Implementing the Franchise

  • Niels Nagelhus Schia
Chapter
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)

Abstract

This chapter describes how bureaucratic intentions became transformed and eventually skewed into focusing primarily on responding to the donor side. This situation led to less autonomy at the implementation level, which in turn resulted in less exchange and negotiation between representatives of different systems. The many differing views, needs, and existing practices were not put on the table for discussion. Implementation of the intentions concerning, for instance, the security of women and children in Liberia, incorporated as a main activity of UN peacebuilding through UNSC Resolution 1325, was conducted in ways that neglected the local level. Projects like those referred to in this chapter are also part of global processes and require investigation from several perspectives if we are to gain a better understanding of what they are and how they are being performed. This chapter describes how intentions, as embodied in Security Council resolutions, are subject to international as well as national forces, agendas, and resolutions which have effects on the impact on the ground. The ways in which these issues were pursued by actors representing the international community produced certain kinds of actions. These actions connected mainly with actors in Liberia representing social processes and institutions, with an epistemology similar to that of the donors. This acted to marginalize the friction at the interface between the systems and disconnected customary systems which, as described in Chap.  4, are historically important social structures in Liberia. The practical effect of the disconnection, or the emergent property of this part of the peacebuilding process, was that questions of justice and impunity were often dealt with through informal processes and not the newly implemented formal system. This statebuilding aspect of the peacebuilding process was characterized by vertical loyalty, with limited space for bureaucratic autonomy in the field. Ultimately it did not result in an improved situation for women and children. Constructing new buildings in the county capitals helped in (re)producing state capacities, but, at the same time, the statebuilding project produced actions that served to undermine state apparatuses.

References

  1. Call, Charles T., and Vanessa Wyeth, eds. 2008. Building States to Build Peace. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  2. Cliffe, Sarah, and Nick Manning. 2008. Practical Approaches to Building State Institutions. In Building States to Build Peace, ed. Charles T. Call and Vanessa Wyeth, 163–187. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  3. Government of Liberia. 2009. The Liberian National Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Resolution 1325. Accessed January 5, 2014, http://www.peacewomen.org/assets/file/NationalActionPlans/liberia_nationalactionplanmarch2009.pdf
  4. Handelman, Don. 1995. Comments. Current Anthropology 36 (2): 280–281.Google Scholar
  5. Heyman, Josiah McC. 1995. Putting Power in the Anthropology of Bureaucracy: The Immigration and Naturalization Service at the Mexico–United States Border. Current Anthropology 36 (2): 261–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Heynes, Patricia H. 2004. On the Battlefields of Women’s Bodies: An Overview of the Harm of War to Women. International Women’s Studies Quarterly 27: 431–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Isser, Deborah, Stephen C. Lubkemann, and Saah N’Tow. 2009. Looking for Justice: Liberian Experiences with and Perceptions of Local Justice Options. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace.Google Scholar
  8. Jensen, Erik G. 2008. Justice and the Rule of Law. In Building States to Build Peace, ed. Charles T. Call and Vanessa Wyeth. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  9. Mamdani, Mahmood. 1996. Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Mehler, A., and J. Smith-Höhn. 2006. Liberia: Ellen in Wonderland? GIGA Focus Africa 1 (5): 1–8.Google Scholar
  11. Murimi, Doris. 2009. Liberia, Africa’s Inspiration on Gender Equality. ISS Today, 24 June. Accessed January 6, 2014. http://www.issafrica.org/iss-today/liberia-africas-inspiration-on-gender-equality
  12. Reisinger, Christian. 2009. Statebuilding in the Absence of a Teleological Blueprint: Towards an Alternative Framework of Analysis. Paper presented at the ISA Annual Convention, New York, February 15–18.Google Scholar
  13. Schia, Niels Nagelhus, and Benjamin de Carvalho. 2011. Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Liberia and the Case for a Comprehensive Approach to the Rule of Law. Journal of International Relations and Development 14 (1): 134–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Scott, James C. 1998. Seeing Like a State. How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Sending, Ole Jacob. 2009. Why Peacebuilders Fail to Secure Ownership and be Sensitive to Context. NUPI Working Paper Series 761. Oslo: NUPI.Google Scholar
  16. Solhjell, Randi. 2016. Gender-Based Violence and Access to Justice: Grand Bassa County, Liberia. NUPI Report. Oslo: NUPI.Google Scholar
  17. Swiss, Shana, and J.E. Giller. 1993. Rape as a Crime of War: A Medical Perspective. Journal of the American Medical Association 270 (55): 612–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. UN General Assembly/Security Council. 2000. Comprehensive Review of the Whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in All their Aspects. The Brahimi Report. New York: Unite Nations.Google Scholar
  19. UNICEF. 2005. New Women and Children Protection Section for Liberia’s Police. Accessed February 10, 2014. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_28159.html
  20. ———. 2009. Unicef Humanitarian Action Report 2009. Accessed January 5, 2014. http://www.unicef.org/har09/files/HAR_2009_FULL_Report_English.pdf
  21. UNMIL. 2008. UNPOL Commissioner Urges for the Protection of Women and Children Against Sexual Violence and Abuse. 1 December. Accessed January 20, 2009. http://unmil.org/article.asp?id=3036. This link is no longer available, but the same document can be found at: http://reliefweb.int/report/liberia/liberia-unpol-commissioner-urges-protection-women-and-children-against-sexual (Accessed January 4, 2014).
  22. UNMIL Office of the Gender Adviser. 2009. Implementation of UNSCR 1820 in Post-Conflict Liberia. Accessed January 7, 2010. http://unmil.org/documents/FactSheetonUNSCR1820inLiberia.pdf. The original link is no longer available, but the same document can be found here: http://www.peacewomen.org/assets/file/Resources/UN/1820_factsheetimplementationunscr1820postconflictliberia_2009.pdf (Accessed January 5, 2014).
  23. Wolf, Eric. 1990. Distinguished Lecture: Facing Power: Old Insights, New Questions. American Anthropologist 92 (3): 586–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels Nagelhus Schia
    • 1
  1. 1.NUPIOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations