Liberal peacebuilding and the development-security industry

This book critically examines the range of policies and programmes that attempt to manage economic activity that contributes to political violence. Beginning with an overview of over a dozen policies aimed at transforming these activities into economic relationships which support peace, not war, the book then offers a sustained critique of the reasons for limited success in this policy field. The inability of the range of international actors involved in this policy area, the Development-Security Industry (DSI), to bring about more peaceful political-economic relationships is shown to be a result of liberal biases, resulting conceptual lenses and operational tendencies within this industry. A detailed case study of responses to organised crime in Kosovo offers an in-depth exploration of these problems, but also highlights opportunities for policy innovation. This book offers a new framework for understanding both the problem of economic activity that accompanies and sometimes facilitates violence and programmes aimed at managing these forms of economic activity. Summaries of key arguments and frameworks, found within each chapter, provide accessible templates for both students and aid practitioners seeking to understand war economies and policy reactions in a range of other contexts. It also offers insight into how to alter and improve policy responses in other cases. As such, the book is accessible to a range of readers, including students interested in peace, conflict and international development as well as policy makers and practitioners seeking new ways of understanding war economies and improving responses to them.

Open Access (free)
War economies, peace economies and transformation

This chapter defines the concepts of war economy and peace economy and discusses how there can be movement from one category to the other through a process of transformation. Arguing that there has been a relative failure to achieve such transformation across a range of conflict affected areas, the chapter sets out the aims of the book, namely to understand why such failures occur and how more effective processes of transformation can be achieved. The development-security industry (DSI), responsible for peacebuilding programmes more generally, is introduced as the key actor involved both attempts and failures at such transformation. A brief history and discussion of the liberal nature of this industry are provided along with a summary of the book’s structure and argument.

in Building a peace economy?
Current policy options and issues

This chapter provides a summary and critique of current policy options used by the DSI in their attempt to transform war economies. Two general types of policy responses are discussed. First, targeted policies including eradication programmes, military responses, commodity certification schemes, resource governance programmes, sanctions, naming and shaming and alternative livelihoods schemes are defined, with examples of each policy provided. Next, more general policies are explored. These are generally implemented as part of a wider set of peacebuilding reforms but are also seen as contributing to war economy transformation. This set of reforms includes corporate social responsibility programming, security sector reform, customs reform and judicial reform at both domestic and international levels. A comparison of the limitations of all of these reform processes leads to a call for a more general approach which explores war economy transformation as a cohesive agenda, as opposed to a project by project approach.

in Building a peace economy?
The nature of the development-security industry

In order to move away from a project assessment approach and towards a framework that helps analyse the war economy transformation agenda as a whole, this chapter offers a thorough exploration of the characteristics of the Development-Security Industry (DSI) who are responsible for the creation and implementation of transformation policies across the globe. It discusses the liberal ideological foundations and peacebuilding practices on which the DSI rests. It also considers the dominant and competing conceptual lenses used in terms of how the DSI approaches the problem of war economies, including the rational choice and structural political-economy approach. Finally, the operational features which result from these ideological and conceptual tendencies are discussed. These characteristics of the DSI are presented as a preliminary framework through which policies aimed at transforming war economies can be assessed in a holistic and structured manner.

in Building a peace economy?
Learning from the case of Kosovo

This chapter introduces Kosovo as a case study for exploring attempts by the DSI to transform a war economy. It is shown that the value of exploring the case of Kosovo over several years of international intervention, is that it provides an assessment of policy implementation as it was occurring, and not simply a post-facto assessment. The chapter then provides a thorough discussion of the many facets of the war economy, looking at the varied actors involved and their diverse motivations. It also discusses the economic, criminal and political legacies of the war economy in the post conflict phase. Through this, detailed frameworks for exploring other examples of war economies and their legacies are provided. A brief introduction to the DSI’s role in the Kosovo conflict and war economy transformation is given.

in Building a peace economy?
Managing the criminal facets of war economies

This chapter explores the use of ‘rule of law’ reforms in attempts to transform war economies. Case study evidence from Kosovo shows that the criminality discourse often associated with war economies legitimises the use of strong control mechanisms by the DSI, particularly in the security and justice sectors. This is generally accompanied by a focus on stability over justice and a depoliticised approach to peacebuilding with fails to take into account and incorporate political context, providing evidence of the DSI adopting a rational-choice explanation for war economy participation. This chapter also reveals many operational problems of the DSI including the following of trends, mission creep and poor exit strategies. However, some interesting deviations by individual actors from the standard approach provide insight into how the dominant liberal blue print is also being contested.

in Building a peace economy?
Open Access (free)
Liberal reform and the creation of new conflict economies

This chapter explores the privatisation process in Kosovo and its dual role in both the transformation of the war economy and the facilitation of new forms of political-economic violence. A key tenet of liberal peacebuilding, the privatisation of resources is seen as further evidence of an apolitical approach to building peace which problematically allows actors to consolidate and further economic gains made during the conflict. The contribution of members of the DSI themselves to these dynamics through corruption and foreign investment is coupled with a range of operational problems including limited knowledge and capacity, offering further insight into the problems of the transformation agenda. Whilst it is shown that some of the above problems have been limited by control mechanisms put in place by the DSI, the desirability and sustainability of these mechanisms are called into question.

in Building a peace economy?
Open Access (free)
Protecting borders, confirming statehood and transforming economies?

The role of customs reform in managing the legacy of Kosovo’s war economy is explored. This reform area is shown to be a central to the liberal peacebuilding agenda with the protection of borders and the facilitation of trade seen as essential features of an effective liberal state. However, these reforms often lead to a favouring of already powerful actors which in turn pushes others further into the informal and illegal realms. Evidence of depoliticized approaches to reform are evidenced, illustrating the bias for programming to be based on problematic rational-choice understandings of war economies. The role of the DSI in creating problems that customs agencies are tasked with resolving is highlighted, and as with other areas of reform, success is hindered by a range of operational problems. However, evidence also reveals important ‘policy moments’ where a structural political-economy understanding of war economies influenced policy to a greater degree.

in Building a peace economy?
DSI approaches and behaviours

This chapter confirms that the limitations of war economy agenda can be explained by examining the ideological foundations of the liberal peacebuilding project, conceptual lenses through which the problem is understood and the degree to which this is implemented in programming, as well as the operational characteristics of the Development-Security Industry. However, comparative analysis reveals that there is also a degree of heterogeneity in the responses of actors within the DSI. This chapter explores how some actors have manoeuvred within and around the typical liberal modes of intervention and attempted to integrate more context specific, politically aware modes of programming with the aim contributing to the wider aims of positive transformation. It highlights that progress can be made there is where negotiation with local actors, integration of a range of contextual issues is privileged and the goals of justice are more effectively balanced with those of stability and growth.

in Building a peace economy?