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At War™s End

All fourteen major peacebuilding missions launched between 1989 and
1999 shared a common strategy for consolidating peace after internal
con¬‚icts: immediate democratization and marketization. This volume
argues that transforming war-shattered states into market democra-
cies is a basically sound idea, but that pushing the process too quickly
can have damaging and destabilizing effects. A more sensible approach
would ¬rst establish a system of domestic institutions capable of man-
aging the disruptive effects of democratization and marketization, and
only then phase in political and economic reforms as conditions war-
rant. Avoiding the problems that marred many peacebuilding missions
in the 1990s will require longer-lasting, better-planned, and ultimately
more intrusive forms of intervention in the domestic affairs of war-torn

Roland Paris is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International
Affairs at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an award-winning
scholar and teacher, and a regular commentator on international affairs
in national and local media.
At War™s End
Building Peace After Civil Con¬‚ict

University of Colorado, Boulder
cambridge university press
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge cb2 2ru, UK
Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521834124

© Roland Paris 2004

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of
relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place
without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published in print format 2004

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Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of urls
for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not
guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
For Katie
Il est plus facile de faire la guerre que de faire la paix.
“ Georges Clemenceau, 1918

List of Figures page viii
Preface ix

Introduction 1
part i foundations
1 The Origins of Peacebuilding 13
2 The Liberal Peace Thesis 40

part ii the peacebuilding record
3 Introduction to the Case Studies 55
4 Angola and Rwanda: The Perils of Political Liberalization 63
5 Cambodia and Liberia: Democracy Diverted 79
6 Bosnia and Croatia: Reinforcing Ethnic Divisions 97
7 Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala: Reproducing the
Sources of Con¬‚ict 112
8 Namibia and Mozambique: Success Stories in Southern Africa? 135

part iii problems and solutions
9 The Limits of Wilsonianism: Understanding the Dangers 151
10 Toward More Effective Peacebuilding: Institutionalization
Before Liberalization 179
11 Lessons Learned and Not Learned: Kosovo, East Timor, Sierra
Leone, and Beyond 212

Conclusion 235

Bibliography 237
Index 281

3.1 Case Study Questions page 60
3.2 Major Peacebuilding Operations Deployed in 1989“1999 61
9.1 Five Pathologies of Liberalization 160
9.2 Three Common Problems in War-Torn States 169
10.1 Key Elements of the IBL Peacebuilding Strategy 188


This book examines every major peacebuilding mission launched between
1989 and 1999. There were fourteen in total; all were deployed to countries
in which a civil war had just ended. Despite many differences, these missions
shared a common strategy for consolidating peace after internal con¬‚icts:
immediate democratization and marketization. What can we learn from the
peacebuilding record about the effectiveness of this strategy as a means of
preventing the recurrence of ¬ghting in postcon¬‚ict situations? This volume
argues that the idea of transforming war-shattered states into stable market
democracies is basically sound, but that pushing this process too quickly
can have damaging and destabilizing effects. Market democracy is not the
miracle cure for internal con¬‚ict. On the contrary, the process of political
and economic liberalization is inherently tumultuous: It can exacerbate so-
cial tensions and undermine the prospects for stable peace in the fragile
conditions that typically exist in countries just emerging from civil war.
A more sensible approach to postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding would seek, ¬rst,
to establish a system of domestic institutions that are capable of manag-
ing the destabilizing effects of democratization and marketization within
peaceful bounds and, second, to phase in political and economic reforms
slowly over time, as conditions warrant. To do this effectively, international
peacebuilders will have to abandon the notion that war-shattered states can
be hurriedly rehabilitated. One set of elections, without creating stable po-
litical and economic institutions, does not produce durable peace in most
cases. Avoiding the problems that marred many peacebuilding operations
in the 1990s will require longer-lasting and ultimately more intrusive forms
of intervention in the domestic affairs of these states, because more gradual
and controlled approaches to postcon¬‚ict liberalization are more likely to
achieve the central goal of peacebuilding: the establishment of a peace that
endures long after the departure of the peacebuilders themselves.
I developed this argument over several years. During this time, I was
blessed with sharp-eyed and thoughtful colleagues and friends, many of

whom offered their reactions to this project in its various stages of com-
pletion, and whose critiques prompted me to rethink and re¬ne my analy-
sis. They include Pamela Aall, Steven Brooks, Christopher Cavoli, Chester
Crocker, Robert Dahl, Charles Hill, William Hitchcock, Alan James, Paul
Kennedy, Jeffrey Kopstein, Ingrid Lehmann, Dan Lindley, Kimberly Zisk
Marten, Mark Peceny, Kenneth Rodman, Bruce Russett, Jack Snyder, Steven
John Stedman, James Sutterlin, Thomas Weiss, Alexander Wendt, and
H. Bradford Wester¬eld. In addition, seven colleagues read and commented
on the entire manuscript: Michael Barnett, Ian Cooper, Fen Osler Hampsen,
Ian Hurd, Michael Ignatieff, Peter Viggo Jakobsen, and Michael Pugh. I
thank all these people for their helpful criticism and advice, although I re-
main solely responsible for any errors of fact or interpretation.
I gratefully acknowledge ¬nancial assistance from the Overbrook Foun-
dation, the Academic Council on the United Nations System, Yale University,
the Council on Research and Creative Work of the University of Colorado,
the Fulbright Foundation, the Eugene M. Kayden Endowment, the Social
Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian
Department of National Defence. This project would not have been com-
pleted without their generous support.
In addition, I owe a debt of gratitude to the publishers and editors who
allowed me to reproduce portions of previous works in which I tested out
earlier renditions of my argument. Thanks in particular to Owen Cot´ , Sean
Lynn-Jones, Michael Brown, and the MIT Press for permission to reproduce
passages from Roland Paris, “Peacebuilding and the Limits of Liberal Inter-
nationalism,” International Security 22:2 (Fall 1997), pp. 54“89; to Chester
A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, Pamela Aall, and the United States Institute
of Peace for permission to reproduce passages from Roland Paris, “Wilson™s
Ghost: The Faulty Assumptions of Post-Con¬‚ict Peacebuilding,” in Turbulent
Peace: The Challenges of Managing International Con¬‚ict (Washington, D.C.:
United States Institute of Peace Press, 2001), pp. 765“784; and to Michael
Pugh and Frank Cass Publishers for permission to reproduce passages from
Roland Paris, “Peacebuilding in Central America: Reproducing the Sources
of Con¬‚ict?” International Peacekeeping 9:4 (Winter 2002), pp. 39“68. Some
of the ideas presented in these writings survived the criticism of colleagues
and my own rethinking; many others did not.
I would also like to thank Christopher Coleman of the United Nations De-
partment of Peacekeeping Operations for allowing me to spend several weeks
at UN headquarters; Elizabeth Olsen for research assistance on Guatemala;
Richard Holbrooke for answering my queries about Bosnia; and the many
Cambodians and foreigners in Phnom Penh who shared their thoughts about
peacebuilding with me.
Finally, several members of my family contributed to this project, both
directly and indirectly. My mother, Erna Paris, an award-winning journalist
and author, sparked my interest in politics and offered invaluable editorial
Preface xi

advice on this book. Both she and my stepfather, Tom Robinson, gave me
the privilege of growing up in a home that was full of books, discussion, and
love “ and, for that, I am deeply grateful. My sister and brother, Michelle
Paris and Robert Paris, have been steadfast supporters throughout. My
father, Jacques Paris, made two trips to a library in Montreal to track down
the quotation from Georges Clemenceau that became the epigraph of this
book.1 I thank him and my stepmother, R´ gine Gu´ rin, for their affection and
e e
encouragement and not least for all the wonderful meals we have shared “
and will share in the future. But my greatest appreciation goes to my wife
and two children: Katie, Julia, and Simon Paris. Katie lived with this project
from its inception, through highs and lows. Somehow, despite her own busy
job of protecting wilderness and open spaces in Colorado, the arrival of Julia
and Simon, and the tango of diaper changing and bottle ¬lling that we have
happily danced for the last three years, Katie found the time to pore through
this volume in its many drafts, and I bene¬ted immensely from her editorial
talents. For her love and friendship, the book is dedicated to her.

1 The source of the quotation is Alexandre Ribot, Journal d™Alexandre Ribot et Correspondances
In´ dites, 1914“1922 (Paris: Plon et Nourrit, 1936), p. 255.

In the early 1990s, a new threat to global security and human welfare caught
the attention of political analysts and policymakers around the world, a
threat that few observers had anticipated: pervasive and pernicious internal
violence. They were right to be concerned. Civil wars (which take place
primarily within the borders of a single state and among belligerents who
normally reside in that state) accounted for 94 percent of all armed con¬‚icts
fought in the 1990s.1 From Africa to Central Asia, internecine violence and
collapsing states became an unfortunate but familiar feature of the post“Cold
War political landscape.2
The nature of the threat posed by these con¬‚icts was both humanitar-
ian and strategic. From a humanitarian standpoint, this violence in¬‚icted
appalling losses on civilian noncombatants. At the beginning of the twenti-
eth century, approximately 90 percent of war victims were soldiers; dur-
ing the 1990s, by contrast, an estimated 90 percent of those killed in
armed con¬‚icts were civilians.3 Attacks and atrocities against noncombat-
ants became widely employed as deliberate strategies of warfare “ including
such tactics as systematic rape, mass executions, ethnic cleansing, and
even genocide “ prompting some commentators to lament the revival of
“premodern” forms of ¬ghting that dispensed with customary constraints on
the waging of war.4 Internal con¬‚icts were also the principal source of mass

1 Wallensteen and Sollenberg 2001, p. 632. From 1989 to 2000 (inclusive), there were 111
armed con¬‚icts in the world, of which 104 were intrastate con¬‚icts.
2 For vivid though somewhat apocalyptic description of these con¬‚ict zones, see Kaplan 1996.
3 UNDP 2002, p. 85; and Collier et al. 2003, p. 17. Also striking is the fact that the ratio of
civilian-to-military deaths nearly tripled from the 1980s to the 1990s alone (Kaldor 1999,
p. 9).
4 For example, Snow 1996; and Ignatieff 1997.


refugee movements in the 1990s, which often gave rise to further humani-
tarian emergencies.5
In addition, chronic civil unrest represented a threat to regional, and even
global, stability. Several internal con¬‚icts spilled over international borders
and undermined the security of adjacent states “ as the Rwandan con¬‚ict did
when it spread to neighboring Zaire in the mid-1990s, causing the collapse
of the Zaire government and triggering a regional war that continued for the
rest of the decade. Even when ¬ghting remained geographically contained,
the ¬‚ight of refugees from war-torn states endangered the political stabil-
ity of nearby countries “ as in the case of Macedonia, which became the
reluctant host to millions of refugees from Kosovo in 1999. Terrorist and
criminal networks, operating with relative impunity in states riven by civil
war, also posed security threats to other countries.6 The September 2001
attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., reportedly perpetrated by a
terrorist group based in war-ravaged Afghanistan, dramatically illustrated
the danger of allowing civil con¬‚icts to fester. As British Foreign Secretary
Jack Straw observed in light of these attacks, “When we allow governments
to fail, warlords, drug barons, or terrorists ¬ll the vacuum. . . . Terrorists are
strongest where states are weakest.”7
In response to these challenges, the international community experi-
mented with a number of new techniques for managing the problem of civil
unrest and state failure. This task fell largely to the United Nations (UN)
and several other leading governmental and nongovernmental organizations,
which launched a succession of major operations in countries plagued by
internal violence. A few of these missions sought to deliver humanitarian
assistance and protect civilian populations in the midst of ongoing con¬‚icts.
Most, however, were deployed in the immediate aftermath of civil wars with
the goal of preventing a recurrence of violence. These postcon¬‚ict missions
became known as “peacebuilding” operations.8
The aim of peacebuilding, in the words of UN Secretary-General Ko¬
Annan, was “to create the conditions necessary for a sustainable peace in
war-torn societies” “ that is, a peace that would endure long after the depar-
ture of the peacebuilders themselves.9 Annan™s predecessor, Boutros Boutros-
Ghali, similarly de¬ned the purpose of peacebuilding as the attempt “to iden-
tify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace

5 Of the twenty countries that were the largest sources of refugees in the world in 1995, no
fewer than nineteen were embroiled in intrastate con¬‚icts at the time (Kane 1995, p. 18; and
Kane 1996, p. 96).
6 7 Quoted in Chege 2002, p. 147.
Takeyh and Gvosdev 2002.
8 Some commentators de¬ne peacebuilding more broadly “ as efforts to avert con¬‚ict either
before or after war. This volume adopts the more common designation of peacebuilding as a
postcon¬‚ict activity, as I shall explain in Chapter 1.
9 Annan 1999b, para. 101.
Introduction 3

in order to avoid a relapse into con¬‚ict.”10 The rationale for this kind of
mission was straightforward and compelling: Without effective techniques
for preventing the recurrence of violence in war-shattered states, large-scale
con¬‚ict might resume after the initial termination of hostilities, thereby un-
dermining and squandering international efforts to stop the ¬ghting in the
¬rst place. But creating the conditions for a stable and lasting peace in the
immediate aftermath of a civil war would not be an easy task, because it
entailed much more than just monitoring a cease¬re. As both Annan and
Boutros-Ghali pointed out, peacebuilding involved identifying and alleviat-
ing the underlying sources of con¬‚ict within a war-shattered state, which
required a thorough understanding of local conditions.11
To complicate matters, many states emerging from civil con¬‚icts were tee-
tering on the brink between peace and war, with their inhabitants divided
by mutual animosities, resentments, and fears, and with large numbers of
readily available weapons and ex-combatants pro¬cient in using them. In
addition, conditions of general economic distress, weak or nonexistent gov-
ernmental institutions, few social services for the needy (including those dis-
placed or dispossessed during the war), and damaged physical infrastructure
combined to exacerbate local instability. Yet these volatile conditions were
precisely what made postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding so indispensable. The very
fragility of war-shattered states “ and the fact that countries with a recent
history of civil violence had an almost 50 percent chance of slipping back
into violence “ created the need.12
Postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding developed into something of a growth industry
in the 1990s. The ¬rst major operation was deployed to Namibia in 1989, fol-
lowed by missions to Nicaragua (1989), Angola (1991), Cambodia (1991),
El Salvador (1991), Mozambique (1992), Liberia (1993), Rwanda (1993),
Bosnia (1995), Croatia (1995), Guatemala (1997), East Timor (1999),
Kosovo (1999), and Sierra Leone (1999). In total, fourteen major peacebuild-
ing operations were deployed between 1989 and 1999 to territories that had
recently experienced civil con¬‚icts.13 These operations involved a diverse
array of international actors performing a wide range of functions “ from

10 Boutros-Ghali 1992, p. 11.
11 Boutros-Ghali 1992, p. 32; Boutros-Ghali 1995, para. 49; and Annan 1998, para. 63.
12 Collier et al. (2003, p. 83) report that the typical country emerging from a civil war has a
44% chance of sliding back into con¬‚ict within the ¬rst ¬ve years of peace. They base this
¬nding on a study of seventy-eight large civil con¬‚icts between 1960 and 1999. See also
Collier and Sambanis 2002, p. 5.
13 This excludes missions that did not follow a civil war (such as the one deployed to Haiti)
and missions that took place in the midst of an ongoing con¬‚ict (such as the operation in
Somalia). For a full explanation of why I de¬ne certain missions, and not others, as “major
postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding operations,” see Chapter 3. Bosnia-Herzegovina is referred to as
“Bosnia” throughout this book.

writing and rewriting national constitutions to drafting criminal laws, orga-
nizing and administering elections, tutoring policemen, lawyers, and judges,
formulating economic policies, and temporarily taking over the administra-
tion of entire territories “ all in the hope of establishing the conditions for
stable and lasting peace. Some missions, such as the operations in Bosnia
and Kosovo, attracted close attention from the international news media,
while others labored away in relative obscurity. But taken together, these
fourteen peacebuilding operations represented the most ambitious and con-
certed international effort to rehabilitate war-shattered states since the Allied
reconstruction of Germany and Japan following World War II. Peacebuilding
was nothing less than an enormous experiment in social engineering, aimed
at creating the domestic conditions for durable peace within countries just
emerging from civil wars.
What principles and assumptions guided this experiment? Which models
or theories of con¬‚ict management, if any, did international peacebuilders
apply in their efforts to rehabilitate war-shattered states? While the literature
on peacebuilding has burgeoned since the end of the Cold War, few writers
have scrutinized the assumptions that underpin the design and conduct of
these operations.14 Observers have dissected the strengths and weaknesses of
many missions, but paid relatively little attention to the conceptual founda-
tions of peacebuilding itself, or the basic premises upon which these opera-
tions are based.15 Such questions are important, however, because they allow
us to investigate whether the prevailing approach is, or is not, well suited to
the task of consolidating peace in war-shattered states, and whether alterna-
tive means might be more appropriate. Given the importance of peacebuild-
ing as a means of managing civil violence in the post“Cold War world and
the threats that uncontrolled internal con¬‚icts pose to regional and global
security and to human welfare, any opportunity to improve the effectiveness
of future operations should be vigorously pursued.
Indeed, there is no sign that the demand for new peacebuilding missions
will decline in the coming years. Although this book focuses on postcon-
¬‚ict operations launched between 1989 and 1999, the early years of the
twenty-¬rst century have already witnessed the deployment of new mis-
sions to places such as Afghanistan (2002), Ivory Coast (2003), and Liberia

14 I elaborate this critique in Paris 2000. Recent works on peacebuilding that pay little at-
tention to the underlying assumptions of peacebuilding include Doyle and Sambanis 2000;
Cousens and Kumar 2001; Reychler and Paffenholz 2001; Stedman, Rothchild, and Cousens
2002; Fortna 2002; Howard 2002; and Caplan 2002. Many of these works offer important
insights into the challenges that peacebuilders have encountered in the ¬eld, but they do
not “problematize” the theoretical underpinnings of these operations. For a comprehensive
bibliography of pre-2000 publications on peacebuilding, see Clerc 2000.
15 Works that do consider the underlying assumptions of peacebuilding include Barnett 1995
and 1997; Debrix 1999; Pugh 2000b; Stanley and Peceny 2001; Lipson 2002; and Jakobsen
Introduction 5

(2003)16 “ and at this writing, the United States is seeking to rebuild Iraq,
a country that it occupied in the late spring of 2003. This volume does not
investigate these latter operations, not only because they were launched after
1999, the cut-off date for this study, but also because the Afghanistan and
Iraq missions followed foreign invasions of these countries. The challenges of
peacebuilding after foreign conquest are quite different from those in post“
civil war missions, particularly when the peacebuilders are the conquering
powers themselves. So while it is essential to apply the lessons of the 1990s
to new and future operations, this book focuses on a particular category of
peacebuilding missions “ those deployed in the aftermath of internal wars “
and the lessons of these missions do not apply automatically, or directly, to
other types of operations.17

The Argument of This Book
My thesis is straightforward. Peacebuilding missions in the 1990s were
guided by a generally unstated but widely accepted theory of con¬‚ict manage-
ment: the notion that promoting “liberalization” in countries that had re-
cently experienced civil war would help to create the conditions for a stable
and lasting peace. In the political realm, liberalization means democrati-
zation, or the promotion of periodic and genuine elections, constitutional
limitations on the exercise of governmental power, and respect for basic
civil liberties, including freedom of speech, assembly, and conscience. In the
economic realm, liberalization means marketization, or movement toward
a market-oriented economic model, including measures aimed at minimiz-
ing government intrusion in the economy, and maximizing the freedom for
private investors, producers, and consumers to pursue their respective eco-
nomic interests. Although the fourteen peacebuilding operations launched
between 1989 and 1999 varied in many respects, their most striking simi-
larity is that they all sought to transform war-shattered states into “liberal
market democracies” as quickly as possible.
Underlying the design and practice of these operations was the hope and
expectation that democratization would shift societal con¬‚icts away from the
battle¬eld and into the peaceful arena of electoral politics, thereby replacing
the breaking of heads with the counting of heads; and that marketization
would promote sustainable economic growth, which would also help to
reduce tensions. Peacebuilding, in this sense, was a speci¬c kind of social

16 The 2003 mission to Liberia (the United Nations Mission in Liberia, or UNMIL) should not
be confused with the operation that was launched in 1993 (the United Nations Observer
Mission in Liberia, or UNOMIL), which ended in 1997 and is analyzed in Chapter 5.
17 Because Afghanistan had been suffering from its own civil war prior to the U.S. intervention,
I shall brie¬‚y discuss the early results of peacebuilding in that country in Chapter 11.

engineering, based on a particular set of assumptions about how best to
establish durable domestic peace.
However, this approach turned out to be more problematic than antici-
pated. If the test of “successful” peacebuilding is simply whether large-scale
con¬‚ict resumed in the aftermath of a peacebuilding mission, then most
of the operations conducted in the 1990s were successful, because in all
but three cases (Angola, Rwanda, and Liberia), large-scale hostilities have
not resumed. But if we use instead the standard of success articulated by
Ko¬ Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali “ namely, the establishment of a
“sustainable” peace, or a peace that will endure long after the peacebuilders
depart from the country “ then the picture becomes less favorable.18 As we
shall see, international efforts to transform war-shattered states have, in a
number of cases, inadvertently exacerbated societal tensions or reproduced
conditions that historically fueled violence in these countries. The very strat-
egy that peacebuilders have employed to consolidate peace “ political and
economic liberalization “ seems, paradoxically, to have increased the likeli-
hood of renewed violence in several of these states.
Peacebuilders apparently believed that democratization and marketiza-
tion would foster domestic peace; and, as it happens, there is a large body
of empirical scholarship that partially supports this belief. Students of the
“liberal peace thesis,” from John Locke to the present day, have argued that
liberally constituted states tend to be more peaceful both domestically and in
their dealings with other countries, and recent evidence has shown that well-
established market democracies are, indeed, less subject to internal violence
than other types of states.19 But it also appears that the transition from civil
con¬‚ict to a well-established market democracy is full of pitfalls: Promot-
ing democratization and marketization has the potential to stimulate higher
levels of societal competition at the very moment (immediately following
the con¬‚ict) when states are least equipped to contain such tensions within
peaceful bounds. Peacebuilders in the 1990s seemed to underestimate the
destabilizing effects of the liberalization process in the fragile circumstances
of countries just emerging from civil wars. Their desire to turn war-torn states
into stable market democracies was not the problem; rather, the methods they
used to effect this change, including their failure to anticipate and forestall
the destabilizing effects of liberalization, proved to be the Achilles™ heel of
I call the belief that democratization and marketization will foster peace in
war-shattered states “Wilsonianism” “ after Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-
eighth president of the United States, who believed that liberalism was the key
to peace and security in both international and domestic politics. Democracy,
he wrote, promotes the “ascendancy of reason over passion” and promises

18 See Chapter 3 for a discussion of standards for evaluating peacebuilding.
19 For example, Rummel 1997. See Chapter 2 for more references to this literature.
Introduction 7

“the supreme and peaceful rule of counsel,” or rational debate, which is a
recipe for “peace and progress” in political life.20 Drawing on these ideas,
Wilson insisted that the only way to establish a durable peace in Europe
after the First World War was to emancipate the various nationalities that
lived under authoritarian rule and to open the conduct of international rela-
tions to public scrutiny. Until the nationalities, or “peoples,” of Eastern and
Central Europe were permitted to exercise their right to self-government, he
argued, unrequited grievances would continue to foment new con¬‚icts. Any
attempt to build peace that did not “recognize and accept the principle that
governments derive all their just powers from the consent of the governed”
was bound to fail.21 Only a peace “planted on the tested foundations of
political liberty” would be likely to endure.22
Peacebuilding missions in the 1990s reproduced Wilson™s faith in the
peace-producing powers of liberalization. This faith proved to be overly
optimistic in Central and Eastern Europe after World War I, where tensions
remained and ¬ghting resumed, and also seems to be an overly optimistic for-
mula for peacebuilding in the post“Cold War era. The purpose of this book,
however, is not to reject the Wilsonian peacebuilding strategy in its entirety,
but to expose the weaknesses of the naive version of Wilsonianism that in-
formed the missions of the 1990s. Indeed, I shall argue that peacebuilders
should preserve the broad goal of converting war-shattered states into lib-
eral market democracies, because well-established liberal market democra-
cies tend to be peaceful in both their domestic affairs and their relations with
other states. The challenge, however, is to devise methods of achieving this
Wilsonian goal without endangering the very peace that the liberalization
process is supposed to consolidate. To this end, I shall propose a new peace-
building strategy called “Institutionalization Before Liberalization,” which
begins from the premise that democratization and marketization are inher-
ently tumultuous transformations that have the potential to undermine a
fragile peace.
The new strategy would seek to minimize the destabilizing effects of liber-
alization in several ways. First, peacebuilders should delay the introduction
of democratic and market-oriented reforms until a rudimentary network of
domestic institutions, capable of managing the strains of liberalization, have
been established. Second, once these institutions are in place, peacebuilders
should manage the democratization and marketization process as a series of
incremental and deliberate steps, rather than immediately unleashing polit-
ical and economic competition. The strategy contains many other elements,
but its core principle is this: What is needed in the immediate postcon¬‚ict pe-
riod is not quick elections, democratic ferment, or economic “shock therapy”
but a more controlled and gradual approach to liberalization, combined with

20 21 Quoted in Knock 1992, p. 121.
Wilson 1968, p. 90.
22 Quoted in Pomerance 1976, p. 2.

the immediate building of governmental institutions that can manage these
political and economic reforms.
Institutionalization Before Liberalization may, at ¬rst glance, seem more
costly and time-consuming than the “quick and dirty” approach to liberaliza-
tion that predominated in the 1990s. However, the potentially higher expense
and longer duration of such operations must be weighed against the costs,
both in human lives and material resources, that would follow a recurrence
of large-scale violence. This strategy may also appear to be contrary to the
goal of promoting market democracy, because it calls upon peacebuilders to
delay the liberalization of political and economic life during the ¬rst, fragile
period of postwar reconstruction. The objective of this approach, however,
is ultimately to achieve more successful transitions to market democracy in
countries that are vulnerable to the destabilizing effects of rapid liberaliza-
tion, and thus to establish a more durable peace. If, as I argue, pervasive civil
con¬‚ict poses one of the principal threats to human welfare and global secu-
rity in the post“Cold War era, and the prevailing approach to peacebuilding
is ¬‚awed, then new policies for more effective peacebuilding are warranted.

Bridging Theory and Practice
The book speaks simultaneously to scholars and practitioners of peacebuild-
ing, and to others interested in the challenges of managing civil violence. The
central ¬nding “ that implementing liberalization too quickly and in the ab-
sence of effective institutions can counteract efforts to consolidate peace “
has immediate implications for policymakers in national governments and
international organizations who have the primary responsibility for design-
ing peacebuilding operations. Yet this is not simply a work of policy analysis
or policy prescription, for it raises questions that scholars of international
relations and comparative politics have yet to explore in depth. In what ways,
for example, might the transition to market democracy imperil domestic
peace, particularly in the immediate aftermath of civil con¬‚ict? The liberal-
ization process itself, I shall argue, can give rise to several different “patholo-
gies” that may occur in any state undergoing such a transition. Peacebuilding
host states are particularly susceptible to these problems because of the dis-
tinctive characteristics of societies that have recently experienced internecine
violence “ characteristics that will be described in Chapter 9 “ and, as we
shall see, the Institutionalization Before Liberalization strategy is speci¬cally
designed to anticipate and avert these pathologies.
This volume also contributes to ongoing debates over the liberal peace the-
sis. As noted, supporters of this thesis have long argued that liberal states tend
to be more peaceful than other kinds of states. Unlike their Enlightenment-
era predecessors, however, contemporary contributors to this literature have
tended to “bracket” or ignore the question of how to build market democ-
racies in conditions where governmental institutions do not exist or are only
Introduction 9

fragmentary.23 As a result, we have learned a great deal from this literature
about the bene¬ts of market democracy once it is established, but very little
about the war-proneness of states undergoing this transition, particularly in
the immediate aftermath of internal violence. This book uses the record of
peacebuilding to investigate this little-explored branch of the liberal peace
thesis: the relationship between liberalization, institution building, and peace
in countries that are just emerging from civil con¬‚ict.
In addition to addressing the speci¬c concerns of both practitioners and
theorists of con¬‚ict management, this book seeks to break down the arti¬cial
separation between those who study “theory” and those who focus on the
“real world” problems of policy analysis and implementation. Too often, the
practitioners of peacebuilding dismiss academic theorizing as overly abstract
and detached from the practical challenges of running ¬eld operations. At
the same time, many theorists of international relations and comparative
politics make too little effort to translate their ¬ndings into recommendations
for policymakers. This volume, by contrast, aims to set out and scrutinize
the theoretical foundations of peacebuilding, and in so doing, to diagnose
problems in the design and practice of these operations that might otherwise
go undetected.

Organization of the Book
At War™s End is divided into three parts. Part I (“Foundations”) examines
the political and ideological origins of peacebuilding, and investigates the
assumptions that underpin these operations. Chapter 1 traces the history
of peacebuilding and the resurgence of Wilsonian approaches to con¬‚ict
management at the end of the Cold War. Chapter 2 examines historical and
contemporary scholarship on the liberal peace thesis, arguing that many
important questions remain unanswered, including the question of whether
marketization and democratization offer a reliable remedy for civil con¬‚ict.
Part II (“The Peacebuilding Record”) evaluates the effects of interna-
tionally sponsored liberalization efforts in eleven peacebuilding missions de-
ployed between 1989 and 1998. Chapter 3 explains the methodology and
scope of the case studies. Chapters 4 through 8 examine the effects of democ-
ratization and marketization in Namibia, Nicaragua, Angola, Cambodia, El
Salvador, Mozambique, Liberia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Guatemala.
Three post-1998 operations “ in Kosovo, East Timor, and Sierra Leone “ are
discussed later in the book and in more provisional terms, because of their
relative recentness.
Part III (“Problems and Solutions”) describes the shortcomings of rapid
liberalization as a peacebuilding strategy during the 1990s and recommends
a new approach for future operations. Chapter 9 summarizes the ¬ndings of

23 See Chapter 2.

the case studies and explains why liberalization has sometimes had destabi-
lizing effects on peacebuilding host states. Chapter 10 elaborates the “Insti-
tutionalization Before Liberalization” strategy and responds to several pos-
sible critiques of this approach. Chapter 11 examines the record of missions
launched after 1998, and explores the logistical and political challenges to
reforming peacebuilding in the future.
part i


The Origins of Peacebuilding

As the Cold War was coming to a close in 1989, the United Nations launched
its ¬rst major peacebuilding mission in Namibia, following the negotiation
of a peace settlement in that country™s decades-long civil war. At that time,
few observers predicted that postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding would become an
international growth industry, but over the next decade, operations were
deployed to no fewer than thirteen other territories that were just emerging
from internal con¬‚icts.
Ostensibly, these missions provided “technical assistance” to local actors
in war-torn countries “ assistance aimed at preventing the recurrence of vio-
lence and establishing a stable and lasting peace. In practice, however, these
operations were more than merely technical (or ideologically neutral) exer-
cises in con¬‚ict management. As we shall see, they all promoted a particular
model of political and economic organization: liberal market democracy.
Why did peacebuilders embrace democratization and marketization as stra-
tegies for preventing renewed violence? And why did this brand of peace-
building proliferate so rapidly in the 1990s? Answers to both of these ques-
tions can be found in the peculiar political and ideological conditions that
prevailed at the end of the Cold War, when peacebuilding came into being.

The Cold War™s End and the Rise of Peacebuilding
During the Cold War, the UN™s main security activity was “peacekeeping,”
which typically involved the deployment of a lightly armed military force
to monitor a cease-¬re or patrol neutral buffer zones between former com-
batants.1 The ¬rst major peacekeeping operation was deployed to Egypt
in 1956, following the invasion of that country by Britain, France, and
Israel. With the agreement of all of the parties, including Egypt and the

1 See the Appendix of this chapter for a glossary of key terms, including “peacekeeping” and


invading countries, the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) oversaw
the departure of foreign forces from Egyptian territory, and then took up
positions along the Egypt-Israel border. UNEF was prohibited from using
force (except in self-defense) and from interfering in the domestic politics
of Egypt. The mission™s mandate clearly stated that UNEF should “refrain
from any activity of a political character in a Host State” and in no way
“in¬‚uence the military balance in the present con¬‚ict and, thereby, the polit-
ical balance affecting efforts to settle the con¬‚ict.”2 An “after action” report
written two years later by then“UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold
reiterated the importance of these principles to the mission™s success: Any
future peacekeeping operations, he argued, “must be separate and dis-
tinct from activities by national authorities,” and must limit their role
to addressing the “external [that is, international] aspects of the political
situation,” or else “United Nations units might run the risk of getting
involved in differences with local authorities or [the] public or in inter-
nal con¬‚icts which would be highly detrimental to the effectiveness of the
The principles that guided UNEF in Egypt provided a template for future
peacekeeping operations conducted during the Cold War, including missions
in Cyprus and Lebanon and on the India-Pakistan border. Most of these
operations involved lightly armed contingents deployed to monitor cease-
¬res and prohibited from intruding in the domestic affairs of the host states.
The mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), for instance,
stated bluntly that “UNIFIL, like any other United Nations peacekeeping
operation, cannot and must not take on responsibilities which fall under the
Government of the country in which it is operating.”4
Before 1989, only two UN operations deviated from these “traditional”
principles of peacekeeping. The ¬rst was an ill-fated mission to the former
Belgian Congo in the early 1960s, which set out to provide the government
of the newly independent Republic of Congo with limited security assis-
tance, but got caught in a power struggle between the president and prime
minister, and ultimately took over many of the functions of the Congolese
government, including the task of forcibly suppressing a revolt in one of
the country™s provinces. The second was the United Nations Security Force

2 “Regulations for the United Nations Emergency Force” (February 20, 1957) and “Second
and Final Report of the Secretary-General on the Plan for an Emergency International United
Nations Force,” November 6, 1956 (UN doc. A/3302), reprinted in Siekmann 1989, pp. 40
and 4.
3 “Report of the Secretary General: Summary Study of the Experience Derived from the Es-
tablishment and Operation of the Force,” October 9, 1958 (UN doc. A/3943), reprinted in
Siekmann 1989, p. 52.
4 “Report of the Secretary-General on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 425,”
March 19, 1978 (UN doc. S/12611), reprinted in Siekmann 1989, p. 216.
The Origins of Peacebuilding 15

in western New Guinea, which governed the territory from October 1962
to April 1963, between the end of Dutch colonial rule and the territory™s
transfer to Indonesian sovereignty.5
Apart from these two exceptions, peacekeepers went to great lengths to
stay out of domestic politics, for several reasons. First, the United Nations
Charter “ the legal basis for UN peacekeeping “ expressly prohibited the or-
ganization from intervening in matters “essentially within the domestic juris-
diction of any state.”6 Second, expanding the role of peacekeepers beyond the
relatively limited task of monitoring a cease-¬re would have required a more
intrusive role for international personnel than the parties to a con¬‚ict were
normally willing to accept. Third, the permanent members of the Security
Council “ including the Cold War enemies, the United States and the Soviet
Union “ were generally opposed to UN involvement in the domestic affairs
of their respective allies and client states. Both the Soviets and Americans
were concerned with maintaining the integrity of their own spheres of in-
¬‚uence and did so partly by insulating these spheres from outside med-
dling. Achieving Security Council agreement for the deployment of a new
peacekeeping mission was therefore possible only when both veto-wielding
“superpowers” believed that their strategic interests were not threatened. In
cases where civil unrest endangered the stability of a client state, the super-
powers typically preferred to deal with these situations directly, rather than
through the United Nations, in order to maintain greater control over the
Fourth and ¬nally, even if the Soviets and Americans saw little threat to
their strategic interests, Cold War ideological differences made it impossible
for the United Nations to promote any particular model of domestic gover-
nance within the borders of individual states. The United States and most
of its allies promoted liberal democracy and market-oriented economics,
whereas the Soviet bloc championed a different version of democracy “
communist “people™s democracy” “ which emphasized public rather than
private ownership of the means of production and control of the state by a
vanguard communist party on behalf of the working class. Some developing
countries espoused their own brand of “guided” or “developmental” democ-
racy, which rejected both the competitiveness of liberal market democracy
and the class orientation of communist people™s democracy, and instead ad-
vocated single-party rule as a means of carrying out the “general will” and
of promoting national unity and economic development. So while support
for democracy was nearly universally shared among UN members during
the Cold War, there was fundamental and heated disagreement over the

5 The administrative arm of the operation was known as the Temporary Executive Authority
6 Article 2(7) of the UN Charter.

meaning of democracy itself, which in practice prevented the organization
from promoting any particular model of democracy as the “proper” model
and reinforced the tendency of UN of¬cials to distance themselves from
questions of domestic politics.
“As a universal organization neutral in big Power struggles over ideol-
ogy and in¬‚uence,” wrote Hammarskjold in 1960, the UN™s impartiality
on matters of ideology and domestic governance allows the organization to
“render service which can be received without suspicion.”7 In all of these
ways, the political and ideological conditions of the Cold War era helped
to restrict the functional scope of peacekeeping to narrowly de¬ned and
predominantly military tasks, such as cease-¬re observation, and worked to
limit the involvement of these operations in domestic affairs.

Many of these conditions changed suddenly when the Cold War ended in the
late 1980s and early 1990s. With the decline in East-West tensions, neither
the Soviet Union (later Russia) nor the United States was willing to maintain
Cold War levels of military and economic assistance to their respective allies,
particularly in parts of the world that were now perceived to be strategically
inconsequential, such as sub-Saharan Africa. This allowed international or-
ganizations, including the UN, to become more directly involved in efforts
to bring an end to several long-standing con¬‚icts. The erstwhile rival super-
powers, seeking to disengage themselves from costly foreign commitments,
were now quite happy to have international agencies assume responsibility
for these tasks.
The end of the Cold War not only created new opportunities for medi-
ation in countries that had been proxy battlegrounds for the superpowers;
it also sparked new civil con¬‚icts in several other countries. Some regimes,
such as those of Zaire and Somalia, had depended on foreign aid in order
to monopolize political power in their countries by doling out patronage
and ruling with an iron ¬st. When the ¬‚ow of external aid diminished, their
ability to squelch internal dissent slipped away and long-suppressed resent-
ments came to the fore, sometimes violently. Perhaps the most vivid example
of this phenomenon was Somalia, where the government of Said Barre was
driven from of¬ce by its political enemies, who ultimately fought among
themselves in what became an enduring and brutal civil con¬‚ict that blurred
the boundaries between warfare and criminal violence. Meanwhile, dormant
ethnic tensions reasserted themselves and sparked internecine violence across
a band of formerly communist states stretching from Yugoslavia through
the Caucasus to Central Asia. With Russia and the United States no longer
willing to devote the resources and energy that would be needed to rehabil-
itate these “failed states,” such international organizations as the United
Nations were increasingly called upon to take action, particularly when

7 Quoted in Urquhart 1972, pp. 458“459.
The Origins of Peacebuilding 17

humanitarian crises in these states drew the attention of the international
For all of these reasons, the “demand” for new multilateral peace opera-
tions swelled at the end of the Cold War. Simultaneously, the United Nations
and other international organizations were more willing and able to “sup-
ply” these new missions, and a new collegiality in the UN Security Council
raised the possibility of reaching consensus (or at least avoiding vetoes) on
proposals to deploy new operations to countries that were experiencing, or
just recovering from, civil con¬‚icts. The result of this combined growth in
demand and supply was a sharp rise in the number of multilateral missions
launched in the years immediately following the Cold War. In the decade
from 1989 to 1999, the United Nations deployed thirty-three peace opera-
tions, more than double the ¬fteen missions that the organization conducted
in the four preceding decades.
Some of the UN™s new operations undertook tasks that resembled the
traditional peacekeeping missions of the Cold War. In 1988, for example,
the organization deployed ¬fty military observers to oversee the withdrawal
of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. Although this was the ¬rst time that a
UN operation had monitored Russian forces, the nature of the assignment
itself “ verifying a cease-¬re and troop movements “ was something that the
world body had done several times before.
Other operations, however, required the United Nations to perform more
complex and less familiar tasks. In 1989, for instance, the UN was called
upon to monitor the conduct of local police and to disarm former ¬ght-
ers in Namibia, while preparing the country for its ¬rst democratic election
and assisting in the preparation of a new national constitution. These func-
tions went well beyond the constraints that had traditionally been imposed
on peacekeepers, including the prohibition on involvement in the domes-
tic affairs of host countries. In 1991, new missions were also launched in
Angola, El Salvador, Western Sahara, and Cambodia, which involved the or-
ganization of elections, human rights training and monitoring, and even (in
Cambodia) temporarily taking over the administration of an entire country.
In 1992, the UN deployed personnel to Bosnia and Somalia in the midst of
ongoing civil con¬‚icts, with the formal Security Council authorization to use
armed force for purposes other than simply self-defense “ which contrasted
with the traditional practice of deploying peacekeepers only after the ces-
sation of hostilities. Also in 1992, a new mission was sent to Mozambique
with wide-ranging responsibilities that paralleled the operations in Angola,
El Salvador, and Cambodia, including the preparation and supervision of
democratic elections.

8 On “failed states,” see Helman and Ratner 1992/93. On the role of the international media
in the creation of new peace operations, see Jakobsen 1996.

The term “peace operations” emerged as a generic label for the wide vari-
ety of missions that the UN began to conduct at this time, since many of these
interventions no longer seemed to ¬t the traditional mold of peacekeeping.
In 1992, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali issued a policy statement
entitled An Agenda for Peace that offered a new taxonomy of peace operations
for the post“Cold War era.9 Among other things, Boutros-Ghali differenti-
ated between peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and postcon¬‚ict peacebuild-
ing. Peacekeeping involved the deployment of UN military personnel to the
¬eld with mandates that largely complied with “the established principles
and practices” of traditional peacekeeping.10 Peace enforcement referred to
something relatively new: the deployment of missions that resembled peace-
keeping operations in many respects, but that were more heavily armed and
authorized to use armed force for purposes other than self-defense.11 The op-
erations in Bosnia and Somalia, both of which were authorized to use armed
force to accomplish their goals, represented early applications of the peace-
enforcement concept. The third category of peace operation “ postcon¬‚ict
peacebuilding “ sought “to identify and support structures which will tend to
strengthen and solidify peace” in the aftermath of “civil strife.”12 Boutros-
Ghali offered examples of particular tasks that peacebuilding might entail:
“disarming the previously warring parties and the restoration of order, the
custody and possible destruction of weapons, repatriating refugees, advisory
and training support for security personnel, monitoring elections, advanc-
ing efforts to protect human rights, reforming or strengthening governmen-
tal institutions and promoting formal and informal processes of political
As it turned out, most of the UN™s peace operations after 1988 focused on
the task of postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding. These missions differed from tradi-
tional peacekeeping not only in their functional complexity but also in their
composition. The United Nations had virtually monopolized the practice of
peacekeeping in the preceding decades, in part because the relatively straight-
forward tasks of traditional peacekeeping “ such as cease-¬re monitoring “
could be performed by military personnel acting largely alone. But the more
expansive and diverse functions of postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding lent themselves
to a new division of labor between the UN and other international agencies.
In some missions, for example, military tasks were delegated to the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), while various specialized agencies
of the United Nations, including the UN Development Program (UNDP),
increasingly shared authority with regional organizations, such as the Or-
ganization of American States (OAS), the European Union (EU), and the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In the realm

9 10 Ibid., p. 29.
Boutros-Ghali 1992.
11 I say “relatively” new because UN peacekeepers in the Congo operation during the Cold
War were given extraordinary enforcement powers as well. See Abi-Saab 1978.
12 13 Ibid., p. 32. See also United Nations 1996a.
Boutros-Ghali 1992, pp. 11 and 32.
The Origins of Peacebuilding 19

of economic reconstruction, important responsibilities were delegated to in-
ternational ¬nancial institutions “ the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
the World Bank, and regional development banks “ along with the EU, na-
tional development agencies, and a host of international nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs).
The precise constellation of international actors varied from one mission
to the next. Some organizations were regular participants “ in particular, the
United Nations and its specialized agencies “ while other actors made rarer
appearances, so that a distinct alphabet soup of organizational acronyms
constituted each mission. The peacebuilding operations of the 1990s, in
other words, were not “run” by the United Nations “ or by any other single
organization. Although “lead agencies” were designated for some missions
and for certain tasks, there was typically little central coordination of each
agency™s activities in the ¬eld; there was always considerable room for indi-
vidual peacebuilders to de¬ne their own objectives and initiatives.

Given the multiplicity of peacebuilding agencies and the absence of a cen-
tralized peacebuilding authority, perhaps the most remarkable feature of the
peacebuilding operations in the 1990s was that they all pursued the same
general strategy for promoting stable and lasting peace in war-shattered
states: democratization and marketization. The typical formula for peace-
building included promoting civil and political rights, such as the right
to free speech and a free press, as well as freedom of association and
movement; preparing and administering democratic elections; drafting na-
tional constitutions that codi¬ed civil and political rights; training or re-
training police and justice of¬cials in the appropriate behavior for state
functionaries in a liberal democracy; promoting the development of inde-
pendent “civil society” organizations and the transformation of formerly
warring groups into democratic political parties; encouraging the develop-
ment of free-market economies by eliminating barriers to the free ¬‚ow of
capital and goods within and across a country™s borders; and stimulating the
growth of private enterprise while reducing the state™s role in the economy.
Another recurrent feature of these operations was their emphasis on rapid de-
mocratization and marketization. Planning for elections began immediately
in every mission. Although in a few cases violence reignited before elections
could be held, in all the remaining cases, elections took place within three
years of the beginning of the operation. The same was true of economic
reform: Comprehensive marketization programs were usually initiated right
The fact that these agencies tended to promote liberalization as a rem-
edy for civil con¬‚ict re¬‚ected another major change that occurred in world
politics at the end of the Cold War: the perceived triumph of liberal mar-
ket democracy as the prevailing standard of enlightened governance across
much of the world, including places where it had been anathema only a
few years earlier. Few commentators had predicted the sudden collapse of

liberalism™s principal ideological competitor, Soviet-style communism. As
recently as the mid-1970s, one prominent American political observer, the
late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, had expressed pessimistic thoughts about
the long-term prospects of liberal democracy. “Liberal democracy on the
American model,” he wrote despondently, “increasingly tends to the condi-
tion of monarchy in the nineteenth century: a holdover form of government,
one which persists in isolated or peculiar places here and there, and may
even serve well enough for special circumstances, but which has simply no
relevance to the future. It is where the world was, not where it is going.”14
Moynihan listed the symptoms of liberal democracy™s alleged decline, in-
cluding the seeming strength of communist ideology in many parts of the
world, and the failure of liberal democratic experiments in several devel-
oping countries, such as India, the “largest and most important experiment
of all,” which temporarily abandoned democracy for dictatorship in 1975.
These developments, he argued, gave liberal democracy “a fateful air of a
transitional arrangement.”15
As it turned out, however, Moynihan™s pessimism about the future of mar-
ket democracy soon gave way to heady optimism as the Soviet bloc began to
disintegrate in the late 1980s and formerly communist countries instituted
elections. From 1990 to 1996, more than three dozen countries adopted lib-
eral democratic constitutions for the ¬rst time, raising the total number of
liberal democracies in the world from 76 to 118.16 By the mid-1990s, 61 per-
cent of the world™s countries were holding competitive, multiparty elections
for major public of¬ce, as compared with only 41 percent a decade ear-
lier.17 These developments prompted several commentators to declare that a
“democratic revolution in global politics” had taken place,18 or, in the even
loftier words of one pundit, “Democracy™s won!”19 In a much-discussed ar-
ticle, U.S. State Department of¬cial Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the “end
point in mankind™s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western
liberal democracy as the ¬nal form of human governance.”20 Although
Fukuyama seemed to overstate both the ¬nality and the extent of liberal-
ism™s new ascendancy,21 the Western liberal conception of democracy did
seem to have emerged as the “the only model of government with any broad
legitimacy and ideological appeal in the world.”22

14 15 Ibid.
Moynihan 1975, p. 6.
16 Diamond and Plattner 1996, p. ix; and Diamond 1997, p. xvi.
17 Diamond and Plattner 1996, p. ix.
18 Roberts 1990, p. ix; Gershman 1990; and Ledeen 1996.
19 20 Fukuyama 1989, p. 4.
Krauthammer 1989.
21 If history is any guide, new political and economic ideologies periodically sweep across hu-
man societies, displacing contemporary orthodoxies. On this historical tendency, see Lasswell
22 Diamond, Linz, and Lipset 1990, p. x. In the words of Manuel Pastor (1998, p. 154): “With
the Cold War™s end, the norm of free elections as the legitimate basis of governing has become
almost universal.”
The Origins of Peacebuilding 21

To be sure, the principles of political liberalism were not observed univer-
sally “ there continued to be signi¬cant pockets of resistance, both within the
Western liberal democracies (among certain groups of commentators, who
believed that “democracy” connoted not only elections and civil liberties
but also social and economic rights)23 and from the governments of a few
resolutely antidemocratic countries (such as in China, Iran, and Cuba). Fur-
thermore, some states that formally adopted democratic constitutions and
conducted elections continued to behave “illiberally” by refusing to grant
their citizens basic civil and political rights.24 But what was striking about
the post“Cold War period was the relative absence of disagreement in world
politics over the de¬nition and desirability of “democracy” itself. Whereas
during the Cold War the meaning of democracy had itself been a lightning
rod for ideological con¬‚ict, there now seemed to be widespread agreement “
even in the former Soviet bloc and in much of the developing world “ that the
liberal de¬nition of democracy (emphasizing elections and political liberties)
was the “correct” de¬nition.25
The global shift to liberal democracy took place along with an equally im-
pressive movement toward market-oriented economics. “By the mid-1990s,”
observed the Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs, “almost the entire world had
adopted the fundamental elements of a market economy, including private
ownership at the core of the economy, a currency convertible for interna-
tional trade, shared standards of commercial transactions . . . , and market-
based transactions for the bulk of the productive sectors of the economy.”26
Even such putatively socialist countries as China and Vietnam moved away
from central planning and toward marketization in the aftermath of the
Cold War.
One indication of this economic revolution emerges from the Economic
Freedom of the World report for the year 2000.27 The report, sponsored by
¬fty-¬ve economic research institutions, annually rates the economic open-
ness of most countries in the world on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the
most open. Every country (for which data was available) is assigned a score,
based on the composite index of economic openness, for each year from 1970
to 1997. According to these ¬gures, economic openness declined by an av-
erage of 9.9 percent in 1970“1975, increased at just over 2 percent in 1975“
1980 and 1980“1985, and rose by 4 percent in 1985“1990, re¬‚ecting the
trend toward market-oriented economic reform in many parts of the world
during this period. But in 1990“1995, the increase in economic openness
was striking, with average scores climbing by over 16 percent. In the words
of Claude Ake, market-oriented economics quickly became “something

23 For example, Hyland 1995; Robinson 1996; and Peeler 1998. See also Gould 1988.
24 On the phenomenon of “illiberal democracies,” see Zakaria 1997 and 2003.
25 Schmitter and Karl 1991, p. 75; Armijo, Biersteker, and Lowenthal 1994, p. 161; and Held
1998, p. 11.
26 27 Gwartney and Lawson 2000.
Sachs 1999, p. 98. See also Gilpin 2000, p. 15.

close to a global theology” in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War.28
This was the political and ideological milieu in which the ¬rst ¬‚urry of peace-
building operations were launched at the very end of the Cold War “ and it
was the context that shaped the design and conduct of these operations in
fundamental ways, as we shall see.

The Agents of Peacebuilding
When faced with the task of postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding, the world™s leading
international organizations seemed almost predisposed to adopt strategies
promoting liberal market democracy as a remedy for con¬‚ict. Many of these
organizations had, in fact, become active and vocal proponents of liberal
democracy, market-oriented economics, or both, at the end of the Cold War.
This ideological reorientation took place not only in the United Nations but
also in other major organizations “ including the UN™s specialized agencies,
the OSCE, the EU, NATO, the OAS, the IMF and World Bank, national
development agencies, and many international NGOs engaged in relief and
development tasks “ in short, the principal practitioners of peacebuilding.

United Nations
The UN had been nominally committed to upholding the principles of rep-
resentative democracy since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was
adopted by the General Assembly in 1948, stating that “everyone has the
right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through
freely chosen representatives” and that the “will of the people . . . expressed
in periodic and genuine elections . . . shall be the basis of the authority of gov-
ernment.”29 In practice, however, Cold War disagreements effectively turned
the organization into a “battleground between two opposing ideologies and
power blocs,”30 which prevented the UN from emphasizing its commitment
to the principles of representative democracy and civil rights.31 But a re-
markable change took place within the organization at the end of the Cold
War. “Suddenly,” writes Carl Gershman, the provisions of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights relating to democracy were “dusted off and
presented to the international community as the foundation for a new world
The turning point came in 1989, with the launching of a UN mission to
Namibia that set a number of precedents for the world body: For the ¬rst
time, a UN ¬eld operation not only observed a cease-¬re but also actively
assisted in the creation of democratic political institutions within a sovereign

28 Ake 1997, p. 287.
29 Article 21. A similar passage also appears in Article 25 of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights.
30 31 Forsythe 1996, p. 111. 32 Gershman 1993, p. 9.
Jakobson 1993, p. 23.
The Origins of Peacebuilding 23

state. Shortly thereafter, the organization created a permanent Electoral As-
sistance Division to provide countries making the transition to democracy
with technical advice and outside observers for the holding of elections.33
The General Assembly underscored the organization™s more active support
for representative democracy by passing a resolution in December 1991
declaring that “periodic and genuine elections” are a “crucial factor in the
effective enjoyment . . . of a wide range of other human rights.”34 The UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights also began to provide states with
advice on electoral laws and other election-related legislation, and helped to
train public of¬cials ¬lling key roles in the administration of national elec-
tions.35 Further, in April 1999, the United Nations Commission on Human
Rights, which had been one of the principal ideological battlegrounds of
the Cold War, adopted a resolution af¬rming that “democracy fosters the
full realization of all human rights” and de¬ning democracy in clearly
Western-liberal terms, emphasizing elections and civil liberties in particu-
lar.36 The resolution passed by a vote of 51“0 with two abstentions: China
and Cuba.
The UN Development Program, the world™s largest multilateral grant-
making agency, also embraced the goal of democratization after the Cold
War. Although the UNDP™s mandate was to promote “sustainable human de-
velopment,” primarily through measures aimed at eradicating poverty,37 in
the early 1990s the agency began to argue that the promotion of “good gov-
ernance” in developing countries could help to achieve this goal. According

33 As of July 2002, the Unit had received formal requests from a total of 103 member states for
electoral support. (“Member States™ Requests for Electoral Assistance to the United Na-
tions System,” http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/ead/assistance by country/ea assistance.htm,
accessed in May 2003.)
34 UN General Assembly Resolution 46/137 of December 17, 1991, “Enhancing the Effective-
ness of the Principle of Periodic and Genuine Elections,” reprinted in United Nations 1992,
pp. 588“589.
35 “Support by the United Nations System of the Efforts of Governments to Promote and
Consolidate New or Restored Democracies,” UN document A/53/554, October 29, 1998,
para. 37.
36 UN Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1999/57 (April 27, 1999). According to the
resolution, democratic rights include: “(a) The rights to freedom of opinion and expression,
of thought, conscience and religion, and of peaceful association and assembly; (b) The right
to freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media; (c) The
rule of law, including legal protection of citizens™ rights, interests and personal security, and
fairness in the administration of justice and independence of the judiciary; (d) The right
of universal and equal suffrage, as well as free voting procedures and periodic and free
elections; (e) The right of political participation, including equal opportunity for all citizens
to become candidates; (f) Transparent and accountable government institutions; (g) The right
of citizens to choose their governmental system through constitutional or other democratic
means; [and] (h) The right to equal access to public service in one™s own country.”
37 United Nations Development Program, “Mission Statement,” http://www.undp.org/info/
discover/mission.html, accessed in March 2002.

to the UNDP, good governance meant “the exercise of economic, political
and administrative authority” in ways that are “participatory, transparent
and accountable.”38 In practice, this de¬nition included support for demo-
cratic elections, which the agency views as “a major mechanism to promote
accountability.”39 The promotion of good governance could also include
efforts to help “establish and operate” national executive, legislative and
judicial institutions in developing countries, on the grounds that

[s]ound national and local legislatures and judiciaries are critical for creating and
maintaining enabling environments for eradicating poverty. Legislatures mediate dif-
fering interests and debate and establish policies, laws and resources priorities that
directly affect people-centered development. Electoral bodies and processes ensure
independent and transparent elections for legislatures. Judiciaries uphold the rule of
law, bringing security and predictability to social, political and economic relations.40

For these reasons “ and because the UNDP believes that “democracy,
human rights, and good governance are indivisible” “ the agency came to
view the promotion of good governance as one of its central goals.41 In
the period 1997“2000, for example, the UNDP devoted 46 percent of its
regular budgetary resources to good-governance programs, such as training
election personnel in the Philippines and helping elected of¬cials in Gambia
to implement the administrative and legislative provisions of their country™s
new democratic constitution.42
If there were any doubts that the UN had, in fact, embraced a distinctly
Western-liberal conception of democracy, the organization™s post“Cold War
secretaries-general “ Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Ko¬ Annan “ dispelled these
doubts in their public statements. In 1996, Boutros-Ghali de¬ned a democ-
racy as a state that observed the following principles:

that the will of the people is the basis of governmental authority; that all indi-
viduals have a right to take part in government; that there shall be periodic and
genuine elections; that power changes hands through popular suffrage rather than
intimidation or force; that political opponents and minorities have the right to ex-
press their views; and that there can be loyal and legal opposition to the Government
in power.43

In 2000, Ko¬ Annan similarly described the “principle of democracy” as “the
right of all people to take part in the government of their country through
free and regular elections.”44 Such endorsements of liberal democracy by
the UN secretary-general would have been virtually unthinkable during the

38 39 UNDP 2000c, chap. 5. 40 UNDP 1997, p. 14.
UNDP 1997, pp. 2“3.
41 Cheema 1999.
42 UNDP 2000a. For an overview of the UNDP™s role in promoting democracy in peacebuilding
operations, see Santiso 2002.
43 44 Annan 2000.
Boutros-Ghali 1996, para. 21. See also Boutros-Ghali 1994.
The Origins of Peacebuilding 25

Cold War. Yet, as Annan characterized the UN™s new values and priorities:
“Support for democratization has become one of our major concerns.”45

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
A similar evolution took place in the Organization for Security and Coop-
eration in Europe. Prior to 1990, members of the OSCE (which was then
known as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, or CSCE)
operated on the principle of “respecting each other™s right freely to choose
and develop its political, social, economic and cultural systems as well as
its right to determine its laws and regulations.”46 This meant that all forms
of government “ both democratic and nondemocratic “ enjoyed equal legit-
imacy within the organization. But after popular revolutions swept across
Eastern Europe in 1989, the organization passed a resolution in June 1990
declaring that “the development of societies based on pluralistic democracy
and the rule of law are prerequisites for progress in setting up the lasting or-
der of peace, security, justice, and cooperation that they seek to establish in
Europe.”47 To minimize ambiguity, the resolution included a list of speci¬c
governmental structures and processes that the organization would promote,
including representative government in which the executive is accountable
to the voters, either directly or through the elected legislature; the duty of
government to act in compliance with the constitution and laws; a clear sep-
aration between the state and political parties; a commitment to consider
and adopt legislation through regular public procedures; publication of reg-
ulations as a condition of their validity; effective means of redress against
administrative decisions and the provision to the person affected of infor-
mation about the remedies available; an independent judiciary; and various
requirements in the area of criminal procedure.48
The OSCE™s democracy-promoting functions were concentrated in a new
Of¬ce for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), based in
Warsaw, with a mandate to help OSCE-participating states “to ensure full
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, to abide by the rule
of law, to promote principles of democracy and . . . to build, strengthen and
protect democratic institutions as well as promote democracy throughout so-
ciety.”49 In its ¬eld missions, ODIHR drafted rules and regulations for demo-
cratic elections (primarily in the countries of the former Soviet bloc), trained
election observers and administrators, conducted voter education pro-
grams, and encouraged grassroots political organization in states undergoing

45 Annan 1997.
46 This is one of the ten “guiding principles” set out in the Helsinki Final Act, which was signed
by members of the CSCE in August 1975. Cited in Kritz 1993, p. 19.
47 48 This summary is drawn from Kritz 1993, pp. 19“20.
CSCE 1990, p. 1307.
49 ODIHR website, http://www.osce.org/odihr/about.htm, accessed in August 2000.

the transition to democracy.50 In 1999 alone, ODIHR conducted more than
¬fty projects in twenty countries, and sent more than nineteen hundred ob-
servers to monitor elections in eleven states.51

European Union
During the Cold War, the European Union™s efforts to promote democracy
beyond its borders were limited and haphazard,52 but since the early 1990s,
the organization has been actively engaged in fostering democracy in other
parts of Europe and overseas. First, in Europe, negotiations aimed at induct-
ing new states into the EU have included express requirements for candidate
countries in Eastern Europe to consolidate their transitions to democracy
and institutionalize civil liberties and the rule of law, among other things.53
Economic liberalism is also a condition of joining the EU, with candidate
states being required to have a “functioning market economy.”54 It appears,
in fact, that these conditions have strongly reinforced the consolidation of
transitional democracies in Eastern Europe that are seeking to demonstrate
their suitability for membership in the Union.55
Second, in the Balkans, the EU has been deeply engaged in the peacebuild-
ing operations in Bosnia and Kosovo. In Bosnia, one of the organization™s
primary goals has been “to establish functioning institutions and a viable
democracy, based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.”56 It has
pursued this goal by funding independent local media, helping to draft new
laws for Bosnia that are compatible with European Union standards, and
supporting a commission whose tasks include enforcing the human rights
provisions of the Bosnian constitution.57 In Kosovo, where the EU is by far
the largest external donor agency, the organization has focused on develop-
ing a “modern market economy” in the territory, a task that it shares with
the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.58
Third, in its relations with countries beyond Europe, the EU has not
only funded democracy-promotion programs but also imposed increasingly

50 Diamond 1995, p. 35; Franck 2000, p. 38; and the following ODIHR websites: http://
www.osce.org/odihr/democratization.htm, and http://www.osce.org/odihr/unit-eassistance.
htm, accessed in August 2000.
51 ODIHR website, http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections.htm, accessed in August 2000.
52 Youngs 2001b, p. 2.
53 These criteria were determined at the EU™s Copenhagen European Council in June 1993,
reproduced in the website of the European Parliament, http://www.europarl.eu.int/enlarge-
ment/ec/cop en.htm, accessed in May 2003.
54 55 Kopstein and Reilly 2000. 56 European Union 2001.
57 European Union 2000a.
58 European Union 2000b. For more on the division of institutional responsibilities in the
Kosovo operation, see Chapter 10. Since 1999, the EU™s activities in the Balkans have been
guided in part by the provisions of the Stability Pact for South East Europe, which include
the goals of democratization and marketization in Bosnia and Kosovo (see Bartlett and
Samardˇ ija 2000).
The Origins of Peacebuilding 27

stringent conditions on states with which it negotiates commercial agree-
ments. Revisions in 1989 were made in the Lom´ Convention “ an agreement
between the EU and developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean “
requiring these states to respect human rights as a condition of the agree-
ment. A further revision in 1995 provided for the suspension of agreements
with states that failed to “respect . . . democratic principles and fundamental
human rights.”59 Under these arrangements, the EU suspended trade and
aid relations with several countries in the 1990s, including Lesotho in 1994,
Niger and Sierra Leone in 1996, and Cameroon in 1997.60 Although some
commentators have accused the EU of failing to implement these provisions
fully and consistently across all states with which it has trade and aid rela-
tionships,61 the European Union nevertheless emerged as one of the world™s
most vigorous promoters of democracy in the 1990s.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The North Atlantic Treaty, signed in 1949, formally committed NATO to
upholding “the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of
law.”62 During the Cold War, the organization™s pursuit of this goal was
limited to the defense of liberal democracies of Western Europe against the
threat of hostilities with the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. NATO
did not, in other words, actively promote democracy in states outside the area
of the alliance itself. The demise of the Soviet Union, however, profoundly
altered the strategic landscape of Europe. The likelihood of a military attack
upon NATO suddenly seemed very remote, but at the same time a new prob-
lem emerged: Long-suppressed tensions threatened to erupt into violence in
parts of the former communist bloc, including in nearby Yugoslavia, which
collapsed into civil war in 1991. In response to these shifting circumstances,
NATO began to reorient its activities. In June 1992, NATO foreign ministers
decided that the alliance could make available its resources and expertise in
support of the OSCE™s con¬‚ict-resolution efforts in the former communist
Since then, NATO has accepted primary responsibility for implement-
ing the military aspects of the Bosnian and Kosovo peace accords, missions
that aim, among other things, to establish functioning democratic institu-
tions in these war-shattered Balkan territories. Furthermore, when NATO
established the Partnership for Peace program in 1994 “ a framework for
cooperation between NATO and the members of the former Warsaw Pact
organization, along with other states “ the alliance imposed the condition
that any state joining the program had to commit itself “to the preservation

59 60 Youngs 2001a, p. 19.
Quoted in Youngs 2001b, p. 35.
61 62 North Atlantic Treaty, preamble.
For example, Olsen 2002; and Kubicek 2002.
63 Barrett 1996, p. 145. For an overview of changes in NATO™s mission since the end of the
Cold War, see Rader 1996; and Kaufman 2002.

of democratic societies.”64 Democracy is also a condition for gaining full
membership in the organization.65 In these various ways, NATO became
directly involved in the promotion of democracy in countries outside its

Organization of American States
Like the UN, the Organization of American States has always been consti-
tutionally committed to upholding representative democracy,66 but until the
1990s, the organization™s efforts to enforce this commitment were, in the
words of one commentator, “modest and episodic at best.”67 In June 1991,
however, the OAS membership passed a resolution calling for “the immedi-
ate convocation of a meeting . . . in the event of any occurrences giving rise to
the sudden or irregular interruption of the democratic political institutional
process or the legitimate exercise of power by the democratically elected
government of any of the Organization™s member states.”68 The adoption of
this resolution signaled the start of a new period of activism in the promotion
and defense of democratic governance by the OAS.69 The organization has
since monitored elections in Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Paraguay, and
Surinam, and imposed sanctions following antidemocratic coups in Haiti
and Peru.70
At the same time, the OAS also established a new Unit for the Promotion
of Democracy to “provide guidance and support to the member states to
strengthen their democratic institutions and procedures.”71 The unit™s many
projects have included educational courses for national politicians and of-
¬cials on the workings of democracy, the coordination of OAS electoral
assistance, and local-level projects to promote dialogues between ordinary
citizens and their elected leaders in OAS member states.72 In September 2001,
members of the organization signed the Inter-American Democratic Char-
ter, reaf¬rming their commitment to promote democracy in the Americas
and to suspend the membership of any state in which an “unconstitutional
interruption of the democratic order” has occurred.73

64 65 NATO 1999.

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