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Post-War Legitimacy: A Framework on Relational Agency in Peacebuilding
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research. SIPRI.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2208-794X
Swedish Defence University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1734-4374
2020 (English)In: Local Legitimacy and International Peacebuilding / [ed] Oliver P. Richmond & Roger Mac Ginty, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020, p. 215-239Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There is increasing interest in the role of legitimacy as an indicator of social and political stability in post-war societies. In this chapter we provide an analytical framework to examine peacebuilding interventions from a legitimacy perspective. The relationship between the state and society is conceived as crucial to international peacebuilding interventions seeking to assist conflict-torn countries toward a self-sustaining peace – or a situation where external support is unnecessary. The literature on peacebuilding primarily has discussed the importance of legitimacy of peacebuilding interventions. However, we argue that contemporary peacebuilding interventions and the scholarly assessments of them have largely overlooked the relationship between the domestic actors involved in, and affected by, the conflict. Instead of focusing on the principal purpose of peacebuilding processes, which is to build sustainable peace within a country, peacebuilding interventions deal with legitimacy as a tool to justify the peacebuilding agenda and approaches of international actors. The international quest for legitimacy has paradoxically redirected attention away from addressing the important challenge facing domestic peacebuilding processes, namely the peaceful relationship between the domestic state and society. We conceive of peacebuilding as founded in the relational agency between politics and society, i.e. between state and non-state actors (both military and civilian). We define peacebuilding as the process where in a post-war situation the structural-normative setup of the state in relation to society becomes renegotiated through the interactions of domestic state and non-state actors with, or without, the involvement of international or other external actors. We maintain that perceived legitimacy of the relationship between the domestic state and society constitutes the foundation of the social and political post-war order. In this chapter we begin by discussing the existing peacebuilding literature and practices, before articulating our framework on legitimacy, actors and relational agency in peacebuilding. Thereafter, we present an extended application of the framework on two recent peacebuilding processes. The chapter concludes by stressing the necessity to refocus peacebuilding interventions to the relational dynamics and legitimacy of domestic state and non-state actors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020. p. 215-239
Keywords [en]
legitimacy, peacebuilding, Afghanistan, Nepal, state-society relations, interventions
National Category
Political Science Sociology Globalisation Studies
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-417775ISBN: 9781474466264 (print)ISBN: 9781474466295 (electronic)ISBN: 9781474466288 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-417775DiVA, id: diva2:1460878
Available from: 2020-08-25 Created: 2020-08-25 Last updated: 2021-08-24Bibliographically approved

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Krampe, Florian

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