Capacity-Building and Local Ownership: Indicators of Sovereignty?

  • Nina Wilén


This chapter will contain a more detailed examination of how the United Nation’s (UN’s) peace operations are functioning on the ground through an analysis of two of the most popular concepts at the moment in peace operations: capacity-building and local ownership. These concepts are understood as being relevant indicators of sovereignty on a more practical level — in the work of the UN on the ground — in a target country. The level of analysis is therefore lowered from a theoretical understanding of sovereignty to a more practical vision of how it is interpreted and functioning through these two concepts in the actual peace operations. Lowering the level of abstraction in the analysis of sovereignty means that the perspective introduced at the beginning of the study, where sovereignty is explained as a theoretical concept, will be transformed into two indicators, or marks of sovereignty, in this case capacity-building and local ownership. The analysis is done through primary sources, such as interviews, but also with the help of previous research on the subject and the research of so-called ‘grey’ material. The aim of this chapter is to follow the red line of the project, which is the interpretation of sovereignty in different instances of intervention. Here the interpretation of sovereignty is analysed from the point of view of UN staff members through the notions of capacity-building and local ownership.


Target State Security Council External Actor Target Country Local Ownership 
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Copyright information

© Nina Wilén 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina Wilén
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Military AcademyBelgium

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