war experience of living with – or rather apart from
– migrant husbands. Increased economic and social responsibilities
coincide with a phase in our interviewees’ lifecycle in which they
traditionally acquire greater authority as elders, especially as mothers-in-law.
While power inequalities between older and younger Syrian women are not new,
they have been exacerbated by the loss of resources in displacement. Our
insights offer a counterpoint to humanitarian attempts at increasing
refugees’ ‘self-reliance’ through small-scale
entrepreneurship. For now, culturally appropriate and practically feasible jobs
for middle-aged women are found in their living rooms. Supportive humanitarian
action should allow them to upscale their businesses and address power dynamics