. 2
( 10)


NATO 1994.
66 In the preamble to the OAS Charter, member states express their conviction that “represen-
tative democracy is an indispensable condition for the stability, peace and development of
the region.” See also Articles 3(d) and 2(b).
67 Diamond 1995, p. 36. See also Acevedo and Grossman 1996, p. 137; and Boniface 2002,
p. 365.
68 Resolution AG/Res. 1080 (XXI-0/91), cited in Franck 1992, pp. 65“66.
69 For an overview, see Parish and Peceny 2002.
70 See Schnably 2000; and Boniface 2002, pp. 365“367.
71 Unit for the Promotion of Democracy website, http://www.upd.oas.org/Introduction/
aboutus.htm, accessed in March 2002.
72 OAS 2000.
73 Article 21 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, signed at Lima on September 11,
The Origins of Peacebuilding 29

Bretton Woods Institutions
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are known collec-
tively as the Bretton Woods institutions, with the World Bank itself comprised
of two main constituent units: the International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development and the International Development Association.74 Before
the 1980s, the Bretton Woods institutions had clearly different roles: The
IMF provided short-term “stabilization” loans aimed at helping countries
overcome temporary balance-of-payments problems, while the World Bank
concentrated on lending for large-scale development projects. During this
period, the International Monetary Fund frequently attached strings to its
loans; the World Bank generally did not. In particular, the IMF typically re-
quired recipient states to implement ¬scal and monetary austerity measures “
such as reductions in public spending, limits on the provision of credit, and
devaluation of the local currency “ in order to lower the rate of in¬‚ation and
restore macroeconomic balance.75
In the 1980s, however, the distinction between the respective roles of the
IMF and World Bank gradually eroded as IMF lending packages became
longer term, and as the World Bank began to impose policy conditionali-
ties on its loans that were similar to those advocated by the IMF.76 There
was also a partial convergence in their conception of what was required in
order to promote economic growth in the developing world “ sometimes
described as the “Washington consensus” “ which held that international
donors should encourage recipient states to implement economic liberaliza-
tion policies, on the grounds that deregulation and privatization of these
states™ economies would create the most propitious conditions for sustained
growth.77 Speci¬cally, both organizations began promoting “structural ad-
justment” programs in developing states, which included provisions for ¬scal
austerity and de¬‚ationary policies, privatization of state-owned enterprises,
trade liberalization, currency devaluation, and deregulation of ¬nancial and
labor markets.78 John Walton and David Seddon explain the reasoning be-
hind these policies:
Currency devaluations make Third World exports more competitive in international
trade; reduced public spending curbs in¬‚ation and saves money for debt repayment;
privatization of state-owned corporations generates more productive investment and
reduces public payrolls; elimination of protectionism and other restraints on foreign
investment lures more ef¬cient export ¬rms; cuts in public subsidies for food and
basic necessities help to “get the prices right,” bene¬ting domestic producers; wage

74 The other major units of the World Bank are the International Finance Corporation (IFC),
the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
75 76 Feinberg 1988; Polak 1997, pp. 473“493; and Krueger 1998.
Taylor 1993, pp. 41“42.
77 Williamson 1989. See also Taylor 1997.
78 Rapley 1996. See Weaver 1995 for a general description of structural adjustment, including
an overview of the main elements of the “typical” structural adjustment program.

restraints and higher interest rates reduce in¬‚ation and enhance competitiveness; and
import restrictions conserve foreign exchange for debt servicing.79

Since the end of the Cold War, structural adjustment programs sponsored
by the Bretton Woods institutions have routinely demanded that developing
states undertake not only economic liberalization but political liberalization
as well “ a policy shift that has been more evident in the World Bank than in
the IMF.80 In theory, the Bank is prohibited by its own Articles of Agreement
from interfering in “the political affairs of any member” state, and Bank of-
¬cials are required to make lending decisions only on the basis of “economic
considerations.”81 From 1990 onward, however, the World Bank has effec-
tively linked its lending to a requirement for “good governance” in recipient
states, which includes “holding those in positions of authority responsible
for their actions through the rule of law and due process rather than by
administrative ¬at” and “giving citizens a voice in governmental decisions
and activities “ not only through voting and representation but also through
direct involvement in shaping and implementing programs that affect their
lives and well-being.”82
Although the Bank claims that it does not seek to impose any particular
form of government on developing states, its conception of “good gover-
nance” (like that of the UN Development Program) nevertheless implies
support for the principles of limited government and popular accountabil-
ity through elections, which are central elements in the Western notion of
liberal democracy.83 In the words of Wolfgang Reinicke: “It is dif¬cult to
imagine how an independent judiciary, freedom of organization, speech, the
media, and even elections, all of which are preconditions for good gover-
nance but also elements of democracy, could be operated only with refer-
ence to economic ef¬ciency and effectiveness criteria.”84 Nevertheless, they
are. For better or worse, the good-governance agenda pursued by the Bank
(and to a lesser extent by the IMF)85 has sought to remedy “two undesirable
characteristics that had been prevalent earlier, the unrepresentative charac-
ter of governments and the inef¬ciency of non-market systems.”86 Thus, the

79 Walton and Seddon 1994, p. 41.
80 Williams and Young 1994, pp. 85“86; and Shaw 1996, p. 41.
81 Article IV, Section 10 of the World Bank™s Articles of Agreement, cited in Skogly 1993,
p. 760.
82 World Bank 1995, pp. 5“6. See also World Bank 1992 and 1994.
83 Jeffries 1993, p. 26; Islam and Morrison 1996, p. 11; and Gillies 1996. For an overview of
the various ways in which “good governance” has been de¬ned, see Moore and Robinson
84 Reinicke 1996, p. 293.
85 The IMF™s global governance efforts focus primarily on “the rule of law, improving the
ef¬ciency and accountability of the public sector, and tackling corruption.” See IMF 1997.
For analysis of IMF “good governance” activities, see James 1998; and Phillips 1999.
86 Weiss 2000. See also Abrahamsen 1997, pp. 145“146.
The Origins of Peacebuilding 31

lending practices of the Bretton Woods institutions in the 1990s seemed to
presuppose that Western models of economic and political organization were
optimal, and that market-oriented economies and political democracies were
mutually reinforcing.87

National Development Agencies
The national development agencies of the wealthy industrialized democra-
cies, which are among the most prominent players in the world of interna-
tional aid, have also shifted toward democracy promotion since the end of
the Cold War, re¬‚ecting the broader trend toward “political conditionality”
in development lending.88 The United States Agency for International De-
velopment (USAID), for example, the world™s largest aid donor, historically
focused on social and economic development in poor countries, especially
in the areas of health, population, and the environment, and until recently
placed relatively little emphasis on democracy and human rights.89 This fo-
cus began to change under the Reagan administration in the 1980s, when
USAID initiated several programs to assist in the administration of justice
and the conduct of democratic elections, particularly in Latin America.90 In
1990, the agency identi¬ed the promotion of democracy as one of its central
goals, announcing that “allocations of USAID funds to individual countries
will take into account their progress toward democratization,” with the ob-
jective of placing “democracy on a comparable footing with progress in
economic reforms and the establishment of a market-oriented economy, key
factors which are already used as criteria for allocating funds.”91 USAID
subsequently launched a series of new programs aimed at assisting devel-
oping states in the areas of free and fair elections, constitution drafting,
legislatures, judicial systems, local government, anticorruption efforts, regu-
latory reform, civic education, and independent organizations and media in
civil society (including human rights, legal aid, and women™s, professional,
and church groups).92
Comparable changes have also taken place in the national aid agencies
of other industrialized states, as virtually all major donor governments have
placed more emphasis on democracy and human rights in their allocations of
development aid since the end of the Cold War, including Canada, the Nordic
countries, Holland, Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the
European Union.93 Further, the Development Assistance Committee of the

87 88 Stokke 1995.
Harbeson 1994, p. 7. See also Hibou 2002.
89 90 Ibid. See, in particular, n. 13 on p. 71.
Diamond 1995, p. 13.
91 Cited in Nelson and Eglinton 1992, p. 16. See also Nelson and Eglinton 1996, pp. 170“
92 Diamond 1995, p. 13.
93 See Uvin 1993; Robinson 1993; Leftwich 1993; Baylies 1995; Islam and Morrison 1996;
Forsythe 1996; Selbervik 1997; Commins 1997; and Blair 1997.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which
coordinates policy among the world™s preeminent aid donors, has endorsed
the objective of using development assistance to promote “democratic and
accountable governance.”94 Even Japan, which has traditionally been reluc-
tant to link aid to the policies of recipient governments, announced in 1992
that it would include progress toward democracy among the principles that
would guide the future apportionment of aid.95

International Nongovernmental Organizations
The number and variety of international nongovernmental organizations has
increased rapidly in recent decades, making it dif¬cult to generalize about
the activities or ideological orientation of the international NGO sector as
a whole.96 In the ¬nal years of the twentieth century, however, a new class
of international nongovernmental actors gained prominence “ the so-called
democracy NGOs “ based primarily in the United States and in other Western
democracies. Ronald Reagan™s decision to emphasize democracy promotion
in the early 1980s led to the creation of the National Endowment for Democ-
racy (NED), modeled on Germany™s Stiftungen, which had subsidized demo-
cratic groups in the developing world since the 1950s.97 The NED, a pub-
licly funded but privately run grant-making agency, has transferred funds
directly to foreign organizations and democracy movements and has also
channeled grants through four other U.S.-based international NGOs: the
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International
Republican Institute, the Free Trade Union Institute, and the Center for In-
ternational Private Enterprise.98
The British government founded the independent Westminster Founda-
tion for Democracy, fashioned after the NED, in 1992; and the Canadian
government established the International Centre for Human Rights and
Democratic Development in 1989, with a mandate to “encourage and sup-
port the universal values of human rights and the promotion of demo-
cratic institutions and practices around the world.”99 Several private NGOs,
such as the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the Institute for
Democracy in Eastern Europe, and George Soros™s Open Society Institute,
were also created around this time in order to support democratic tran-
sitions and elections in developing countries and the states of the former
Soviet bloc.100

94 95 Nelson and Eglinton 1996, p. 175.
OECD 1996; and Kondo 1999.
96 97 Carothers 1999, pp. 30“31. 98 Diamond 1995, p. 16.
Rosenau 1995.
99 International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development 2000, p. 1.
100 The proliferation of these international democracy-promoting organizations was, in part,
the result of the shifting priorities of the industrialized democracies, which began to “con-
tract out” the delivery of development assistance in the 1980s to NGOs. See de Wall 1997;
and Barkan 1997.
The Origins of Peacebuilding 33

To be sure, a number of NGOs were critical of the new prominence of po-
litical and economic liberalization as development goals. Some organizations
in the human rights ¬eld “ such as Amnesty International, the Lawyers Com-
mittee for Human Rights, and the International League for Human Rights “
contended that too much emphasis was being placed on elections and too
little on civil liberties. As the former director of Human Rights Watch, Aryeh
Neier, wrote in 1993: “By and large the human rights movement would pre-
fer not to be associated with the global crusade to promote democracy.”101
Others claimed that aid donors should do more to foster popular “grass-
roots” forms of political participation, instead of focusing so narrowly on
elections.102 Still others criticized the allegedly disruptive and damaging ef-
fects of market-oriented adjustment policies on developing countries.103
Yet these criticisms were less fundamental than they appear at ¬rst glance.
Few international NGOs ever went so far as to endorse antiliberal political
or economic policies “ say, dictatorships or command economies. When
international human rights organizations argued, for instance, that more
attention should be paid to civil and political rights, they were still advo-
cating principles that derived from liberal democratic ideology.104 As David
Williams and Tom Young note, most development NGOs share a “com-
mon vision of what development means which is rooted in Western notions
of the state, ˜civil society™ and the self. The most radical part of the NGO
discourse . . . is their emphasis on ˜grass roots™ participation. . . . But this ter-
minology is always to be understood entirely within Western preconcep-
tions.”105 This is not to say that these organizations™ criticisms were insignif-
icant but, rather, that they tend to remain committed to promoting liberal
political or economic goals, albeit by different means. Put differently, most
international NGOs (in the ¬elds of human rights, development, and emer-
gency relief) seemed to accept the view that free and fair elections, respect
for civil liberties, and market-oriented economics are desirable objectives for
developing states.106

For many of these governmental and nongovernmental organizations, lib-
eralization was an uncontroversial solution for reconstituting war-torn so-
cieties. No great ideological debates were required to reach this consensus;
it emerged almost automatically and without much questioning or com-
ment, re¬‚ecting the newfound enthusiasm for liberal democracy and market-
oriented economics in the world™s leading international organizations, which
in turn mirrored the ascendancy of liberal political and economic ideas in
world politics at the end of the Cold War. “It is clear,” wrote David Chandler
in 1999, “that we have witnessed a major transformation in the language

101 102 For example, VeneKlasen 1996.
Neier 1993, p. 47.
103 104 Carothers 1994, p. 112.
For example, Oxfam 1995.
105 106 Fernando and Heston 1997, p. 14.
Williams and Young 1994, p. 98.

and themes of international relations. The international policy agenda today
is dominated by issues such as the consolidation of democracy and the pro-
tection of rights.”107 This observation applies directly to the international
organizations described here, which exhibited a newfound and “unprece-
dented commitment . . . to the promotion of liberal pluralist arrangements”
after the Cold War.108 As three commentators put it in 1994, “the primary
debate now taking place within governments and many international orga-
nizations centers not around whether democracy and market-oriented re-
forms are desirable, but rather around how they can be supported most
effectively by external actors, and how best to secure and target the neces-
sary resources.”109 Given all of the changes that occurred at the end of the
Cold War “ the increased demand for postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding, the ability
of the United Nations and other international agencies to respond to this
demand, and the turn toward liberalism both in world politics and in the
commitments of the world™s leading international organizations “ it comes
as little surprise that peacebuilding operations would emerge as a growth
industry in the post“Cold War era, and that these operations would tend to
promote political and economic liberalization.
Indeed, it appears that it was a combination of changes in the power
structure of international affairs at the end of the Cold War and a concur-
rent and related shift in the “cultural” environment of world politics that
led the agents of peacebuilding to adopt the strategy of promoting liberal-
ization as a means of consolidating peace in war-shattered states. One could
argue that both the Soviet Union and the United States had been conduct-
ing their own versions of peacebuilding during the Cold War, within their
respective spheres of in¬‚uence. For the United States, that meant managing
internal con¬‚icts by propping up friendly regimes that were often touted as
democratic (even if the real character of the regimes was different). For the
Soviet Union, dealing with civil con¬‚ict within its client states meant build-
ing up socialist regimes on the Soviet model. When the Cold War ended,
the power structure of world politics changed, and the American version of
peacebuilding “won” and was largely adopted by international agencies for
the peacebuilding operations of the 1990s. This model was, in a manner of
speaking, internationalized.
But changes in the power conditions of world politics tell only part of
the story, because there was a related shift in what might be called the in-
ternational norms of legitimate statehood. The “world polity” school of
sociology offers one set of analytical tools for examining this normative
change.110 Like other sociologists, members of this school study the norms,

107 108 Taylor 1999, p. 555.
Chandler 1999a, p. 18.
109 Armijo, Biersteker, and Lowenthal 1994, p. 161.
110 Examples of this school™s work include Meyer and Hannan 1979; Meyer 1980 and 1999;
Thomas, Meyer, Ramirez, and Boli 1987; Boli and Thomas 1997 and 1999; and Meyer,
Boli, Thomas, and Ramirez 1997.
The Origins of Peacebuilding 35

customs, and widely held beliefs “ or the “culture” “ of human societies, but
rather than focusing on the culture of a particular national or religious group,
they examine the formal and informal rules of the international system, or
what they call the “global culture.” Among other things, global culture de-
¬nes who the principal actors in world politics should be, how these actors
should organize themselves internally, and how they should behave. From
this perspective, the modern state is itself a cultural form that is continuously
reproduced because it is widely viewed as the most appropriate model for
organizing human societies. At a given moment in history, some states may
be considered as more legitimate than others; and it appears that the end of
the Cold War gave rise to a historic shift in global culture in which liberal
democracy came to be generally perceived as the most legitimate form of the
state. This cultural revolution cannot be separated from the power changes
that occurred at the end of the Cold War, as noted, but the global culture per-
spective does help to explain why international organizations seem to have
willingly embraced liberalization as the “natural” solution to civil con¬‚ict
and strategy for peacebuilding.111

Liberalization as an All-Purpose Elixir
Decades from now, historians may look back on the immediate post“Cold
War years as a period of remarkable faith in the powers of liberalization to
remedy a broad range of social ills, from internal and international violence
to poverty, famine, corruption, and even environmental destruction. In the
statements of government policymakers and the writings of academics, espe-
cially in the ¬rst half of the 1990s, market democracy took on the qualities
of a universal antidote to misery and con¬‚ict, “almost mystically endowed
with an array of characteristics that are supposed to assure both domestic
and international peace and prosperity.”112 Writing in 1995, for example,
Stanford University™s Larry Diamond, coeditor of the Journal of Democracy,
offered this paean to liberal democracy as a panacea for so many of the
world™s problems:
The experience of this century offers important lessons. Countries that govern them-
selves in a truly democratic fashion do not go to war with one another. They do
not aggress against their neighbors to aggrandize themselves or glorify their leaders.
Democratic governments do not ethnically “cleanse” their own populations, and they
are much less likely to face ethnic insurgency. Democracies do not sponsor terrorism
against one another. They do not build weapons of mass destruction to use on or to
threaten one another. Democratic countries form more reliable, open, and enduring
trading partnerships. In the long run they offer better and more stable climates for
investment. They are more environmentally responsible because they must answer
to their own citizens, who organize to protest the destruction of their environments.
They are better bets to honor international treaties since they value legal obligations

111 112
For an elaboration of this argument, see Paris 2003c. Slaughter 1998, p. 129.

and because their openness makes it much more dif¬cult to breach agreements in
secret. Precisely because, within their own borders, they respect competition, civil
liberties, property rights, and the rule of law, democracies are the only reliable foun-
dation on which a new world order of international security and prosperity can be

At the same time that Diamond was writing these words, UN Secretary-
General Boutros Boutros-Ghali was drafting a major policy statement that
later became known as the Agenda for Democratization.114 In the report,
Boutros-Ghali expressed a similar missionary-like faith in the many ben-
e¬ts of liberal democracy. Given the importance of the UN as a peacebuilding
agency and symbol of the international community, and the fact that the
organization had been so riven by ideological disputes during the Cold War,
the Agenda for Democratization is worth quoting at length. According to
the secretary-general, “the practice of democracy is increasingly regarded as
essential to progress on a wide range of human concerns and to the protection
of human rights.” These “human concerns,” he went on to explain, include
interstate and intrastate peace, economic development, cultural enrichment,
control of crime and corruption, and protection of the environment:
Because democratic Governments are freely chosen by their citizens and held ac-
countable through periodic and genuine elections and other mechanisms, they are
more likely to promote and respect the rule of law, respect individual and minority
rights, cope effectively with social con¬‚ict, absorb migrant populations and respond
to the needs of marginalized groups. . . . Democracy within States thus fosters the evo-
lution of the social contract upon which lasting peace can be built. . . . Democratic
institutions and processes within States may likewise be conducive to peace among
States. . . . The legitimacy conferred on democratically elected Governments com-
mands the respect of the peoples of other democratic States and fosters expectations
of negotiation, compromise and the rule of law in international relations. When States
sharing a culture of democracy are involved in a dispute, the transparency of their
regimes may help to prevent accidents, avoid reactions based on emotion or fear and
reduce the likelihood of surprise attack. . . .
In today™s world, freedom of thought, the impetus to creativity and the will to
involvement are all critical to economic, social and cultural progress, and they are
best fostered and protected within democratic systems. In this sense, the economic
act of privatization can be as well a political act, enabling greater human creativity
and participation. The best way to cultivate a citizen™s readiness to participate in the
development of his or her country, to arouse that person™s energy, imagination and
commitment, is by recognizing and respecting human dignity and human rights. The
material means of progress can be acquired, but human resources “ skilled, spirited
and inventive workers “ are indispensable, as is the enrichment found through mutual
dialogue and the free interchange of ideas. In this way, a culture of democracy, marked
by communication, dialogue and openness to the ideas and activities of the world,
helps to foster a culture of development. . . .

113 114
Diamond 1995, pp. 6“7. Boutros-Ghali 1996.
The Origins of Peacebuilding 37

By providing legitimacy for government and encouraging people™s participation
in decision-making on the issues that affect their lives, democratic processes con-
tribute to the effectiveness of state policies and development strategies. Democratic
institutions and practices foster the governmental accountability and transparency
necessary to deter national and transnational crime and corruption and encourage
increased responsiveness to popular concerns. In development, they increase the like-
lihood that state goals re¬‚ect broad societal concerns and that government is sensitive
to the societal and environmental costs of its development policies.115

Boutros-Ghali concluded that the promotion of democracy was essential
because “peace, development and democracy are inextricably linked.”116
Given all these claims, it would have been surprising if the UN had
not embraced liberalization as the grand strategy for postcon¬‚ict peace-
building, particularly since one of the core arguments in favor of liber-
alization is that it promotes peace. In fact, as we shall see in the next
chapter, the proposition that liberalization fosters peace “ sometimes called
the “liberal peace thesis” “ is a very old idea, dating back to the writ-
ings of eighteenth-century Enlightenment philosophers. Scholars “rediscov-
ered” this idea in the 1980s. It became a major area of social scienti¬c
research in the early 1990s, providing timely ammunition to policymak-
ers in national governments and international organizations who were al-
ready inclined to believe that democratization and marketization represents
the surest route to lasting peace in countries that are just emerging from
civil wars.
But to what extent was the peace-through-liberalization proposition based
on demonstrated fact? Did democratization and marketization actually cre-
ate conditions for stable and lasting peace in the countries that hosted peace-
building operations after the Cold War? These are questions that the remain-
der of this book will address, after we take a closer look at the liberal peace
thesis itself.

115 116
Ibid., paras. 17, 18, 22, 24. Ibid., para. 118.

Appendix to Chapter 1
The Terminology of Peace Operations
The terminology of peace operations is notoriously slippery. Some commen-
tators use “peacekeeping” as a label for all types of military operations that
do not involve outright war ¬ghting, whereas others assign speci¬c labels to
different kinds of missions. Following is a short glossary of terms used in
this book, including a de¬nition of peacebuilding itself:
r Preventive diplomacy is action to prevent con¬‚icts from starting in the ¬rst
place or spreading to neighboring territories.
r Peacekeeping is the deployment of a lightly armed, multinational con-
tingent of military personnel for nonenforcement purposes, such as the
observation of a cease-¬re.
r Peacemaking is the attempt to resolve an ongoing con¬‚ict, either by peace-
ful means such as mediation and negotiation, or, if necessary, by the au-
thorizion of an international military force to impose a settlement to the
r Peace enforcement is the threat or use of nondefensive military force to
impose, maintain, or restore a cease-¬re.
r Peacebuilding is action undertaken at the end of a civil con¬‚ict to consol-
idate peace and prevent a recurrence of ¬ghting. A peacebuilding mission
involves the deployment of military and civilian personnel from several in-
ternational agencies, with a mandate to conduct peacebuilding in a coun-
try that is just emerging from a civil war.
r Finally, the generic phrases peace operations and peace missions refer to
any international peacemaking, peacekeeping, peace-enforcement, peace-
building, or preventive diplomacy operations that include a multinational
military force aimed at restoring or preserving peace.

These terms are not mutually exclusive. Peacebuilding, for instance, can
involve the deployment of lightly armed, multinational contingents for
nonenforcement purposes, and can therefore incorporate elements of peace-
keeping. Alternatively, peacebuilding missions may include troops with en-
forcement rather than peacekeeping duties and powers. Confusion some-
times arises from the fact that peacebuilding operations seek to prevent a
recurrence of violence, which is, in effect, a type of preventive diplomacy.
Furthermore, peacebuilders can become involved in peacemaking if ¬ghting
reignites during a mission.
While it is easy to become entangled in these de¬nitions, two distinguish-
ing features of peacebuilding are worth highlighting. First, peacekeeping
and peacebuilding are not synonymous. Peacekeeping is a primarily military
activity that typically concentrates on cease-¬re monitoring, whereas peace-
building involves a wide variety of both military and nonmilitary functions,
The Origins of Peacebuilding 39

including the administration of elections; the retraining of judges, lawyers,
and police of¬cers; the nurturing of indigenous political parties and non-
governmental organizations; the design and implementation of economic
reforms; the reorganization of governmental institutions; the promotion of
free media; and the delivery of emergency humanitarian and ¬nancial as-
sistance. The military component of a peacebuilding operation therefore
represents only one element in a larger effort to establish the conditions for
stable and lasting peace. Second, peacebuilding begins when the ¬ghting has
stopped. It is, by de¬nition, a postcon¬‚ict enterprise. Some commentators
use the term more broadly to encompass other types of interventions, in-
cluding those aimed at preventing violence from erupting in the ¬rst place,
or what I have labeled preventive diplomacy. However, I have adopted the
more common usage: Peacebuilding operations are deployed to consolidate
peace in countries that have recently experienced civil con¬‚ict, and where
hostilities have already ended.117

117 For example, the U.S. Army ¬eld manual on peace operations (United States Army 1994)
has de¬ned peacebuilding as “postcon¬‚ict actions . . . that strengthen and rebuild civil in-
frastructures and institutions in order to avoid a return to con¬‚ict.”

The Liberal Peace Thesis

Democracy contributes to safety and prosperity “ both in national life and in
international life “ it™s that simple.
“ Strobe Talbott, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, 19971

As noted in the Introduction, the idea that liberalization is a remedy for
violent con¬‚ict is not new; in fact, it was one of the central principles of
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson™s foreign policy at the end of World War I.
Wilson viewed the American model of market democracy as the apogee
of political development, and believed that the spread of this model would
promote peace in both domestic and international affairs. “Democracy,” he
proclaimed, “is unquestionably the most wholesome and livable form of
government the world has yet tried. It supplies as no other system could the
frank and universal criticism, the free play of individual thought, the open
conduct of public affairs, the spirit . . . of community and cooperation, which
make governments just and public spirited.”2 Governments that rest “not
upon the armed strength of the governors, but upon the free consent of the
governed,” he added, “seldom coerce their subjects” and use force only as a
“last . . . resort.”3
When Wilson traveled to France for the Versailles peace conference,
he envisaged the creation of a world order based on the democratic self-
determination of peoples, constitutional protections of minority rights, free
trade and commerce, the opening up of diplomacy to public scrutiny, and
the creation of a League of Nations to keep the peace.4 “What we seek,” he
stated, “is the reign of law, based upon the consent of the governed and
sustained by the organized opinion of mankind.”5 His peace proposals
focused primarily on the problem of interstate con¬‚ict, but he also believed
that these principles were essential to domestic or civil peace as well, because

1 2 Quoted in Notter 1965, p. 109. 3 Wilson 1901, pp. 572“573.
Talbott 1997.
4 5 Quoted in Hofstadter 1948, p. 247.
Wilson 1965, pp. 406“414, 420“422, and 442.

The Liberal Peace Thesis 41

people denied justice and freedom would be prone to disaffection and unrest:
“The world can be at peace only if its life is stable, and there can be no stabil-
ity where the will is in rebellion, where there is not tranquility of spirit and a
sense of justice, of freedom, and of right.”6 A precondition for international
peace, then, was political stability within states, which in turn depended
on securing the rights of ordinary people and small nations to democratic
self-determination. “If you leave a rankling sense of injustice anywhere,”
he argued, “it will . . . produce a running sore presently which will result in
trouble and probably war.”7 World peace “must be planted on the tested
foundations of political liberty.”8
By applying these ideas to the Versailles settlement, Wilson became the
¬rst statesman to articulate what is now called the liberal peace thesis, or
the notion that democratic forms of government are more peaceful “ both
in their internal politics and in their international relations “ than other
forms of government. These ideas dated back at least to the writings of
such Enlightenment philosophers as John Locke and Adam Smith. But
only when Wilson, a scholar of liberal political theory, became the leader
of a rising great power did these principles gain their ¬rst politically pow-
erful patron. Today, the president is often remembered for wanting to
“make the world safe for democracy,” but it would be more accurate to
say that he arrived at Versailles wanting to make the world safe through
Revisiting Wilson™s beliefs about con¬‚ict management is a natural start-
ing point for an investigation of contemporary peacebuilding operations,
which have been based on a similar set of beliefs, including the assump-
tion that democratization and marketization foster peace in countries just
emerging from civil wars. There is, in fact, an interesting parallel between
the period immediately following World War I and the post“Cold War years.
In both eras, the international community faced a security threat to which
it responded with a Wilsonian remedy. For the leaders who gathered at the
Palace of Versailles in 1919, the principal challenge was to prevent the recur-
rence of general war in Europe. At the end of the Cold War, it was the
“apparently remorseless rise of ethnic and communal con¬‚ict” that became
a major challenge for the international community.9 There was no grand
Versailles-like conference to de¬ne the principles for con¬‚ict management in
the post“Cold War era, but once again Wilson™s ideas about war and peace
assumed a leading role, and international peacebuilding operations took on
a decidedly Wilsonian cast.
At ¬rst glance, there are good reasons to expect democratization and
marketization to foster peace in war-shattered states. Since the mid-1980s,
one of the most extensively studied questions in political science has been

6 7 Ibid., p. 437.
Wilson 1965, pp. 411“412.
8 9 Roberts 1994, p. 6.
Quoted in Knock 1992, p. 121.

the relationship between liberal forms of government and the incidence of
both civil and international con¬‚ict.10 The bulk of the recent research is fo-
cused on the international dimension of the liberal peace thesis “ that is, the
relationship between liberalism and interstate con¬‚ict “ and a general con-
sensus has emerged around the ¬nding that market democracies rarely go
to war against one another. Several analyses of civil violence have similarly
concluded that market democracies are generally less prone to intrastate dis-
turbances. Given these ¬ndings, political and economic liberalization would
appear to be a sensible and promising strategy for consolidating domestic
peace in states that are just emerging from civil wars.
At least, this is how UN Secretary-General Ko¬ Annan, the chief admin-
istrator of the world™s most prominent peacebuilding agency, seems to have
interpreted this scholarship. “There are many good reasons for promoting
democracy,” he proclaimed in 2000, “not the least “ in the eyes of the United
Nations “ is that, when sustained over time, it is a highly effective means
of preventing con¬‚ict, both within and between states.”11 What is more, the
secretary-general referred directly to the academic literature to back up this
claim, noting that “a number of studies do show that democracies have very
low levels of internal violence compared with non-democracies.”12 Annan™s
predecessor, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, made similar arguments about the ben-
e¬ts of promoting democracy in war-torn countries, including the assertion
that democracy “fosters the evolution of the social contract upon which
lasting peace can be built [and] is the only long-term means of both arbitrat-
ing and regulating many political, social, economic and ethnic tensions that
constantly threaten to tear apart societies and destroy states.”13
Policymakers in national governments have also subscribed to this po-
sition. As U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott declared in 1997,
“Democracy contributes to safety and prosperity “ both in national life and
in international life “ it™s that simple.”14 Indeed, one of the central tenets of
the Clinton administration™s foreign policy was that of “democratic enlarge-
ment,” or the spread of liberal democracy and market-oriented economics,
on the grounds that market democracies are less hostile in their international
relations and less prone to internal violence.15
But how much do we really know about the pacifying effects of political
and economic liberalization, particularly in countries that have recently ex-
perienced civil con¬‚ict? In fact, as I will argue in the remainder of this chap-
ter, we know very little. Widespread support for the Wilsonian approach
to peacebuilding has, to put it simply, rested on little more than hopeful

10 Chan 1997, Ray 1998, and Russett and Starr 2000 review this literature in detail.
11 12 Annan 1999a. See also Annan 2001.
Annan 2000.
13 14 Talbott 1997. 15 See Carothers 2000.
Boutros-Ghali 1996, paras. 17 and 122.
The Liberal Peace Thesis 43

Unanswered Questions
Few subjects have attracted more attention from students of political sci-
ence in recent years than the questions that surround the liberal peace thesis.
Are liberal democracies especially peaceful in their international relations
or in their domestic politics? If so, under what circumstances, and why?
Will efforts to promote market democracy enhance domestic or interna-
tional peace? Scholars have examined all of these questions since the 1980s
and early 1990s, when the liberal peace thesis returned to prominence after
decades of neglect.
In 1983, Michael Doyle published an in¬‚uential article contending that
democratic states had seldom engaged in wars with other democracies and
had thereby created a “separate peace.”16 Since then, a ¬‚urry of studies has
scrutinized and elaborated the relationship between liberal democracy and
interstate violence.17 Most of these works have reached conclusions that
broadly support Doyle™s ¬ndings, prompting one scholar to note that “the
absence of war between democracies comes as close as anything to an empir-
ical law in international relations.”18 This research continued to develop and
grow in new directions during the 1990s and beyond. For example, Bruce
Russett and several of his collaborators produced analyses in the late 1990s
and early 2000s showing that liberal economic policies also contribute to
peaceful relations among democracies.19
In the meantime, a smaller group of researchers was examining the rela-
tionship between market democracy and intrastate, or civil, violence. Fore-
most among them was R. J. Rummel, who found that democracies are con-
siderably less likely than nondemocracies to experience a broad range of
domestic disturbances, including “revolutions, bloody coups d™´ tat, polit-
ical assassinations, antigovernment terrorist bombings, guerrilla warfare,
insurgencies, civil wars, mutinies, and rebellions.”20 In democratic coun-
tries, Rummel wrote,

social con¬‚icts that might become violent are resolved through voting, negotia-
tion, compromise, and mediation. The success of these procedures is enhanced and
supported by the restraints on decision makers of competitive elections, the cross-
pressures resulting from the natural pluralism of democratic . . . societies, and the
development of a democratic culture and norms that emphasize rational debate, tol-
eration, negotiation of differences, conciliation, and con¬‚ict resolution.21

16 Doyle 1983. See also Doyle 1986. Similar ¬ndings had already been published by Babst 1972
and Rummel 1979.
17 18 Levy 1988, pp. 661“662.
See n. 10.
19 Oneal and Russett 1997; Bliss and Russett 1998; Russett, Oneal, and Davis 1998; Oneal
and Russett 1999a, 1999b, and 1999c; Russett and Starr 2000; Oneal and Russett 2001.
These arguments are examined in depth in Russett and Oneal 2001.
20 21 Rummel 1995, p. 4.
Rummel 1997, p. 85. See also Rummel 1995.

Several subsequent studies reached similar conclusions. In 2001, for example,
a group of scholars af¬liated with the International Peace Research Institute
in Norway published the most comprehensive examination to date of democ-
racy and internal violence, ¬nding strong evidence that well-established lib-
eral democracies are considerably less likely than any other kind of state to
experience civil war.22
Policymakers, commentators, and academics have cited these ¬ndings as
evidence that international and domestic peace can be enhanced by “export-
ing” the institutions and practices of market democracy to nondemocratic
states, echoing the arguments made by Ko¬ Annan and Boutros Boutros-
Ghali. Morton Halperin, for instance, has contended that “the United States
should take the lead in promoting the trend toward democracy” because
democratic governments “are more peaceful and less given to provoking war
or inciting violence.”23 According to R. J. Rummel, “just reforming regimes
in the direction of greater civil rights and political liberties will promote
less violence.”24 Joshua Muravchik maintains that spreading democracy is
not only “conducive to peace among states, but it can be the key to re-
solving bloody battles within them,”25 and Larry Diamond has called for
democracy promotion because democratic governments “do not ethnically
˜cleanse™ their own populations and they are much less likely to face ethnic
insurgency,” among other reasons.26
Unfortunately, these arguments tend to gloss over an important distinc-
tion: Although well-established market democracies may be more peaceful
in their internal and international affairs than nondemocracies, the policy of
promoting democracy necessarily involves transforming a state into a market
democracy. Most scholarship on the liberal peace focuses on states that have
already made this transition, and therefore offers little insight into the war-
proneness of countries that are in the process of becoming market democ-
racies. So while we have learned a great deal in recent years from debates
about the relative peacefulness of liberal states, these debates have largely
skirted the relationship between liberalization and con¬‚ict. Those who use
the existing liberal peace scholarship to assert that the promotion of democ-
racy will foster peace, either within or between states, typically address only
part of the story “ the likelihood of the state experiencing civil con¬‚ict, or
engaging in international con¬‚ict, once the transition is complete. Yet any
careful analysis of peace-through-liberalization policies must consider both

22 Hegre et al. 2001. See also Krain and Myers 1997. These results appeared to lend support
to commentators who claimed that democracy “transfers con¬‚ict from the violent to the
political arena” (Zartman 1993, p. 327), “inhibits communal rebellion” (Gurr 1993, p. 138),
and “encourages marginalized communities to seek justice by nonviolent political means”
(Riggs 1995, p. 397).
23 24 Rummel 1997, p. 52.
Halperin 1993, p. 105. See also Smith 1994.
25 26 Diamond 1995, pp. 6“7.
Muravchik 1996, p. 576.
The Liberal Peace Thesis 45

the end result of a successful transition to market democracy and the effects
of the transition itself.
There is, moreover, reason to doubt that liberalization fosters peace. Al-
though most liberal peace scholars have ignored this issue, a few have not,
and their ¬ndings suggest that transitional countries may be prone to internal
and international con¬‚ict. Edward Mans¬eld and Jack Snyder, for example,
argue that states undergoing a transition from authoritarian to democratic
rule are more likely than either established democracies or nondemocracies
to be involved in an international war, because political opportunists in such
states often employ belligerent nationalism as a means of building domestic
political support.27 Others have reached similar, though more narrowly tar-
geted, conclusions: that transitional states are particularly warlike only in
the earliest phases of a transition to democracy,28 or that the greatest danger
of international con¬‚ict arises from “uneven” transitions (where the state
effectively swings back and forth from democracy to autocracy).29 The war-
proneness of democratizing states remains a matter of disagreement among
scholars, but there is suf¬cient evidence to be at least skeptical of the notion
that the promotion of democracy necessarily enhances international peace.
There is also little agreement on the precise relationship between liberal-
ization and internal con¬‚ict “ a relationship that needs to be clari¬ed, given
the international community™s propensity to prescribe political and economic
liberalization as a remedy for internal violence. Some studies suggest that
democratization enhances domestic peace, whereas others ¬nd the opposite.
One major research project, for example, concludes that substantial changes
of “regime type” “ including a movement from autocracy to democracy “
are often accompanied by increased civil violence.30 Several other studies
highlight the apparently con¬‚ict-inducing effects of political liberalization
efforts in speci¬c countries, including Yugoslavia and Sri Lanka,31 Algeria,32
Sudan,33 Burundi,34 Ethiopia,35 and Nigeria, Uganda, Chad and Pakistan.36
These works offer prima facie evidence that democratization may not always
be a dependable means of fostering domestic peace and that the transition to
democracy may be more destabilizing than the supporters of Wilsonianism
contend “ although this debate, too, continues.37
We also know relatively little about the connections between marketiza-
tion and internal violence. While it is plausible that a well-established mar-
ket economy is particularly conducive to domestic peace,38 some evidence

27 Mans¬eld and Snyder 1995a and 1995b. See also Snyder 2000.
28 29 Gleditsch and Ward 2000.
Gleditsch and Hegre 1997.
30 31 Snyder 2000.
Hegre et al. 2001. See also Fearon and Laitin 2003.
32 33 Salih 1991; and Deng 1995.
Ar¬ 1998.
34 35 Ottaway 1994 and 1995.
Dravis 2000.
36 37 See Sambanis 2002 for a summary of ¬ndings.
Horowitz 1991.
38 For example, scholars investigating the causes of civil wars have examined the relationship
between a country™s level of wealth and economic growth rate on the one hand, and the

suggests that marketization has increased, not decreased, civil unrest in a
number of countries. After examining the incidence of food riots in sev-
eral developing countries, John Walton and David Seddon conclude that
there is a clear “relationship between widespread popular unrest in the
cities of the developing world . . . and the process of economic and social
transformation . . . associated with a renewed emphasis on liberalization and
the promotion of ˜free markets.™”39 Other scholars have also described the
apparently destabilizing effects of liberal economic adjustment policies in
Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria, Burundi, Tanzania, Tunisia, Venezuela, Zambia, and
Mali, among other places.40
In sum, many questions relating to the liberal peace thesis remain unan-
swered, including the precise relationship between the process of economic
and political liberalization and the propensity of states undergoing these
transitions to engage in international war or experience internal violence.
We know even less about the effects of liberalization in the particular cir-
cumstances of states recovering from civil war. Until these questions are
answered, the strategy of promoting liberalization as a means of fostering
peace will remain an uncertain one. Yet this fact is rarely acknowledged by
proponents of Wilsonian approaches to con¬‚ict resolution, including those
who present democratization and marketization as a generalized formula
for peace. Perhaps the prevailing enthusiasm for liberalization as a recipe for
peace will ultimately prove warranted, but at present there is little hard
evidence to support such a belief.

The Disappearing Leviathan
There is a more fundamental problem with the liberal peace literature as it
relates to peacebuilding: It tends to take the existence of functioning states
as a given. Contributors to the literature have used this assumption to de-
termine whether states with certain types of political regimes (democratic,
authoritarian, etc.) or economic systems (market-oriented, state-directed,
mixed, etc.) are more peaceful than others. But this methodology offers few
insights into the challenges of peacebuilding, because war-shattered states
typically lack even the most rudimentary governmental institutions. By tak-
ing the existence of a working government for granted, many authors have
effectively “assumed away” one of the most dif¬cult and important problems
that peacebuilders confront in their ¬eld operations: namely, how to establish

incidence of civil con¬‚ict on the other, ¬nding (as one might expect) that richer states and
states experiencing economic growth are considerably less likely than poorer or recessionary
states to experience large-scale internal violence. See Journal of Con¬‚ict Resolution 2002.
39 Walton and Seddon 1994, p. 3.
40 See Haggard and Kaufman 1992, p. 337; Skogly 1993, pp. 751“778; Adekanye 1995, p. 368;
Ake 1996, p. 118; Ihonvbere 1996a, pp. 196“197; Jeong 1996, pp. 155“167; Kaiser 1996,
pp. 227“237; Wright 1997, p. 27; and van de Walle 1997, pp. 26“29.
The Liberal Peace Thesis 47

functioning governments and stable nonviolent politics in conditions of vir-
tual anarchy.
It is interesting to note that the earliest writers on the liberal peace thesis “
the classical liberal philosophers of the Enlightenment “ were more attuned
to the challenges facing modern peacebuilders. Their starting point was typ-
ically some form of “natural state” in which a common government did not
exist, and their aim was to describe the circumstances in which a society char-
acterized by justice, peace, and prosperity might emerge. John Locke argued
that the state of nature would be so “full of fears and continual dangers” “
including the peril of being “constantly exposed to the Invasion of others” “
that people living in this condition would be compelled to “joyn in Society
with others” and create a common government.41 According to Locke, only
one type of government would be compatible with a secure and just peace:
a law-based regime operating under constitutional rules and established by
popular consent. The creation of a government that ignored such limitations
and violated individual liberties would effectively return society to a state
of nature, with all of the insecurities this entailed, including fear of physical
attack and lawless violence.42
Locke and many of his intellectual successors were consciously respond-
ing to Thomas Hobbes™s major work, Leviathan.43 Hobbes vigorously op-
posed many of the cardinal principles of liberalism, including constitutional
constraints on the power of government, but he pioneered the technique of
considering the conditions necessary for transforming a state of nature into
a peaceful, stable society “ a technique that several classical liberals adopted
in their own work. The answer, Hobbes argued, was to confer sovereign au-
thority upon one individual or group of individuals: the Leviathan. Hobbes
argued that the powers of the sovereign should not be limited, and that mem-
bers of society should pledge “not to resist the commands of that man or
council that they have recognized as their sovereign.”44 By contrast, Locke
and later liberal theorists rejected the necessity and desirability of authori-
tarian rule, arguing not only that it unduly threatens individual liberties but
also that it sti¬‚es the human spirit, violates natural rights, and spawns rebel-
lion and civil unrest “ whereas constitutionally limited government provides
the basis for durable domestic peace.
However, Hobbes and Locke did have one important thing in common,
beyond their shared use of the state of nature as a heuristic device. Both
men believed that domestic peace presupposed the existence of governmen-
tal institutions capable of defending society against internal and external
threats. Locke, for example, argued that rulers should be given suf¬cient

41 Locke 1963 [1698], book II, para. 123, p. 395.
42 Although Locke™s version of the state of nature did not necessarily imply a Hobbesian state
of war, he left little doubt that violence and con¬‚ict are more prevalent in the state of nature
than under “civil” (that is, constitutionally limited) government. See Goldwin 1987, p. 485.
43 44 Berns 1987, p. 402.
Hobbes 1968 [1651].

“prerogative” or freedom of action to respond quickly and forcefully to na-
tional emergencies.45 The “good of the Society,” he argued, requires “that
several things should be left to the discretion” of the executive power, “since
in some Governments the Law-Making Power is not always in being, and
is usually too numerous, and so too slow, for the dispatch requisite to
Execution: and because also it is impossible to foresee, and so by laws to pro-
vide for, all Accidents and Necessities, that may concern the publick.”46 He
even wrote that the government should be permitted to act above the law in
cases of emergency, provided the actions taken are for the “publick good,”
rather than for private gain.47 How Locke reconciled these extraordinary
powers with his conception of law-governed rule remains unclear; he seemed
to believe, paradoxically, that the last line of defense for constitutional gov-
ernment was to permit leaders to behave as Hobbesian Leviathans “ outside
of constitutional restraints “ in order to preserve the “lives, liberty, and prop-
erty” of the governed. “In this sense,” writes one commentator, “Hobbes
makes his presence felt in Locke™s Second Treatise.”48
For Locke, then, limited government was not synonymous with weak
government. On the contrary, maintaining a free society required con-
stitutionally constrained “ but effective and functioning “ governmental
institutions. Other classical liberal thinkers shared this view. Adam Smith
is remembered for having sought to limit the role of government in eco-
nomic affairs, believing that the “invisible hand” of the market would
promote prosperity and peace, and that allowing people to pursue their
interests in relative freedom would foster the “harmonious interplay of
very different kinds of human beings living very different kinds of lives
without the social whole dissolving into chaos.”49 But Smith also insisted
that government had an essential, if limited, role to play in a well-ordered
society. First, it needed to protect against foreign invasion; second, govern-
ment was necessary for the administration of justice, including the enforce-
ment of contracts; and third, it was needed to build and maintain public
works.50 In particular, Smith believed that the state had a vital responsibility
to establish and maintain the rule of law, without which the bene¬ts of the
free market would be lost. “Commerce and manufactures,” he declared,

can seldom ¬‚ourish long in any state which does not enjoy a regular administration
of justice, in which the people do not feel themselves secure in the possession of
their property, in which the faith in contracts is not supported by law, and in which

45 46 Ibid., pp. 421“422.
Locke 1963 [1698], book II, chap. 14, p. 422.
47 Locke: “[T]he Laws themselves should in some Cases give way to the Executive Power.”
Ibid., p. 421.
48 McClelland 1996, p. 239. On Locke™s conception of executive “prerogative” in times of
emergency, see Seliger 1968, pp. 59“62.
49 McClelland 1996, p. 433.
50 Smith 1976 [1776], book IV, chap. 9, pp. 687“688 and 723.
The Liberal Peace Thesis 49

the authority of the state is not supposed to be regularly employed in enforcing the
payment of debts from all those who are able to pay.51

In Wealth of Nations, Smith went on to discuss the importance of a “well-
regulated standing army,” which was essential not only for national defense
but also for domestic order.52 Sovereigns who could not depend on a loyal
and effective army, he asserted, would be more likely to suppress liberty
than rulers backed by a steadfast military, because leaders with the support
of the army would feel secure enough to permit expressions of public dissent.
Consequently, the “degree of liberty which approaches to licentiousness can
be tolerated only in countries where the sovereign is secured by a well-
regulated standing army.”53 Smith™s view of a good society thus presupposed
the existence of a limited yet functioning state, ultimately backed by the
presence of a military force.54
Immanuel Kant echoed this sentiment. For him, the ultimate purpose of
social life is to permit individuals to develop all of their “natural capac-
ities,” which is possible only if human beings are permitted the exercise
of their “freedom of will based upon reason.”55 But Kant also warned of
the dangers of unrestricted liberty, or “wild freedom.”56 In the absence of
the rule of law enforced by a central authority, he argued, peaceful coex-
istence among completely free individuals would be impossible, and would
collapse into a “lawless state of savagery.”57 Peace therefore requires a pow-
erful sovereign “ a “supreme authority” “ but one whose powers are limited
to what is necessary in order to preserve the rule of law, because only by
constraining individual liberty through the consistent (and, if necessary, co-
ercive) application of law is it possible to preserve the security and freedom
of all.58
A ¬nal example of the dual emphasis that early liberals placed on lim-
ited and effective government comes from The Federalist Papers, the classic
American statement of liberal political philosophy, principally written by
James Madison and Alexander Hamilton in the 1780s. Both men railed
against “tyranny,” by which they meant the invasion of personal liberties
by government, and believed that the combination of individual freedom,

51 Ibid., book V, chap. 3, p. 910. On another occasion he wrote: “The ¬rst and chief design
of every system of government is to maintain justice; to prevent the members of a society
from encroaching on one another™s property, or seizing what is not their own” (Smith 1976
[1776], p. 689, n. 1).
52 Ibid., book II, chap. 3, p. 342; and book V, chap. 1, p. 707.
53 Ibid., book V, chap. 1, p. 707.
54 As Joseph Cropsey (1957) writes, “The freedom implicit in the Smithian principle is accom-
panied by restraint, and the authoritative restraint implicit in the Hobbesian formula is the
necessary condition of freedom,” although “Smith™s principle was intended to, and did, lead
to a liberal society, while that of Hobbes need not have done so” (p. 72).
55 56 Ibid., p. 46.
Kant 1991 [1784], pp. 45 and 43.
57 58 Ibid., pp. 46 and 45.
Ibid., pp. 44“47.

representative government, and institutional checks on the exercise of power
would produce a just and peaceful society. But Hamilton also emphasized
the need for government to maintain domestic and external security in mo-
ments of crisis. “A ¬rm Union,” he wrote, “will be of the utmost moment to
the peace and liberty of the states, as a barrier against domestic faction and
insurrection,” and as a guarantor of “internal tranquility.”59 He argued that
a strong executive branch was especially important to public security and
for the administration of law, including the protection of individual rights:60
“A feeble Executive is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a govern-
ment ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in practice, a bad
government.”61 Although Madison™s contributions to The Federalist Papers
focused more on constraining than on bolstering governmental power, he
echoed Hamilton™s view that government was needed as “a bulwark against
foreign danger” and a “conservator of peace among ourselves.”62
According to these and other classical liberal thinkers “ including the
French essayist Baron Charles-Louis de Montesquieu, and the British theo-
rist James Mill “ successful state building called for a careful balancing of
two competing imperatives: limiting the power of the state in order to pre-
serve individual liberty, and endowing government with suf¬cient means to
uphold the rule of law and to protect the constitutional order itself against
foreign and domestic threats. These writers rejected Hobbes™s argument that
an all-powerful ruler was needed to maintain domestic order and social life,
but they did not entirely dispense with the Leviathan. They domesticated
it. Lasting peace required both the protection of individual freedom and
the existence of effective governmental institutions, since the alternative to
effective government was untenable: the insecure state of nature.
Modern students of the liberal peace have taken a different approach.
As noted earlier, they have tended to “bracket” or ignore the question of
whether functioning governments exist. While classical liberal theorists rec-
ognized the vital role of effective state institutions as a necessary condition for
domestic stability, this concern has virtually disappeared from the contem-
porary liberal peace literature. The Leviathan no longer lurks in the shadows
of the liberal state; it is nowhere to be found.
The new character of the liberal peace scholarship limits its application to
peacebuilding. For countries just emerging from civil wars, the relevant start-
ing point is something closer to the “state of nature” of early liberal theory,
in which government is largely, or entirely, absent. By taking the existence
of effective states for granted, the contemporary scholarship offers scant
guidance to those engaged in peacebuilding, who face the challenge of mak-
ing governments in the immediate aftermath of civil con¬‚ict. This literature

59 Hamilton, Madison, and Jay 1992 [1788] (Federalist No. 9), pp. 36 and 38.
60 61 Ibid., p. 360.
Ibid. (Federalist No. 70), p. 359.
62 Ibid. (Federalist No. 14), p. 62
The Liberal Peace Thesis 51

has taught us a great deal about the war-proneness of different types of
government, but has shed little light on the potential effectiveness of democ-
ratization and marketization as strategies for building peace in war-shattered
states. Those who cite this literature to support the Wilsonian approach to
peacebuilding “ including the two most recent secretaries-general of the UN “
have tended to blur the distinction between liberalism and liberalization.
Well-established market democracies may, indeed, be more internally and
internationally peaceful than other kinds of states, but we still know little
about the precise relationship between liberalization and violence, and even
less about the effects of democratization and marketization in the speci¬c
circumstances of postcon¬‚ict countries.
Have modern peacebuilders operated on a faulty set of assumptions? Can
peacebuilders learn anything from classical versions of the liberal peace the-
sis, which paid more attention to the problem of constructing stable societies
out of conditions of nongovernment? By examining the record of peacebuild-
ing, we can begin to answer these questions.
part ii


Introduction to the Case Studies

Has the Wilsonian assumption of peacebuilding “ that rapid liberalization
would foster a stable and lasting peace in countries that are just emerg-
ing from civil wars “ been borne out in practice? How should we go
about answering this question? This chapter sets out the investigative frame-
work for the case studies that follow. Speci¬cally, I shall address three
issues: First, what are the speci¬c causal hypotheses that will be evaluated
against the record of peacebuilding? Second, how will the case studies
of peacebuilding missions be structured in order to evaluate these hypo-
theses? Third, which particular peacebuilding missions will be studied?
Most studies of peacebuilding outcomes begin by establishing a standard
of effectiveness or success and then proceed to evaluate the record of one
or more operations against this standard.1 My aim is slightly different: to
examine whether the strategy of peace-through-liberalization, in particular,
has enhanced the prospects for stable and lasting peace in countries that have
hosted peacebuilding missions. Put differently, the “independent variable”
that I am interested in studying is political liberalization (including the estab-
lishment of political and civil freedoms, and preparations for and the holding
of elections) and economic liberalization (including the movement toward
market-oriented economic policies and practices), while the “dependent
variable” is the likelihood of stable and lasting peace within the host country.
I use this dependent variable for two reasons. First, it corresponds with
the view that the United Nations “ the world™s most active peacebuilding
agency “ has articulated with regard to the purposes of postcon¬‚ict peace-
building. In his landmark 1992 policy statement, An Agenda for Peace, for-
mer UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali de¬ned peacebuilding as “action
to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify
peace” in the aftermath of “civil strife,” with the ultimate goal of preventing

1 For example, Hampson 1996; Doyle and Sambanis 2000; Cousens and Kumar 2001; and
Stedman, Rothchild, and Cousens 2002.

The Peacebuilding Record

“a relapse into con¬‚ict.”2 Three years later, Boutros-Ghali described the
“essential goal” of peacebuilding as “the creation of structures for the insti-
tutionalization of peace.”3 Similarly, Boutros-Ghali™s successor, Ko¬ Annan,
wrote in 1998 that postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding refers to “actions undertaken
at the end of a con¬‚ict to consolidate peace and prevent a recurrence of
armed confrontation.”4 The fundamental purpose of peacebuilding, accord-
ing to these statements, is to establish the conditions for stable and lasting
peace in countries that are just emerging from civil wars. The second reason
to use this dependent variable is that it allows us to evaluate a dimension
of the liberal peace thesis about which we know relatively little: whether
liberalization is a reliable remedy for civil violence.
Is the achievement of a stable and lasting peace too high a standard for
peacebuilding operations, given the dif¬cult task they face in pacifying war-
shattered states? Some commentators argue that it is, and propose more mod-
est measures of effectiveness in peacebuilding. George Downs and Stephen
Stedman, for example, suggest that a more reasonable gauge of success is
whether peace prevails in the host countries at the moment when peace-
building agencies depart.5 However, there are at least two problems with
this reduced standard of effective peacebuilding. First, it departs from the
central goal that practitioners of peacebuilding have themselves identi¬ed
for these operations “ namely, to establish conditions that will prevent the
recurrence of violence in the foreseeable future, or what some scholars and
UN of¬cials call a “self-sustaining” peace “ as opposed to a peace that lasts
only for as long as international peacebuilders remain in the host country.6
Second, by focusing solely on whether ¬ghting recurs in the short run, the
Downs-Stedman formula de¬‚ects attention from the question of whether
or not peacebuilders successfully address the underlying sources of con¬‚ict,
which the UN also views as essential to the establishment of a self-sustaining
peace. If the conditions that gave rise to civil con¬‚ict in the ¬rst place are
left in place, con¬‚ict may simply rekindle after foreign peacebuilders have
departed. Given that the declared purpose of peacebuilding is to “identify
and support structures” that minimize the likelihood of renewed ¬ghting,
any serious evaluation of the effectiveness of peacebuilding should include
a consideration of why civil violence erupted in the ¬rst place, and whether
the conditions that gave rise to this violence have been ameliorated through

2 3 Boutros-Ghali 1995, para. 49.
Boutros-Ghali 1992, pp. 11 and 32.
4 5 Downs and Stedman 2002. See also Stedman 2002, pp. 18“19.
Annan 1998, para. 63.
6 See statements by Annan in W. H. Reilly 2001a and 2001b; by Carlos Westendorp, the UN-
appointed High Representative in Bosnia, in Lederer 1999; the text of the Brahimi Report
(Panel on United Nations Peace Operations 2000, para. 28); and Elisabeth Cousens™s use
of “self-enforcing peace” as the appropriate measure for peacebuilding success (in Cousens
2001, pp. 11“12). Annan has also used the term “stable and lasting peace” to describe the
fundamental goal of peacebuilding (in UN document SG/SM/8023, November 13, 2001).
Introduction to the Case Studies 57

peacebuilding. For the same reason, a full assessment of the peacebuild-
ing record should consider the possibility that international peacebuilders,
themselves, might inadvertently create new conditions that endanger peace.
All of this raises dif¬cult issues of analysis and evidence, particularly for
peacebuilding cases in which outright ¬ghting has not resumed. Yet even in
these latter cases, judgments about the durability of the peace and the effects
of peacebuilding operations on the likelihood of renewed con¬‚ict must still be
made. The prospective nature of these judgments necessarily limits our abil-
ity to reach de¬nitive conclusions about the effectiveness of peacebuilding in
the post“Cold War era, and it will be decades before a full retrospective anal-
ysis of the effects of these operations on the host states will be feasible. Yet
these dif¬culties should not lead us down the path of expediently adopting a
reduced standard of successful peacebuilding that focuses solely on the short-
term effects of these operations, rather than considering whether these mis-
sions have fostered conditions for a more durable peace, which is the stated
goal of peacebuilding.7 Given that a number of these missions have already
been completed “ in some cases several years ago “ a provisional assess-
ment of the peacebuilding record is possible now, particularly if we focus on
speci¬c aspects of these operations.
With these provisos in mind, I will use the record of peacebuilding to eval-
uate the Wilsonian hypothesis that attempting to transform a war-shattered
state into a liberal market democracy fosters a stable and lasting peace, and
the more general belief that liberalization offers a remedy for civil con¬‚ict.
If these two hypotheses are sound, the efforts of peacebuilding agencies to
promote political and economic liberalization should at the very least: 1)
not cause ¬ghting to resume; 2) not exacerbate preexisting conditions that
previously led to civil violence within the host state; and 3) not create new
conditions within the host state that are likely to spark a resurgence of ¬ght-
ing. If the record of peacebuilding shows that these expectations have not
been borne out in practice “ in other words, if internationally sponsored
liberalization efforts in war-shattered states have diminished, rather than
enhanced, the likelihood of stable and lasting peace “ this ¬nding will cast
doubt on the central assumptions of peacebuilding.
Other analysts argue that peacebuilding missions should be held to a
much higher standard. Followers of John Galtung, for instance, contend
that peacebuilding should aim to produce “positive peace” that liberates
ordinary people from various forms of “structural violence” within their
societies.8 Structural violence refers to any kind of harm caused by “poverty

7 By adopting a reduced standard for evaluating peacebuilding, we would repeat the mistake
that Downs and Stedman (2002) and others have made: allowing the demands of method-
ological neatness to determine what the goals of peacebuilding should be.
8 Galtung 1969. For an application of these concepts to contemporary peacebuilding opera-
tions, see Cockell 2000.
The Peacebuilding Record

and unjust social, political, and economic institutions, systems, or struc-
tures.”9 Although the alleviation of harmful conditions is certainly a worthy
goal, there are two problems in using this concept to evaluate the effective-
ness of peacebuilding missions. First, the notion of “structural violence” itself
is so broad, and potentially encompasses so many things, that it verges on
meaninglessness. Galtung writes, for example, that structural violence occurs
“when human beings are being in¬‚uenced so that their actual somatic and
mental realizations are below their potential realizations.”10 The challenge
of determining precisely whether people are “realizing their mental poten-
tial” would be dif¬cult enough, but the broader problem with this concept is
that it lacks de¬nitional boundaries: Virtually anything could be considered
a form of “violence.”11 The second problem is that alleviating structural vio-
lence represents a considerably more ambitious goal for peacebuilding than
the secretaries-general of the United Nations and other sponsors of these
missions have articulated.
This book, therefore, charts a middle course between those who claim that
peacebuilding should aim only to police cease-¬res, and those who believe
that peacebuilding should solve all the social ills of a country. I investigate,
instead, the relationship between liberalization and the prospects for renewed
¬ghting in states hosting these operations, which is both analytically tractable
and more faithful to the declared purposes of peacebuilding.

Case Study Guidelines
I examine each major peacebuilding operation launched between 1989 and
1998 (see the next section for a discussion of case selection) by using an
investigative approach that Alexander George has called “controlled com-
parison.”12 This methodology is designed for circumstances in which the
total number of cases of a given phenomenon is too small to permit effec-
tive statistical analysis, or when researchers wish to examine speci¬c causal
mechanisms in greater detail than is possible simply through the study of sta-
tistical correlations. Both conditions apply to the present study: The number
of peacebuilding operations is limited, and the complexity of the subject
matter (the effects of political and economic liberalization on war-shattered
states) demands individual attention to the details of each case. But if our
goal is to investigate speci¬c causal hypotheses across several cases, we must
be conscious of the need to treat each case in a focused manner “ by de¬ning

9 10 Galtung 1969, p. 168.
Kohler and Alcock 1976, p. 343.
11 This problem of de¬nitional boundaries also applies to most formulations of “human secu-
rity,” another concept that some commentators have used to evaluate the success of peace-
building. See Paris 2001.
12 George 1979.
Introduction to the Case Studies 59

in advance a set of questions that we will seek to answer. This is the essence
of controlled comparison: ensuring that the information derived from each
case study is directly relevant to the question under investigation.
To this end, I use the following analytical steps to examine each operation.
My central question, as noted, is whether democratization and marketiza-
tion fostered conditions for a stable and lasting peace in the states that hosted
peacebuilding missions. I de¬ne “peace” as the absence of large-scale vio-
lence,13 and “stable and lasting peace” as a peace that is likely to endure
beyond the departure of the peacebuilders themselves and into the foresee-
able future. Peacebuilding cases are divided into two groups: ¬rst, those in
which large-scale violence did recur after the start of a peacebuilding mis-
sion (either during the mission or thereafter); and second, those in which
large-scale violence did not recur during the peacebuilding mission and has
not recurred since the termination of the mission.
The rationale for separating the cases in this manner is straightforward.
If ¬ghting recurred, the conditions for a stable and lasting peace were clearly
not established, and the key question is, What role did the internationally
sponsored process of political and economic liberalization play in either
deterring or inciting renewed violence? If ¬ghting did not recur, the main
question becomes whether or not the liberalization process helped to create
conditions for a stable and lasting peace. This is a dif¬cult question to an-
swer, for the reasons I described above. However, if the Wilsonian hypothesis
is correct, democratization and marketization should not be responsible for
any of the following: the re-creation or exacerbation of domestic conditions
that previously caused civil con¬‚ict in the host state; the deepening of divi-
sions and antagonism among the formerly warring parties; or the creation
of new conditions that endanger the peace. Any of these outcomes would
appear to contradict “ or, at least, challenge “ the notion that liberalization
fosters the conditions for stable and lasting peace in war-shattered states (see
Figure 3.1).
If the case studies indicate that internationally sponsored liberalization
efforts appear to have sparked renewed ¬ghting “ or to have created condi-
tions that make resurgent violence more, not less, likely “ then the Wilsonian
assumptions of peacebuilding would, as I have suggested, be called into ques-
tion. Furthermore, the case studies should also allow us to develop a more
detailed and accurate understanding of why the political and economic liber-
alization process has had certain effects in countries that host peacebuilding
missions. The empirical analysis that follows, therefore, represents an inter-
mediate step in a larger project: one that involves both an initial assessment
of the Wilsonian hypothesis and the development of new hypotheses and

13 I de¬ne “large-scale violence” as at least 1,000 battle-related deaths in a single year. This is
the most common cut-off ¬gure for students of war. See Wallensteen and Sollenberg 2001.
The Peacebuilding Record

Regarding cases in which violence recurred, I pose the following question:

Did political liberalization (i.e., the holding of elections, the

liberalization of rules governing political expression, efforts to
enhance respect for civil and political rights, the freeing up of the
media) or economic liberalization (i.e., the introduction of market-
oriented reforms) contribute in any discernible way to the resur-
gence of ¬ghting?

Regarding cases in which violence did not recur, I ask these questions:

Did the process of political or economic liberalization ameliorate

domestic societal conditions that had previously fueled violent
Did the process foster a movement toward peaceful reconciliation

among the formerly warring parties?
Did the process exacerbate tensions within the society in a manner

that endangered the prospects for a stable and lasting peace?

¬gure 3.1. Case Study Questions

theory from the evidence collected, or what some scholars call the “discov-
ery of theory from data.”14

Case Selection
Between 1989 and 1999, there were fourteen major international peacebuild-
ing operations deployed to countries that were just emerging from civil wars
(see Figure 3.2).15 By “major” operations I mean missions that included at
least two hundred international military personnel “ anything smaller would
constitute a very small operation by the historical standards of peacekeeping
and peacebuilding. By “international” I mean that the deployment of these
personnel was formally approved by the UN Security Council. By “countries
that were just emerging from civil wars” I mean states where armed con-
¬‚icts were fought for at least one year (which helps to differentiate “wars”
from more transitory disturbances) and where these con¬‚icts were mainly
within the borders of a single state and among parties who normally reside in
that state (thereby distinguishing “civil” from “international” wars). These
are not arbitrary de¬nitions: Because our goal is to examine the effects of
Wilsonian peacebuilding policies in countries that have recently experienced
civil wars, we stand to learn little “ or, worse, we risk drawing distorted

14 Glaser and Strauss 1967, p. 14.
15 I treat instances in which there was technically more than one operation created for the same
territory “ for example, in Croatia “ as a single mission for the purposes of the case studies.
Introduction to the Case Studies 61


Namibia 1989“1990
Nicaragua 1989“1992
Angola 1991“1997
Cambodia 1991“1993
El Salvador 1991“1995

Mozambique 1992“1994
Liberia 1993“1997
Rwanda 1993“1996
Bosnia 1995“present
Croatia 1995“1998
Guatemala 1997
East Timor 1999“present
Kosovo 1999“present
Sierra Leone 1999“present
* Military component.

¬gure 3.2. Major Peacebuilding Operations Deployed in 1989“1999

conclusions “ if we consider peace missions that either did not follow an
armed con¬‚ict or that followed an international rather than a civil war.
Several peace operations launched after the Cold War fall outside the
above de¬nition. The international mission in Haiti, for example, which was
launched in 1994, followed a political crisis, not an armed con¬‚ict. The now-
infamous Somalia operation also falls outside the scope of this work, because
¬ghting in that country effectively never ended and the operation sheds little
light on the subject of postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding. I also exclude the mission
to the Central African Republic in 1998 for different reasons: Although the
mission did follow internal violence in that country, the preceding period of
unrest was very brief (lasting only a few weeks) and less of a civil war than
a mutiny among certain elements of the country™s military. Since the early
1990s, another peacebuilding mission has been planned for the territory of
The Peacebuilding Record

the Western Sahara (between Morocco and Mauritania), but at the time
of writing, local parties have still not agreed on the details “ so it, too,
has been left out of this work. Two further operations were deployed to
the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan and Georgia in the early 1990s,
but in both cases, ¬ghting had been taking place for considerably less than
a year, and both missions included a very small number of international
military personnel (81 and 103, respectively). The only other peace operation
approved by the UN Security Council during the 1989“1999 period was a
tiny mission that comprised nine military observers, who were sent to a
strip of land between Chad and Libya in order to oversee the termination of


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