the instructions are attached, this is an exam so no outside sources should be cited however you can what you need to in order to answer the following question. Please read carefully and write a long essay of minimum 750 words.
i attached some readings as well.
the instructions are attached, this is an exam so no outside sources should be cited however you can what you need to in order to answer the following question. Please read carefully and write a long
Part I. Long Essay (12.5 Point) Answer the following question fully. I strongly recommend that you outline your essay first. Your answer should be more than just an opinion, it must be based on the theoretical frameworks we learned this semester. (Minimum of 750 words) The conflict in Yemen have been going on since 2013 with civil war erupting in 2014. It has become a proxy war. Recently there was a breakthrough towards peace. As we discussed in class, what are the critical barriers to a peace process? Please analyze this conflict and provide an explanation as to who are the major groups/players or identities involved in this conflict, why did this conflict occur, what were the impacts of the conflict on human migration and what needs to be done in order to end the conflict. What is the road ahead towards peacebuilding and democracy? You may use as background our class discussion, assigned readings and most importantly the analytical and theoretical frameworks we learned for the second half of the semester. Be sure to address in your answer the current peace talks, international actors involved in the conflict, social and psychological aspects of the conflict, impact of human migration, challenges to peacemaking and next steps for a movement towards reconstruction, peacebuilding, democracy and reconciliation.
the instructions are attached, this is an exam so no outside sources should be cited however you can what you need to in order to answer the following question. Please read carefully and write a long
See d is cu ssio ns, s ta ts , a nd a uth or p ro ﬁle s fo r t h is p ublic a tio n a t: h ttp s://w ww.r e se arc h gate .n et/p ublic a tio n/3 21609064 A P o st-L ib era l P e ace Book · D ecem ber 2 011 CIT AT IO NS 5 1 READ S 3 03 1 a uth or: S om e o f t h e a uth ors o f t h is p ublic a tio n a re a ls o w ork in g o n t h ese r e la te d p ro je cts : H ybrid it y in P eacebuild in g, L aw a nd D evelo pm ent V ie w p ro je ct A nalo gue v ers u s D ig it a l In te rn atio nal R ela tio ns V ie w p ro je ct O liv er P . R ic hm ond The U niv ers it y o f M ancheste r 160 PU BLIC AT IO NS 2 ,3 90 CIT AT IO NS S EE P R OFIL E A ll c onte nt f o llo w in g t h is p age w as u plo aded b y O liv er P . R ic hm ond o n 0 7 D ecem ber 2 017. The u se r h as re queste d e nhance m ent o f th e d ow nlo aded ﬁ le . A Post-Liberal Peace This book examines how the liberal peace experiment of the post-Cold War environment has failed to connect with its target populations, which have instead set about transforming it according to their own local requirements. Liberal peacebuilding has caused a range of unintended consequences. These emerge from the liberal peace’s internal contradictions, from its claim to offer a universal normative and epistemological basis for peace, and to offer a technology and process which can be applied to achieve it. When viewed from a range of contextual and local perspectives, these top-down and distant processes often appear to represent power rather than humanitarianism or emancipation. Yet, the liberal peace also offers a civil peace and emancipation. These tensions enable a range of hitherto little understood local and contextual peacebuilding agencies to emerge, which renegotiate both the local context and the liberal peace framework, leading to a local-liberal hybrid form of peace. This might be called a post-liberal peace. Such processes are examined in this book in a range of different cases of peacebuilding and statebuilding since the end of the Cold War. This book will be of interest to students of Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace and Conflict Studies, international organisations and International Relations/ Security Studies. Oliver P. Richmond is a Professor in the School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews, UK, and Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. His publications include Liberal Peace Transitions (with Jason Franks, 2009) and Peace in International Relations (Routledge, 2008). Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution Series Editors: Tom Woodhouse and Oliver Ramsbotham, University of Bradford Peace and Security in the Postmodern World: The OSCE and Conflict Resolution Dennis J. D. Sandole Truth Recovery and Justice after Conflict: Managing Violent Pasts Marie Breen Smyth Peace in International Relations Oliver P. Richmond Social Capital and Peace-Building: Creating and Resolving Conflict with Trust and Social Networks Michaelene Cox (ed.) Business, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding Derek Sweetman Creativity and Conflict Resolution: Alternative Pathways to Peace Tatsushi Arai Climate Change and Armed Conflict: Hot and Cold Wars James R. Lee Transforming Violent Conflict: Radical Disagreement, Dialogue and Survival Oliver Ramsbotham Governing Ethnic Conflict: Consociation, Identity and the Price of Peace Andrew Finlay Political Discourse and Conflict Resolution: Debating Peace in Northern Ireland Katy Hayward and Catherine O’Donnell (eds) Economic Assistance and Conflict Transformation: Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland Sean Byrne Liberal Peacebuilding and Global Governance: Beyond the Metropolis David Roberts A Post-Liberal Peace Oliver P. Richmond A Post-Liberal Peace Oliver P. Richmond First published 2011 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an infor ma business © 2011 Oliver P. Richmond The right of Oliver P. Richmond to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Richmond, Oliver P. A post-liberal peace / Oliver P. Richmond. p. cm. 1. Peace-building. 2. Conflict management. I. Title. JZ5538.R527 2011 303.6’6–dc22 2010053566 ISBN13: 978-0-415-66782-1 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-66784-5 (pbk) ISBN13: 978-0-203-81026-2 (ebk) Typeset in Baskerville by Fakenham Prepress Solutions, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 8NN To Beatrice, who represents the present and the future. For Eric and Joyce Richmond, and Bernard Nesden, from a generation who knew both war and peace. Let us give the term genealogy to the union of erudite knowledge and local memories which allow us to establish a historical knowledge of struggles and to make use of this knowledge tactically today. 1 1 Michel Foucault, ‘Two Lectures’, Power/Knowledge, London: Pantheon, 1972, p.83. Contents Acknowledgements ix Introduction 1 PART I 23 The romanticisation of the local 1 Civil society, needs and welfare 25 2 The culture of liberal peacebuilding 44 3 Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding: Cambodia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo and Timor Leste 66 4 De-romanticising the local: implications for post-liberal peacebuilding 92 PART II 115 Hybridity and the infrapolitics of peacebuilding 5 Everyday critical agency and resistance in peacebuilding 117 6 De-romanticising the local, de-mystifying the international: aspects of the local-liberal hybrid 151 Conclusion: The birth of a post-liberal peace 186 Appendix 1: HDI and GINI data for post-conflict countries: from settlement to the present 217 Appendix 2: International versus local perspectives of peacebuilding in Bosnia 220 viii Contents Appendix 3: Universal welfare support in transitional states (very rough model) 224 Notes 226 Bibliography 258 Index 274 Acknowledgements So many people have given their time and patience to this book, often in adverse circumstances and relatively difficult locations. These adversities range from the pressures of work and politics in international institutions, state institutions, politics, development/donor agencies, human rights organisations, a wide range of NGOs, social movements, local associations, and so forth. But more important are those that exist in the contours of often barely visible everyday life in its most marginal locations in my view. I would like especially to thank local researchers, assistants, translators, interviewees, and focus group participants in my field sites during visits to Cambodia, Timor Leste, Kosovo, Bosnia, Liberia, Namibia, Mozambique, Guatemala, and the Solomon Islands. I am grateful to them all and hope that I have done their contributions some justice. The problems faced by them in these intertwined projects of peace place my own mundane issues with university bureaucracy, the rigours of travel, and the polite debates of Western academia into a proper perspective. More importantly, I hope that this study mirrors a growing realisation that the politics and struggles of everyday life in conflict and post-conflict settings might now be more actively represented in the new interdisciplinary debates surrounding IR and peace and conflict studies. It is perhaps time to acknowledge the politics at stake in these debates and related practices. I would like to thank in particular colleagues at Kulterstudier in Pondicherry, The School of IR and ACPACS, at the University of Queensland, the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, Koc University, Istanbul, The Centre for Peace Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal, and Pontificia Universidade Catolica of Rio de Janeiro, all of which provided me with tranquil locations for stimulating discussions about the issues in this book. I would like to thank my colleagues and partners at GTZ, Timor Leste: The Ministry for Peace and Reconciliation, Solomon Islands; Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Sarajevo; PRIO in Oslo; The Centre for Human Security, Sciences Po, Paris; and the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and the School of IR at the University of St Andrews. In particular I would like to thank Roland Bleiker, Morgan Brigg, Stefanie Kappler, Zeliha Kashman, Roger MacGinty, Necati Polat, Mike Pugh, Nick Rengger, Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh, Yiannis Tellidis, Rob Walker, Alison Watson, and several reviewers for commenting in detail on parts of the text. I x Acknowledgements would like to thank my partners on an EUFP7 project on a ‘Just And Durable Peace’, particularly Annika Bjorkdahl and Karin Aggestam at Lund University, who tolerated my being spread too thinly. I would also like to thank those who attended various presentations of this study over the last few years for their contri- butions, at the University of Oxford: University of Bath; University of Bradford; University of Westminster; University of Exeter; University of Nicosia (where I presented the first attempt in 2007); University of Coimbra, Portugal; Phillips Universitat, Germany; Max Planck Institute, Halle, Germany; George Mason University, Washington; Sciences Po, Paris; PRIO, Oslo; Khung Hee University, Korea; Koc University and Sabanci University, both in Istanbul; University of Liberia; Trinity College, Dublin; University of Tubingham, Germany; University of Queensland; Autonomous University of Madrid; PUC University, Rio de Janiero; as well as the ISA conferences in New York and San Francisco, and the Millennium Conference at LSE in 2009. Funding for the fieldwork was in part made available by the Nuffield Trust, The Carnegie Trust, the University of St Andrews, a Visiting Professorship at the University of Queensland, and an EUFP7 grant for a project on a ‘Just And Durable Peace’ (specifically Part I, grant no. 217488). Last of all thanks and apologies to friends and loved ones for their patience with my ‘work ethic’ and frequent invitations to ‘visit’ awkward places. Introduction 1 … a genealogy should be seen as [an … ] attempt to emancipate historical knowl- edges from [ … ] subjection, to render them, that is, capable of opposition, and of struggle against the coercion of a theoretical, unitary, formal and scientific discourse. It is based on the reactivation of local knowledges [ … ] in opposition to the scientific hierarchisation of knowledges and the effects intrinsic to their power. 2 Beyond the liberal peace? The liberal peace has become a model through which Western-led agency, epistemology, and institutions, have attempted to unite the world under a hegemonic system that replicates liberal institutions, norms, and political, social, and economic systems. 3 It has been deployed in something like fifty to sixty post-conflict and fragile states over the last twenty years. Peace in these terms is seen not as an international gift, or as a local production, but as a contract. Emancipatory thinking about peace has collapsed into conditionality and governmentality. This has the attraction for international planners of a number of dynamics, including state pacification and regional stabilisation, transfor – mation, normative legitimacy, civil emancipation, the bringing into being of a social contract, opening markets and validating the liberal state as a universal framework for emancipation. This has also often been an attractive proposition for many of this broad project’s recipients outside of the West, in the developing, conflict, and post-conflict world. Sometimes this agreement has been honest and at other times it has been more devious, as has the development of the liberal peace project itself. This framework has been persuasive and intelligible at global, state, and local levels, despite its own bounded and contextual prove- nance. It emanates from Western experiences of development, peacebuilding, society, sovereignty, institutions, and the state. Since the end of the Cold War and until recently, it has remained without challenge, at least in mainstream international fora. This is also perhaps the reason why the liberal peace has appeared in some contexts – often from the perspective of local recipients (or to be precise the political subjects of peacebuilding, statebuilding, modernisation, and development) to be insensitive, parochial, narrow and even complacent. This perspective 2 Introduction claims it engenders ethnocentrism, cultural biases, and a narrow set of interests, 4 bounded by Hobbes and Locke. It might be said that in its various iterations and broadest characterisation the liberal peace has been in crisis since the first intervention in Somalia by the UN and the US in the early 1990s. The responses to UNOSOM I and II, and to UNITAF (United Nations Task Force) were seen at the time by many as an extreme expression of state and citizen dysfunctionalism and anarchic violence, and little was written about what these events meant for the new, more confident version of the liberal peace in the post-Cold War environment. Despite these interventions, almost twenty years later, Somalia is still seen as a failed state. Many of the other interventions, whether peacebuilding, statebuilding, or ‘peace- enforcement’ have had unintended consequences or failed to meet their ambitious goals: Timor Leste and its ever-fragile state; in the Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa, Cambodia and Central America where hybrid political regimes have emerged, often combining authoritarian rule and democracy, or custom and indigeneity; Kosovo where peacebuilding was co-opted into a nationalist project; Bosnia Herzegovina where political deadlock still prevents the reforms necessary for EU accession as the ultimate guarantee of peace; and finally Afghanistan and Iraq, where even the most basic form of security has failed to emerge despite (or perhaps partly because of) liberal interventionism. In these latter cases – perhaps the biggest peace project since the Marshall Plan – ironically a form of ‘liberal state’ has emerged which is fortified, militarised, spends most of its revenue on security, provides massive public sector employment to avoid humanitarian emergency, and is underpinned by quickly rotated international personnel (often US military or advisors). 5 These are at best parodies of the liberal state. Many scholars have criticised the liberal peace and liberal statebuilding project from a wide variety of perspectives (often concentrating on the problems raised because of its co-option by ideological neoliberalism, which denies many of the rights the liberal peace proposes, its focus on statehood and territorial sover – eignty, and its incapacity in connecting with local contextual issues). Others have defended the liberal peace, claiming that there is no real alternative or modifi- cation. The former arguments have been empirically proven time and time again in a wide range of post-conflict or post-violence examples, 6 yet are widely ignored by the mainstream who prefer the latter narrative (often for methodological, ideological or professional reasons). The defensive claim that there is ‘no real alternative’ is, on the other hand, a liberal fantasy, derived from crypto-colonial claims of cosmopolitan universalism. In fact there are alternatives and significant modifications to the liberal agenda already intellectually available and empirically observable. Interesting dynamics have emerged in terms of local responses in post-conflict 7 peacebuilding, statebuilding, modernisation, and development environments. These have been at community (or customary, or other identity forms) or elite levels (politicians, business, and state elites), and do not indicate complete antipathy or complete acceptance. It has often been thought that there is little capacity for peace (or at best it is of a small scale), at the local level, but increasingly it appears Introduction 3 that this is not the case. Local peacebuilding has more agency, and international peacebuilding, perhaps less than is often assumed. Though my examples and cases in this study often focus on local agency derived from custom and community or the adoption of modernisation, I should point out that there has been a long-standing discussion of other dynamics of agency, including class, inequality, neopatrimonialism, gender, and socio- economic issues as forming the basis of local agency for peacebuilding, in both African and Central or South American settings. 8 These various dynamics have also been used to indicate tensions with the liberal peace system, as well as the salience of local actors in determining a sustainable peace. Yet, local failures to implement the liberal peace model are mainly blamed on local actors, political elites, predatory and pathological behaviour, and a lack of understanding of the benefits of the liberal peace infecting the target state. This inability of analyses framed by, supporting, propagating, or based on the liberal peace model to engage with context beyond their own occurs for a number of reasons. These range from its internal intellectual tensions, its material limitations, its methodo- logical inability to move beyond its universal prescriptions derived from a narrow Western experience, and its architectural priorities in security, economics, rights, and institutional terms. The most significant limitation has been its many failures in engaging with local actors (from the state to the community level), and to comprehend the perspectives, influences, cultures, customs, histories, or political, economic, social systems that exist, or to engage these in interwoven international and local peace projects. This has arisen because the liberal peace represents the biases of a specific set of actors, a knowledge system and epistemic community, allied to a narrow set of interests, norms, institutions and techniques, developed from these. 9 Yet, its subjects have resisted, exposed local ownership as external regulation, and have fragmented the hegemony of the liberal peace. A localised perspective of peacebuilding – the view from below but also transversally and transnationally connected to the global – is the starting point for a reassessment of the liberal peace project, in keeping with emancipatory discourses of peacebuilding, and provides the basis for the approach this study adopts. Sites of resistance in the context of peacebuilding, with a view to emancipation and empathy with others ultimately lead to hybrid forms of peace. They require a reconsideration of who and what peace is constructed for, how it is negotiated and renegotiated by the strong and the weak (or then subaltern), what is to be included in its parameters, and how its emancipatory objectives develop. It involves engaging with alternative, resistant or critical agencies for peace, in tension with the liberal model, and perhaps hidden to it. It also requires understanding of the sorts of politics, systems, and hybridity that are produced, when such forms of agency come into contact with alternative, transformative projects in everyday contexts, as well as the sorts of emancipation, empathy, and care provided by the liberal peace versus that required in contextual terms. An emancipatory peace, in such terms, might be thought of as an everyday form of peace, offering care, respecting but also mediating culture and identity, institu- tions, and custom, providing for needs, and assisting the most marginalised in 4 Introduction their local, state, regional and international contexts. It represents the provo- cation or creation of local peacebuilding agency, allows it space to contest the liberal peace and represent its own contextual dynamics, and ultimately through a local and transnational political process, leads to hybrid forms of peace. In broader terms, the local context in peacebuilding raises the issue of the roles and capacities of local agencies in reformulating international relations, especially in the liberal guise of cosmopolitanism, rights, institutions, and markets and their varied consequences for local contexts. The remainder of this introduction provides the basis for this argument and sketches out its path. The liberal peace framework While the liberal peace project is in disarray many of its supporters correctly argue, usually via quantitative methodologies, that the number of inter-state and civil wars have reduced in the last ten years or so, as have the number of deaths (perhaps with the exception of the heavily disputed figures of civilian deaths for the war in Iraq). The number of durable negotiated settlements also appears to have increased. 10 This is significant but it also masks a widespread, local dissatisfaction with what the liberal peace actually represents for its subjects in post-violence environments. This is very evident in local and qualitative, social, economic, and political terms, as much contemporary, methodologically and theoretically sophisticated and locally grounded research now illustrates. 11 This contradicts the orthodox, institutional and elite level, state-based approaches often deployed, and reflects the events that have unfolded in situations as diverse as Timor Leste, Bosnia, Kosovo, or Cambodia. 12 In many post-violence environments local perceptions of the liberal peace project and its statebuilding focus indicate it to be ethically bankrupt, subject to double standards, coercive and conditional, acultural, relatively unconcerned with needs, social welfare, or public services, and unfeeling and insensitive towards its subjects. Indeed, these deficiencies may even have incited resistance, reflecting the common emergence of a local post-colonial narrative about liberal peacebuilding’s endorsement of an international-local relationship, configured as managers and subjects. So far the liberal peace project has not been subject to a concerted ethical consideration. Instead its legitimacy tends to rest on the praxis of already peaceful liberal polities, derived from the international level. This is exemplified by the often slavish focus on mandates, Security Council resolutions, international policy frameworks, or donor priorities over context. To summarise my earlier work on this matter, the liberal peace framework rests upon conceptions of liberal-internationalist thought, on liberal-institutionalism, on the democratic peace hypothesis and free trade, on international law, and the balance between individual freedoms and regulations. These are embedded in liberal thinking and in the state, via a liberal social contract. It draws heavily on the Western philosophical and political debates that emerged from the writings of Hobbes, Machiavelli, Abbé St Pierre, Kant, Rousseau, Locke, Paine, Penn, Introduction 5 Cobden, Mill, Bentham, and Grotius, among others, in the context of cycles of war, diplomacy, statebuilding, imperialism, and colonialism. 13 In academic and policy writings related to peacebuilding and statebuilding it is normally taken to signify, in Wilsonian terms, 14 the processes, actors, and ‘technologies’ associated with humanitarian intervention, with security sector reform (and DDR), with institution building, good governance, democratisation, rule of law programming, human rights, reconstruction, development, and free market reform. 15 There are four main strands of thought contained within the liberal peace framework from which these components are derived. These include the ‘victor’s peace’, the ‘institutional peace’, the ‘constitutional peace ’, and the ‘civil peace’. 16 These combine to form the liberal peace model, each contributing to a different area of governance, relating to security, institutions, governance and constitu- tions, rule of law, human rights, development and marketisation, and civil society. The liberal peace is differentiated from the liberal democratic peace in that it offers a broader focus, not just on domestic political institutions and their inter – national implications, but on the character of peace in civil and societal, political, economic, security, and international spheres. This has been the model and loose ‘consensus’ that internationals have attempted to apply in UN peace operations – from Cambodia in the early 1990s to Timor Leste and Afghanistan more recently – and also via other international and regional organisations since the end of the Cold War. 17 In practice, the first three strands of the liberal peace framework dominate peacebuilding, with a focus on security, institutional and constitutional reform. These dictate the significance of international regimes, organisations, and law, and democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the free market. Liberalism is understood to be aspirational, aimed at the freedom of individuals, and the liberal peace is always framed by the state and the market. The civil peace is a key part of this agenda as it supports the liberal peace’s overall emancipatory claims, which approach a version of social justice, and offer grounded legitimacy, being derived from local agency as well as international liberal norms. The civil peace is derived from the phenomena of direct action, of citizen advocacy and mobilisation, and from the attainment or defence of basic human rights and values. Within the liberal peace context it indicates individual agency within an international organisation, donor, agency, or, NGO (non-governmental organisation) context or within the market, rather than community agency. This latter concept is deemed to carry problematic ideological and cultural baggage. It also represents and underlines the old contractual dilemmas between the state and the citizen, of self-government, self-determination, and pluralism. These intellectual strands offer different levels of engagement with local contexts, the ‘everyday’ and with ‘care’. 18 They indicate conservative, orthodox, and emancipatory graduations of the liberal peace. The conservative graduation offers basic security and state level order, but little more. The orthodox graduation attempts to go further, while the emancipatory graduation offers social trans- formation. The conservative graduation of the liberal peace is associated with top-down and heavily externalised approaches to peacebuilding. These have been widely accepted as a transitional necessity in most post-war environments. Often, 6 Introduction illiberal transitions (multilateral humanitarian intervention or even unilateral invasion) towards liberal institution building are key to this approach 19 (as have been seen in Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq). Conservative gradua- tions of the liberal peace may offer basic everyday or state security but little care. The orthodox graduation of the liberal peace focuses on top-down insti- tution building. Bottom-up approaches engaging with civil society are relatively widespread, but international actors focus on the development of the liberal state, its institutions, and a neoliberal economy. This is rights-based and developed through conditionality. It tends to be justified by the argument that security, order, and institutions always come first. These are derived from the praxis of interna- tionals not local actors, for whom ownership of the liberal peace is eventually envisaged. 20 This model is exemplified by the UN family’s practices of peace- building and governance reform, which started at the end of the Cold War and in particular culminated in the Kosovo mission and UN sovereignty for a time over Timor Leste. The orthodox gradation offers significantly more engagement with its subjects over a broader range of issues denoting potential for an everyday peace. Assuming security matters have been assuaged by this point, this estab- lishes institutions that provide care, relating to governance and public services but within the confines dictated by neoliberal marketisation. The final gradation represents a more critical form of the liberal peace. This emancipatory model is concerned with needs as well as rights (and a blurring of the line between these categories), and a much closer relationship between custo- dians and subjects, implying local ownership. This is a bottom-up approach with a stronger concern for social welfare and justice. It equates with the civil peace and generally is not state-led but shaped by NGOs, trade unions, advocacy and social movements as well as to some regional and international actors. Here the everyday and care become the major concerns of peacebuilding, though this treads a fine line between providing what external actors believe to be suitable versions of these according to their external understandings of the everyday, and what recipients may want according to contextual dynamics. However, this comes closest to engaging with the notion of an everyday ethic of peace. The liberal peace framework and its graduations converge on a notion of peace- as-governance, to make use of a pertinent concept (with due regard for its origin in Western political contexts). 21 This is both biopolitical and governmentalising in the Foucaultian sense of these terms, reordering state and society via the alphabet soup of agencies, organisations, and institutions. The framework relies on the concepts of territorial statehood and sovereignty, and on dominant states in the international community. These assume that the epistemology, ontology, and methods associated with the liberal peace are on ethically firm ground and should be contained within the modern sovereign state. Its parameters suggest an end to violence and, through the liberal state formulation, an everyday form of peace, which engages with the local, its cultural dynamics, welfare needs, and environment. Thus, it leads to the social contract inherent in a liberal state. This has been extended into a claimed, automatically ethical blueprint for its transferral to non-Western, often undeveloped, and often regarded as non-liberal Introduction 7 polities. Yet, it is also a disciplinary framework that often rests on coercion, a lack of consent, conditionality, and the prioritisation of elites over the interests of the many. As such criticisms emerged in the 1990s, the more recent ‘light footprint’ approach in Afghanistan has been interpreted as a scaling back of the govern- mental claims of the liberal peace, but similar values remain in the internationals’ approach even there. 22 The ethics of liberalism suggest the ‘good life’ where individual privileges denote freedom to act politically, economically and socially, within a liberal governance framework which constitutionally guarantees human rights. Yet, the governmental and institutional imbalance in the very highly specialised context of post-conflict states undermines this ethic of engendering autonomy and agency. It often stifles local voices and their concerns about peace. 23 Many of the subjects of recent statebuilding experiments regard the liberal peace as an ideology whose universal aspirations are not mirrored on the ground. 24 This results in the re-securitisation of the post-conflict state whereby politics is deemed to start from security and institutions, rather than from social justice, community and everyday life. Thus, the politics of the liberal peace are perceived to represent the maintenance of existing normative and political hierarchies at the local, national, and global levels. This also makes some or many of its participants and subjects complicit in anti-democratic and anti-self-determination processes. These are tied to the state and to institutions that do not necessarily represent the local as either a civil society or in an everyday context. 25 This is particularly exaggerated in the liberal peace’s most conservative, militarised forms – as praxis in Afghanistan or Iraq has illustrated. It is also the case to some degree even in its orthodox, more institutionalised forms as in Kosovo, Timor Leste, or Bosnia. 26 This has diverted attention away from a search for more contextually legitimate alternatives, for hybrid forms of peace, for empathetic strategies through which the liberal blueprint for peace that has loosely emerged at the international level might coexist with local alternatives. 27 This is not to argue, as Barnett and Zuercher have already shown, that ‘cooptive peacebuilding’ (where international normative projection, conditionality and local elite requirements for survival produce an uneasy local compromise) 28 is without benefit, especially compared to the often violent alternatives, but this should not lead to complacency with respect to the critical development of the field, or the contextual legitimacy of intervention, liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding. Developing a critical account of the record of liberal peacebuilding Experience and data from a range of UN and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) thematic or country focused reports has shown liberal peacebuilding to have less impact on everyday life than is often claimed by its institutional proponents, the donor and development communities, and particu- larly the International Financial Institutions (IFIs). One example among many 8 Introduction can be found in the context of Timor Leste after the crisis of 2006. A UN report conceded that despite a lengthy and costly UN involvement there since 1999,… poverty and its associated deprivations including high urban unemployment and the absence of any prospect of meaningful involvement and employment opportunities in the foreseeable future, especially for young people have also contributed to the crisis. 29 Yet there was little sense of a need to reflect on the underlying liberal peace paradigm that allowed a ‘peace’ to be built in Timor Leste which ignored these issues. In a more recent example, a report on Afghanistan by the UN Secretary General ignored any direct engagement with such issues in favour of traditional political and security concerns, with the exception of one telling reference:The failure of development actors to ensure that quieter provinces in the north and west receive a tangible peace dividend has played into the latent north-south fault line within Afghanistan … 30 This report’s later sections on development, human rights, and humanitarian issues or human security, focused on orthodox issues relating to institution- building or emergency problems. 31 In the conclusion to the report the full litany of liberal peacebuilding discourse is repeated in seeming ignorance of the lessons of Timor Leste, or indeed of Afghanistan itself. Accordingly, the transition in Afghanistan is under ‘… increasing strain owing to insurgency, weak governance and the narco-economy’. The government needs to ‘… restore confidence to the population in tangible ways’ but this is conceptualised as being derived from, … stronger leadership from the Government, greater donor coherence — including improved coordination between the military and civilian inter – national engagement in Afghanistan — and a strong commitment from neighbouring countries, [without which] many of the security, institution- building and development gains made since the Bonn Conference may yet stall or even be reversed. 32 This list of priorities, focusing on security, terrorism, narcotics, and then the orthodoxy of the liberal peace as a subsequent priority (governance, development, reconciliation, and human rights abuses in this order) effectively places a local peace dividend in everyday terms for communities and individuals as a distant and lesser priority. It is disconnected from the conduct of democratic politics and the legitimacy of the state. 33 This is because the liberal peace’s primary goal in its intervention into the local is actually aimed at stability in international order between sovereign states. This is to be achieved ideally through the construction of a liberal social contract to produce domestic, regional, and international order. The ethical and policy metanarratives about liberal peace derive from the founding myths of Westphalia, its state-centric elitism, its focus on territorial Introduction 9 boundaries and sovereignty, its proto-institutional and its disciplinary nature. This is a ‘moment of exclusion’, essentially. 34 The concept of peace has generally been subject to utopian or dystopian assumptions, and the notion of the liberal peace has emerged as an ‘auto-ambivalent’ compromise. 35 It has been imbued with a specific set of interests, partly through the de-contextualisation of classical political theory and history which supports inherency arguments about conflict, or confirms liberal norms of market-democracy, all of which are supposed to represent inclusiveness and plurality. This informs a propensity to try to transform rather than engage with non-liberal others, introducing instead exclusivity and liberal enclosure. It also validates territorial state sovereignty and a social contract skewed in favour of the state, free markets, and the eradication of the indigenous or a locally more authentic polity (often through property rights), 36 identity, and needs, among other tendencies. 37 This has been used to promote a culture of governmental and securitised institutionalism 38 rather than promoting an everyday peace. 39 It has supported the classical view that liberal states and peoples are effectively superior in rights and status to others, and has extended these arguments to allow for the justification of direct or subtle forms of colonialism, interventionism, and local depoliticisation to occur. 40 A civil and emancipatory peace might arise through liberalism, but it may also lead to violence of a struc- tural or direct nature in post-conflict contexts. 41 In practice it also may have negative effects on self-determination and agency.42 In this context an ethical evaluation of the liberal peace beyond the West under – lines its tendency to be flimsy: denying self-determination and self-government, and depoliticising. This is as opposed to the potential of peace being empathetic and emancipatory, resting upon an ontological agreement and hybridity (meaning the development of an ontology that is not exclusive but is open to difference in everyday settings). 43 These latter qualities imply that the agents and recipients of the liberal peace are able to relate to each other on an everyday, human level, rather than merely through problem-solving institutional frameworks that dictate or negate lived experience. They indicate the need for a deep negotiation of peace even by the agents of the liberal model, and for a willingness to see the Western model itself modified by its engagement with its own ‘others’. What has emerged from more critical literatures, as a result, is a focus on local ownership, human rights, human security, culture, social and grass-roots resources for self-government, local capacity or agency, even resistance, as significant even in relation to the priorities of security or institutional capacities and international order. This infers an engagement with the everyday, to provide care, to empathise, and to enable emancipation. 44 These objectives are integral to the liberal peace in theory, but in practice asymmetries inherent in its top-down nature, elite governance and complicity with local elites, are more visible. This insight enables an investigation of modifications to the liberal peace without necessarily calling for its abandonment (though post-structural work indicates continuing dissatisfaction with the inherent biases of even a moderated liberal form of peacebuilding). Serious problems arise, however, with any attempt to retain while modifying the core of the liberal peace. The neoliberal co-option of the liberal peace, its 10 Introduction lack of needs or social welfare frameworks (that give meaning to liberal rights and state institutions), failure to mediate cultural difference or recognise non-secular or traditional sites of politics and power, and tendency towards assimilation rather than local cultural engagement, means that it is often exceptionally abrasive when transplanted. It might be said that the conservative end of the liberal peace spectrum, as with liberal imperialism, has become an exercise in hubris and wishful thinking for the internationals, Western states, donors, agencies and NGOs that propagate it, mainly because it lacks contextual sensitivities. Ethically, moving beyond these limitations, this would amount to an ontological commitment to care for others in their everyday contexts, based upon empathy, respect and the recognition of difference. This commitment to care has instead been displaced by a parsimonious orthodoxy that offers its participants the unproblematic right of interpreting and making policy for others, normally defined as states rather than peoples or communities. This is why the liberal peace is mainly focused on an international or regional peace and the state’s place therein, rather than an everyday form of peace, care, empathy, or emancipation. From the perspective of attempting to reform the liberal peace model, what needs to be considered is how to identify the rights, resources, identity, welfare, cultural disposition, and ontological hybridity, that would make liberal states, insti- tutionalism, and governance viable in everyday contexts where others reside. This requires an engagement with not just the currently fashionable and controversial issues of local ownership or local participation, 45 but the far deeper ‘local-local’ (i.e. what lies beneath the veneer of internationally sponsored local actors and NGOs constituting a ‘civil’ as opposed to ‘uncivil’ society) , which allows for genuine self-government, self-determination, democracy and human rights. Yet, because theory often fails when it attempts to present a truth as anything other than a ‘historically specific spatial ontology’ 46 the paradox of thinking about peace is that governance and statebuilding require essentialism and instrumen- talism. This need for theory and practice is supposed to offer progress from a war system to peace system in advance of its engagement with a specific conflict context. This means that great care must be taken to separate this intention with a historical or ideological blueprint approach to peace that is then transplanted into conflict zones. 47 This raises the broader question of how developing an account of peace can engage with the other without falling into an Orientalist and coercive syndrome, disregarding or discounting local context. Thus ‘peace’ as a concept offers a contradiction – it requires a method, ontology, and epistemology which is negotiated locally, but prompted externally by agents who must engage with the contextual other, but cannot comprehend context fully (at least in a short time and at the depth of detail required for such ambitious relationships). It may well be that the Enlightenment-derived discourse of liberal peace is not sophisticated enough for contemporary ethical requirements for a sustainable peace. This does not mean that elements of the liberal peace may not be broadly applicable, but that the assumption that they are should not be made a priori. The negotiation of a single and universal concept of peace may be a worthy goal but it also may be as much a chimera as Einstein’s ‘unified theory’. A permanent Introduction 11 modernity of the post-civil war environment that Hobbes was familiar with would not be an acceptable peace to many today. Neither would a hegemonic peace that was predetermined, equally permanent, and not reflective of the myriad of groups, interests, cultures, and dimensions of the local, or of international relations. Yet, the liberal peace has become an intervention in local discussions about peace, often replacing them entirely with the views of a transnational peacebuilding class and the institutions they are part of. This is indicative of a deeper contest over interpreting and governing the other. The liberal peace is predicated upon the disciplinary enterprise of constructing rights for its epistemic communities of policymakers, analysts, academics, officials, and other personnel, to interpret and make policy on their behalf. Much of this move has been predicated upon the desire of this community to emancipate the other from war, violence, and unstable political, social and economic structures, to set an example, as well as to govern. 48 The orthodoxy has been to accept mainly rationalist approaches, and certainly not to question this privilege. 49 Questioning this tendency – as has already occurred in some disciplines such as sociology and anthropology 50 – illustrates and underlines the problem of IR (International Relations), perhaps now the dominant discipline in the consideration of peace- building and statebuilding as a potentially ‘Orientalist’, neo-colonial discipline, and its main methodological problems in dealing with others, difference, and the everyday. A growing of literature points to the problems of liberalism in this context. 51 Consequently, if the liberal peace is to be salvaged in mainstream terms it would have to offer a more pluralist debate on its own modifications or alterna- tives, a via media between itself and them. It would also have to offer a technology of governance that is broadly representative of all actors at multiple levels, public and private, gendered and aged, and of multiple identities. This would mean it would adopt a potentially hybrid localised identity to counterbalance its global or governmental metanarrative of cosmopolitanism, with commensurate implications for its claimed boundaries, rules, rights, freedoms, and norms. This might mean it would accrue more everyday legitimacy, which might be then formalised in governmental, institutional or constitutional structures and legal frameworks, which would rest primarily upon a ‘new’ social contract. This legit- imacy would rest upon its provision of social, cultural, economic and political resources sufficient to meet the demands made upon it by its local, everyday, constituencies, and an international community of which the former should be a stakeholder, part owner, and able to co-constitute. It would also rest upon an international social contract, while not displacing indigenous legitimacy with preponderant institutions that are inflexible or even unintentionally obscure the local and the everyday. Such a framework should not then be set in stone but instead must be seen as an evolving form, focusing on an everyday peace, and the necessary emancipatory and empathetic structures and institutions this may require. The difficulty with this ethical repositioning of the liberal peace is that it no longer represents the ‘really-existing’ liberal peace in contemporary post-conflict 12 Introduction environments. Instead these have come to rest upon biopolitics, the administration of life, and governmentality. 52 Peacebuilding in this liberal sense represents the ways donors, governments, and institutions produce political subjects or citizens best suited to fulfil their policies, agendas, interests and ideologies. Practices, discourses, and rationalities are organised around these, to produce governmen- tality, or as I described it in an earlier work, ‘peace as governance’. 53 This has very significant implications for the local, for locality, context, and peacebuilding agency, especially therefore for the sustainability of any peace which arises from liberal peacebuilding strategies. This points to the problems inherent in universal frameworks for peace, engaging with others while avoiding Orientalism, neo-colonialism, or an over- reliance on predatory institutional frameworks at the expense of everyday life. Thus, liberal peace elevates elites and institutions over societies and everyday life. This is often seen as representative of dominant Western interests, culture and ideology. A broader social justice is perceived to be absent, and it fails to achieve acceptable levels of care in everyday contexts, even by distant liberal humanitarian standards. 54 It is unable to communicate across cultures, rests upon a legalistic framework, disassociates law from local norms, attempts to preserve the pre-existing Western liberal order, and claims a problematic universality. 55 As a result, it fails to provide even thin recognition let alone mutual consent. What is missing is local legitimacy, and international-local peacebuilding contract, recon- ciliation, dialogue and communication – indeed a discourse ethic of empathetic self-emancipation in an everyday context. The liberal concept of ‘toleration’ over difference, as the word implies, is too limited to produce pluralism or hybridity, and liberalism’s link with sovereignty, markets, and the state, as well as its homog- enising tendencies provide significant constraints. Issues such as needs and culture are ignored as a result, meaning that the liberal peace is not an everyday peace. Because of the ethical ambitions of enabling emancipation after achieving security and building institutions, the liberal peace is increasingly seen as caught up in a securitised and governmental praxis, being ideological, and deploying a metanarrative which provokes resistance amongst what it portrays as powerless local agents. 56 This post-colonial critique doubts the claims of even the emancipatory graduation of liberal peace but rather sees its use to legitimate its conservative and orthodox graduations. This challenges the liberal peace’s implied claim that progress from a conservative version, based upon military and diplomatic processes (equated with a negative peace), to an orthodox liberal statebuilding process and then to an emancipatory version of the liberal peace (positive peace) will occur. The liberal social contract endeavours to accrue legit- imacy for the regulatory institutions of governance required by offering mainly political rights to individuals as sufficient enticement for them to acquiesce to the liberal state project. Legitimacy emanates from above, often from the UN or from donors, rather than from local consent. This works on the assumption that the freedoms derived from political rights are more significant than culture, needs or material gain for individuals in post-conflict situations. The emancipatory graduation of liberal peace does offer the potential for reflection on the ethical Introduction 13 implications of this but it is in this top-down, institutional format, that liberal peacebuilding fails to adequately consider the requirements for a social contract beyond political rights for grass-roots actors in their everyday context. As a result their consent is often lacking and the legitimacy of the liberal peacebuilding project is undermined. There must be a response to the moral hazards of liberal peacebuilding, which lies in its reflection of the ‘coldness’ (i.e. its concern with elites and states rather than society, community, and everyday experience) of just war thinking, democratic and market oriented institutionalism, and justice oriented, mainly Western ontologies – from which arise its related epistemology and methodologies. These sacrifice the local needs, welfare, culture, and care of peoples according to institutionalised modes of political, social, and economic governance, some of which work in devel- oping a social contract while others do not. In fact, in this enormous area of societal issues, the liberal peace offers little, because it is mainly aimed at the ethical frame- works arising from remedying inter-state conflict, rather than the sociopolitical dynamics of any breakdown into conflict. This reflects the fact that liberal peace- building itself is an institutional framework derived from the logic of stabilising the Westphalian system and its positivist ontologies of security and strategy. This points to a need to return the everyday to the praxis of an emancipatory form of peace. The local, the everyday, and the infrapolitics of Peacebuilding It is hardly surprising that from below, and according to the ‘infrapolitics of peacebuilding’ (meaning its hidden, fragmented, often disguised and locali sed agencies and capacities) such an approach seems to its subjects to be overbearing, perhaps even colonial, and not representative of local, contextual notions of peace and politics in their multiple, heterogeneous, and transversal characters. It is these that produce ‘locality’ (which includes local-global relations) 57 and legitimacy in actual fact. 58 As Appadurai has argued, locality, ‘the local’, or even deeper, more contextual ‘local-local’, depicts that which lies beneath the often artificial and externalised ‘civil society’) represents a … complex phenomenological quality, constituted by a serious of links between the sense of social immediacy, the technologies of interactivity, and the relativity of contexts … expressed in certain types of agency, sociality, and reproducibility … . 59 It is not essentialisable in an easily instrumentalised manner (as many interna- tionals often assume), nor it is necessarily representative of a fixed geographical space (as many assume the terms local/locality indicate). It resists the ‘enclavi- sation’ which these may lead to, especially in the context of the broader processes of deterritorialisation which are occurring. It is most importantly representative of forms of agency which reproduce locality and subjectivity, often through a struggle to maintain social, economic, political and cultural continuity and autonomy, 14 Introduction whilst adapting and developing, of which the most important for this study are those aimed at peacebuilding. Internationals do not see them easily because of dominant methodologies and epistemology. Even if these are visible to the liberal gaze, they tend to be regarded as incapable of the sorts of large-scale political mobilisation required for liberal notions of statehood, peace and development. Henceforth, I use the term ‘the local’ to denote what international actors normally perceive as a range of actors and terrains spanning their non-Western and ‘non-liberal’ partners for liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding at the elite level (whilst also acknowledging that many local actors may have extensive trans- national and transversal experience of liberal politics), and civil society. I use the term ‘local-local’ to indicate the existence and diversity of communities and individuals that constitute political society beyond this often liberally projected artifice of elites and civil society, who may also have transnational and transversal exposure. This latter is where the everyday is at its most powerful as a critical tool. I do not equate the everyday/local with illiberalism or liberalism necessarily. 60 Nor do I want to exaggerate a local-international binary: such categories inevi- tably capture only part of the political tensions within peacebuilding. The local is often ‘evacuated’ from social science analysis 61 on a number of grounds, ranging from its banality, its superficiality, its analytical vagueness, its apparent binary opposition with other priorities (such as the international or the state), and its arbitrary boundaries, to the risk of its essentialisation and instrumen- talisation. Such positions on the ‘evacuation of the local’ connect with Foucaultian arguments about governmentality and biopolitics, 62 where agency is passed to states and governments to renegotiate citizen’s rights and more dangerously, their biology, while also mobilising them for wealth, rights, and representation. Foucault’s response to this danger was to focus on the ‘technology of the self ’ and ‘self-care’, 63 where individuals found ways of reclaiming the agency that had been usurped by states (or in the case of liberal peacebuilding, internationals). This can also be connected with the relationship between states and civil society, the local (or local-local), where the latter are both subservient to but constitute the state. Thus, the ‘infrapolitics of peacebuilding’ imply significant agency at the local level, sometime oppositional and sometimes not, even amongst supposedly margin- alised actors, or amongst those ‘not yet liberal’. This is reclaimed agency, or critical agency which exists in spaces liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding cannot reach. It indicates the hermeneutic, diverse, fluid, transnational and transversal aspect of the local, its everyday agencies, its extensions into the international, the liberal peace, and a range of dynamics – cultural and otherwise – which transcend reductive analysis. It indicates also that peacebuilding is contested, and is not just a terrain that international actors occupy or are able to engage in. Such insights require ethical, ethnographic, and active research methodologies, in order to allow an understanding of the local, locality, context, and their interac- tions with and against the liberal peacebuilding architecture that has developed. This would show how the infrapolitics of peacebuilding emerge and create or provoke new peacebuilding agencies, modifying both the local and the liberal frameworks, nudging each to move beyond their tradition categorisations and Introduction 15 essentialisations. This requires an ‘ethnoscape’ 64 as part of the framing of peace- building and statebuilding, allowing an understanding of the dynamics of local agency, of context, but also of the colonial impulses that seem to be the unintended consequence of the development of the architecture of liberal peacebuilding. This somewhat ambitious study sets out to examine what this means for contemporary peacebuilding and for IR, drawing on extensive fieldwork from several recent post-conflict peacebuilding sites around the world, and develops a theoretical response which may inform new thinking about such situations, in the ‘autocritical’ mode as described by Spivak. She points out that the ‘subaltern cannot speak’ unless ‘resistance’ is recognised. 65 For IR, and those working on the multidisciplinary debates surrounding peacebuilding, this means moving away from the notion that the discipline’s role is to support the interests of a ‘security establishment’, or the West, the developed, or enlightened in general. Instead it should be concerned with the wide range of conditions and experiences of everyday life and politics in peace and war, and the emancipatory and trans- formative projects that are elucidated in these contexts. This realisation requires a pluralist reflection on who peace is for, and what it means in the modern global context. ‘This is investigated in critical, genealogical mode, conscious of the need for methodological approaches that do not evacuate the local, nor disguise marginal agencies, perhaps akin to the experimental eclecticism I have earlier outlined.’ 66 This reflection follows on from my previous work on four generations of thinking about peace: from first generation conflict management approaches; to second generation conflict resolution and trans- formation approaches; to third generation liberal peacebuilding/statebuilding approaches; and a fourth generation approach that transcends the limitations of liberalism and aims for an empathetic and emancipatory form of peace with intimations of hybridity. It also extends my later interrogation of the liberal peace. 67 This enables an exploration of the everyday nature of any sustainable peace, focused on a culturally appropriate form of individual or community life and care, and the critical and often resistant agencies which emerge and constitute contextual legitimacy. This points either to the need for a form of liberal peace with a broader social contract, or more ambitiously, one that transcends liberal and neoliberal, Western biases, enabling everyday peacebuilding agencies to mediated the liberal peace through transnational processes. Such a search, via critical research agendas for peace 68 termed here ‘eirenist’, indicates the need for an ethical re-evaluation of the liberal peace. 69 Eirenism was a term used by Erasmus as a call against religious chauvinism after the Reformation. 70 In a modern context it provides a lens through which one can evaluate the claims, apparent or hidden, of a particular epistemology, concept, theory, method, or ideology pertaining to making peace. The failure to apply such a tool so far has led liberal peacebuilding approaches into a paradoxical situation. They have reinstated social and economic class systems, undermined democracy, and caused downward social mobility. Yet, liberal peace’s Renaissance and Enlightenment underpinnings make clear that the states-system of territorial sovereignty, the approximation of democracy, of human rights and free trade, 16 Introduction also carries a humanist concern with social justice and wide-ranging pluralism (often to be guaranteed by an international organisation). 71 Ironically, this is where its failings are most obvious. Its focus has been on security and institutions, rather than developing an engagement with the everyday life of post-conflict citizens. It has sometimes been built on force rather than consent, and more often condi- tionality, and it has failed to recognise local cultural norms and traditions. It has created a ‘virtual peace’ in its many theatres, meaning the empty shell of a state with little relevance to the everyday lives of most of its peoples. 72 This is not to say that narrow security issues have not been somewhat assuaged through peace- keeping and statebuilding, and that this has not been without benefit. It should not be taken that the Enlightenment rationalism, which has created the liberal peace system, is not without its benefits or contributions to peace. But it should not monopolise conceptions of peace. Indeed, the liberal peace is not the product of merely Western, European, interactions, but has been more widely informed in a post-colonial context. 73 Thus, the infrapolitics of peacebuilding have arisen as a way of representing the local, everyday context. Informed by Foucault’s revealing words (in the epigraph above) the analysis developed in this study represents more than a ‘mere’ critique designed to restore the liberal peace. It aims to enable the political contestation of externalised and contextual notions of peace, of governmentality, 74 not to mention of biopolitics, 75 in order to reconstruct a process of peacebuilding that enables local peace- building agencies to represent themselves, and the liberal peace to encounter and respect other political systems and other versions of peace. Yet, just in the same way that the notion of (and also the word) liberalism came into being in the context of the paradoxes of imperial and colonial rule 76 so too a genealogy of IR and peace shows how both relate to power, war, violence, and order, in generally uncomfortable ways. Out of the meeting of the liberal peace in the post-Cold War period with other versions of peace (however limited) and other forms of politics and society, a sort of hybrid version of peace 77 appears to be emerging if only slightly visible through the fog produced by liberal prescriptions that now claim a near ontological status and difficult local contexts. So, in these terms everyday life is representative of agency, of compliance, of resistance, and so often of hidden capacities. These can be termed critical agencies for peacebuilding, drawn from contexts which include custom, identity, culture, needs provision, and other dynamics which mount a political challenge, even in marginal terms to the liberal peace. It is also a space in which social, political, economic, cultural, religious, identity, spiritual, and other forms of agencies, expressions, and relations exist, in local-local, civil society, state, trans- national and transversal terms. Peace and war are experienced most acutely in the everyday context, which includes the personal, the family, community, custom, work, class, leisure, politics, culture, society, and economics, as well as the state, the public, and the nation – as they are imagined by their subjects. It includes survival, alienation, mystification, compliance, and resistance, as de Certeau and Lefebvre have shown. 78 Ultimately, the infrapolitics of peacebuilding are having unanticipated effects on the liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding project. Introduction 17 Hybridity and post-liberalism As a potential alternative, hybridity in terms of peace represents both the capacity of international liberal and local peacebuilding actors and projects to engage with each other, perhaps even to the benefit of the ‘local’ version of peace. It is also cognisant of the possibility that hybridity represents the powerful rather than the local. It is important to note that hybridity is an inevitable outcome of the liberal peace and its contextual engagements. The question is more whether hybridity offers a transformation and an emancipatory version of peace, especially when it represents partially at least, the agency of local actors recently engaged in conflict and international actors recently involved in instrumental forms of peacebuilding and statebuilding? How might international actors enable such local processes? Such a search opens up a discussion of a post-liberal peace as a logical outcome of the meeting of infrapolitics and liberal peace. This study develops such an account drawing on the liberal peace framework, but engaging with critical agency, discussions about governmentality, biopower, biopolitics, emanci- pation, self-care, and with alternative debates on empathy and the everyday, on resistance and hybridity, to begin to imagine the possibility of a post-liberal peace that does not collapse into a grand narrative of ideology masquerading as ontology. Critical agency emerges from this study as a crucial concept for peacebuilding, related to and with an understanding of the local, context, and resistance as a fundamental component of international and social theory, where it operates as a key dynamic of human security, representation, and peace. This occurs not through the channels, or with the impact, that IR expects. It occurs in hidden and fragmented ways rather than via the formal institutions of liberal political mobilisation. This represents critical agency, implying a local, contextual and subaltern (meaning civil society and the local-local beneath it) capacity to mobilise non-violently, either visibly and in a coordinated manner, or in hidden and fragmented ways. Both are effective in different ways, especially in view of contextual resonance and the construction of legitimacy, order, and peace. Such understanding utilises the work of a range of authors sensitive to critical methodological and theoretical matters (such as the everyday, empathy, identity, ethnography, culture, custom, welfare, gender, arts and emotions, agonism, and post-colonialism). It does not use these concepts in tight conceptual forms, but instead (in an effort to avoid yet more oppressive metanarratives of ‘peace’), retains a degree of ambiguity in their meaning. Many chapters draw on fieldwork, focus groups and interviews, in order to reflect subaltern critiques of the current hegemonic paradigm that has sought to capture peacebuilding (but in recognition of the transversality of such labels), and to develop a contextual discussion of what a post-liberal peace might look like. Its aim is to engage with local forms of politics, society, and economics, in post-conflict environments, in terms of both how conflict has been replicated and also how emancipatory projects for peace might emanate from them in ways which also transform the liberal peace project, perhaps even unbeknownst to itself. It is in this relationship between the local and the liberal peace project that local, contextual, critical agency moves into view or 18 Introduction restarts and hybrid possibilities for the transformation of both the liberal and the local emerge. What have already emerged in theory and practice are hybrid forms of the liberal peace, which are modified by their contact with the very local context that it claims does not exist, is mistaken or insignificant, or romanticises and mythologises. This represents the birth of a post-liberal peace. A ‘local-liberal hybrid’ is emerging, which constitutes, as this study will illustrate, post-liberal forms of peace. The local is named as ‘local’ not to essentialise it, but with the acknowledgement that until its context and dynamics are understood in their complexity, its character cannot be captured in one word. The international is characterised as ‘liberal’ because, at least in peacebuilding terms, it follows the varieties of liberalism currently in circulation, in institutional, political, social, and economic terms. Peacebuilding thus represents the interface between the local and the liberal (in broad terms), and rather than imposing the liberal normative system on the local, should facilitate a new mediation between the two in each context. This realisation necessitates a rethink of dominant paradigms of peace, and of course the development of a clearer understanding of what constitutes the local and the liberal, how the interface between the liberal and the local operates, and with what consequences. Of course, these are general terms and dynamics, sketching patterns rather than essentialising such dynamics. This raises the question of whether the local and the liberal repulse each other, meaning that the emergent hybrid is inevitably based on internal contradictions, or whether they are attracted to each other – in which case, it is based on the production of new political cultures and institutional paradigms. Both can occur, and indeed, have occurred, from Cambodia to Afghanistan and the Solomon Islands. One of the most interesting aspects of this post-liberal form of peace is that it may rescue and reunite both the liberal and the local rather than encour – aging them to reject each other (as is the case with the current liberal peace paradigm). This would entail the recognition that liberalism is actually a form of customary political community, derived from the Western experience (i.e. the West’s own ‘local’). Most non- or partially liberal environments have emerged from their own authentic customary experience, which has survived colonialism, war, and poverty, often because they enable social support and resilience, as well as norms and institutions, despite such experiences. They normally have remained more relevant to peoples’ everyday lives than their often predatory or failing states or the virtual states that liberal peacebuilding has reproduced. Thus, understanding the ‘everyday’ is crucial for the local-liberal hybrid. A local-liberal hybrid can represent either a combination of very negative political practices (for example, rigorously determined liberal institutionalism and market development solutions with patriarchal, feudal, communal, or sexist, practices) or it can be more positive (in that it connects complementary practices related to democracy, self-determination, agency, autonomy, solidarity, human rights and needs, and a rule of law, with customary social support networks, customary forms of governance and political order). Or it can connect both negative and positive practices (meaning that both the liberal and the local develop Introduction 19 elements of attraction and rejection). Though the problem posed here might be that liberalism and customary forms of governance impede each other, this is not always the case. Indeed, liberalism, more specifically, is less likely to recognise the local, the contextual, customary order, than the local is to marginalise the liberal. This is partly due to the power relations between liberalism and the local which inevitably favours liberal political order, but it is also due to an inherent blind- spot of liberalism towards the local. Yet, there is a mutual attraction between the liberal and the local, which in many conflict and post-conflict zones, influences the process of producing a hybrid peace. This hybridity is emerging in diverse locations where the liberal has ‘met’ the local despite such difficulties since the end of the Cold War, from El Salvador, Guatemala, Namibia, Cambodia, to Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Timor Leste, Solomon Islands, Afghanistan, and Iraq. This is not neces- sarily an emancipatory form of peace, as theorised in my earlier (2005) work. Sometimes it is a relatively conservative form of peace, but it also may carry the seeds of local agency and a future, more contextually legitimate form of peace- building. A better understanding of this hybridity may enable the emergence of more emancipatory versions of peace than so far has occurred, which engage with alterity rather than marginalise it, and liberate both local and international from conflict. This hybridity, though not without its pitfalls, offers greater potential for an emancipatory form of peace to emerge than simply transplanting the liberal peace onto post-colonial, post-conflict development settings, as has been the recent approach. The emergence of hybridity is the result of the clash and connection of fundamentally different forms of political organisation and community. It should not be taken that liberalism will emerge predominant as difficult compromises on values and norms as well as institutions need to be negotiated by the liberal and the local. It is as likely that the local will shape the liberal in each context as the liberal will shape the local. In this way, the local-liberal hybrid represents a long-term process of political evolution towards a post-liberal form of peace, representing both hegemony and the local in complex ways. A brief chapter outline The first part of this study examines how the liberal peace and associated state- building processes ‘romanticise the local’, distance context, needs, and culture in order to transform what Pugh has called unruly subjects, or what Duffield has called uninsurable, surplus populations. 79 This enables unfortunate and methodo- logically and ethically indefensible, non-consensual forms of ‘peacebuilding’ reliant on external actors and alliances with often predatory local elites. These problems and unintended consequences are discussed in Chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 3 examines these processes in the context of Cambodia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo and Timor Leste, as well as some responses from a range of local actors, from grass roots, civil society, and elites. Chapter 4 begins to develop a theoretical response to this unintended and problematic outcome of liberal peacebuilding. 20 Introduction In the second part of the book, I examine the range of what might be called critical, post-structuralist, and post-colonial theories, which can be deployed in order to understand such processes and also to aid in the shift from a liberal to a post-liberal form of peace most likely to be internationally and contextually legitimate and sustainable. Chapter 5 examines peacebuilding ‘agency’ as a process of resistance, especially in its contextual and critical form (as opposed to the more usual concentration on international and eternal agency along with local compliance), and what this means for peacebuilding in general. It examines how it responds to the processes of the liberal peace, with what effect, particularly in terms of the production hybridity. Chapter 6 places this debate into a number of empirical contexts, focussing mainly on Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands where recent statebuilding attempts have produced very interesting processes of peacebuilding, both locally and internationally driven. In the Conclusion, I argue that critical agency, even resistance to externality, represents the birth of a post-liberal peace – a contextual process of peace- building with more prospects for international and local legitimacy (even if this is a fraught and tense, perhaps agonistic, relationship), sustainability, and in emanci- patory form, liberation. A note of caution There are, I have discovered in the course of working on this book (which I began in 2006), many methodological and ethical traps in attempting to bring the local, context, custom, political subjectivity, and agency, ‘back’ into a discussion of peacebuilding. I have struggled with questions such as what is, who are, or form, the local, context, and where does agency come from? How can we understand agency when we do not have the methodological tools to uncover it? How can we engage with context without exposing it to harm, and indeed what does harm mean in such discussions? I have found issue with the simplifications and dichotomies of thinking in terms and local and international, liberal and non-liberal, and so forth. I have become very concerned with the tendency of even critical thinking to reduce the local, context, the non-liberal, undemocratic, or non-developed in imagined, fixed political and geographical spaces, such as the ‘global south’, failed states, or even the ‘liberal’ and ‘international’. Even a post- colonial move is often effectively reduced to discussions of state foreign policy and the approaches of the ‘BRICs’ or the emerging donors (again, as state actors). It is clear that the sorts of muscular social science common to the North and to Western based research are biased towards fixing (in several senses of the word) the local, context, custom, and agency in particularly negative, often romanti- cised, and enclosed spaces: the local is not fluid, transnational or transversal and it is ‘non-liberal’; custom is backward and cannot provide mobilisation for peace; agency is an Enlightenment concept and cannot be thought of where political subjects cannot mobilise on a grand scale for reasons of poverty, institutions, or resources, and many more. Peace is often consolidated through the application of Introduction 21 a fragile and only narrowly representative blueprint (however much this is denied) for liberal international institutions and liberal state-based governance in the context of a global and state level, neoliberal, economic system which makes little pretence of engaging with inequality and needs even where conflicts over both have long destabilised societies and had negative implications for rights, identity, culture and a range of institutions. I have done my best to navigate through such problems in what follows, though it is inevitable that I have not been fully – or even partially – successful. I hope though, that it is clear that there is emerging an understanding of the agency, language, discourses, and practices, for peace which is situated right at the limits of Northern liberalism and social science. They may enable a far more represent- ative, sensitised, contextual and empathetic understanding of what peacebuilding could entail in its most emancipatory, consensual, fourth generation forms. This might begin to uncover intimately connected local and global dynamics of peace, whether personal or institutional, and their complex but inevitable interactions. Indeed, this is a project that began long ago when social, political, economic, civil movements began to coalesce around an understanding that they had the capacity to mobilise for identity, rights and needs, and could influence their leaders, states, and institutions to such ends – from their community to the inter – national. The terrain for such agency for peace may have shifted from large-scale political confrontation and mobilisation, but it is nonetheless fundamental to the development of new and peaceful political orders. Part I The romanticisation of the local 1 Civil society, needs and welfare Chapter 22 Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to a realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organisation and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality. Chapter 23 Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Chapter 25 Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well- being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Chapter 27 Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 Introduction In the introduction to this study I argued that a post-liberal form of peace is emerging. This rests partly upon often hidden forms of local, critical agency, which is often resistant to external intervention, sometime compliant, but may question the sources of legitimacy. Such critical agency for peacebuilding, attempts to modify the liberal peace framework and also exploits some of its more emancipatory potential. In part it is provoked by specific weaknesses of the liberal peace, particularly in its needs and cultural awareness of others in post-conflict environments. Such agency is a response to the distancing and governmentalising project liberal peace has become. It has long been argued that peacebuilding praxis should address issues of social justice, needs, welfare, and culture, and that such issues have represented major gaps in mainstream theoretical and policy agendas. Liberal peacebuilding has often distanced and marginalised its post-conflict subjects by contrast. Ironically, it is these subjects it has set out to ‘save’. Such distancing strategies maintain the legitimacy of the liberal peace model, often by preventing a sustained engagement with local context, needs and culture, and focusing on security, rights, 26 The romanticisation of the local institutions, and markets – with contradictory and controversial outcomes. Needs are supposed, in contemporary praxis, to be dealt with by trickle-down processes, both direct and indirect: as are norms, law, and institutional reform. Yet this often has produced an artificial form of civil society, disconnected from local political, social, culture, customary, and economic processes and expectations. This means any peace arising from such an approach cannot be locally owned or self-sustaining, but instead produces the very dependency on international actors that, it is often argued, should be avoided at all costs. A needs or welfare oriented model might therefore be more appropriate than one aimed solely at rights, though as the following chapters illustrate, this is also not without its problems. The key feature of the dominant liberal approach to peacebuilding, which has been mainly responsible for its recent elision with statebuilding, represents a neoliberal marketisation of peace, rather than engagement with the agents and subjects of this peace, even on more traditional liberal terms. This elision has both ignored but also underlined the tension in the relationship between peace, post-conflict subjects and their state, and the international community. Its legitimacy is derived from its claim of an emancipatory social contract, which is to be produced externally in the exceptional circumstances of post-conflict polities. This production of legitimacy is a specifically Western- and Enlightenment- derived, problem-solving discourse of peace. It is the result of a long evolution of thought derived from the dominant, mainly Western promoted concern with security, reconstruction, development, modernisation, conflict resolution and transformation, peacebuilding and statebuilding. Yet, there is a major question as to whether it is culturally and socially appropriate or sensitive in all contexts. This has implications for whether the liberal peace framework, loose as it is, has a chance of establishing a locally self-sustaining peace – as recent praxis in diverse locations has queried to a large degree. In this context, difference is only acceptable when it operates within the liberal framework of tolerance, and only becomes apparent if it moves into this context (i.e. difference converts itself into sameness). This is dangerously close to an external rejection of local, contextual processes of peace and politics: a ‘romanticisation of the local’ where only international agency is deemed capable of making peace. This is often for methodological and ontological reasons, for expediency and strategic goals. It reflects the liberal culture of peacebuilding, and its relatively hegemonic engagement with the local rather than an equitable engagement and concern with everyday life and local legitimacy. This propagates specific liberal-institutionalist and neoliberal practices, and defers responsibility for the needs and welfare of the local (the space where capacity is probably least in liberal eyes). Its cultural and needs engagement is therefore little more than instrumental and is often designed to maintain distance between the local and the international, denying local agency, so that the local can be governed in liberal ways irrespective of the complexity of context or a local legitimacy for such transformation. Liberal peacebuilding rests upon cultural assumptions that legitimate governance over the socio-economic wellbeing of a territories’ inhabitants, as well as over any contextual cultural dynamics, thus denying the very local agencies it seeks to enable. Civil society, needs and welfare 27 This chapter explores theses weaknesses in the context of liberal peace’s neoliberal turn, versus a potentially more needs or welfare oriented version of peacebuilding. This may be taken to have as its aim a social form of peace, in which civil society and culture is fully engaged with by internationals in both rights and needs terms. It examines the role of civil society, culture, and welfare in peacebuilding. Civil society, needs, and culture Recent attention amongst IR theorists, the development, peace and conflict studies communities, as well as many practitioners and policymakers in the peacebuilding and statebuilding community, has focused upon the problem of creating a self- sustaining, civil peace in post-violence, post-conflict environments. This focuses attention at the local level of analysis, which in realist-liberal terms (meaning the state as the aim of liberal peacebuilding which combines security, rights, and insti- tutions) 1 denotes that of civil society. This is an artificial construct which introduces checks and balances, accountability, and representation between citizens and elites which tend to control the different aspects of the state, even in liberal form. It has become clear that the challenge of understanding the politics of peace- building is far greater when the local, civil society, culture, class, gender, and needs are incorporated as key areas of concern. This is perhaps the reason why they are often relegated to lower (or localised) priorities than security or institution-building by internationals. Thus, the ‘local’ (in IR and political science) and for most inter – national peacebuilding, statebuilding, and development actors indicates an acultural denotation of a general context, in which ‘civil society’ is created by internationals. Alternatively, it is a pre-modern sphere, which is non-liberal and not marketised, in an abrasive relationship with liberal notions of civil society. It is also often seen as apolitical (as opposed to the complex social institutions, needs, political traditions, identities, implied by the term ‘culture’). In fact, civil society from the perspective of most international actors, represents a method of privatising the service provision often associated with the state. Yet most members of civil society see it as denoting a political space through which citizens construct and control their political subjectivity and institutions (even though internationals resort to fairly directive means to induce the creation of a civil society). This enables them to hold the state accountable for their representation, rights, and needs. Via such externalised strategies, local needs and welfare are removed from the statebuilding process, and culture is marginalised in a rights, security and markets version of liberal peacebuilding. Yet, to paraphrase Clifford, both culture and welfare are concepts that are difficult to understand and define, are deeply compromised, but yet cannot be ignored. 2 The fact that they often have been ignored is partly due to the widespread adoption of problem-solving rights oriented approaches into IR and for peacebuilding, and the subsequent bias intro- duced by its related methodologies. These have the unintended consequence of obscuring everyday aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life in local contexts. 28 The romanticisation of the local The term civil society now denotes a compliant and transformed social grouping, able to hold the state accountable, and to create wealth. This is to be enabled exter – nally import conflict environments via a self-legitimating range of interventionary strategies to support formal and informal groups that are both part of, and relatively, independent from the state. 3 Civil society holds the state and its elites accountable. It plays an essential role in a liberal state, and one that cannot be done without, if the state is not to become predatory. However, because it has been so externalised in post-conflict states, and dependent on donors’ rather limited support (though they have great ambitions for it) civil society in practice has often become an engineered artifice that floats above and substitutes for the ‘local’ and for context. This is despite the fact that it is also generally assumed that civil society asserts historical and natural indigenous dynamics, represents a local synthesis or community of reconciled peoples, and their interested and disinterested mediation of rights and needs: it is ‘… not humanitarian but communitarian’. 4 It consequently legitimates conservative liberal governance and enforcement strat- egies, is defined by international actors and donors according to their own ‘scripts’ of engagement with context, and is brought into being by externally funded NGOs and other organisations. It represents a liberal veneer over the local; it endeavours to assist, transform, and normalise it into the mould of a professional, corporate middle class. Such strategies are clearly not contextually designed, but rest on liberal, cosmo- politan assertions of common norms and institutions. They are unconsciously designed to distance and marginalise uncomfortable and authentic local voices, their needs, expectations, and practices in favour of transnational liberal agents of peacebuilding. In this sense, while purporting to promote local ownership of peace and the liberal state which is coming into being, these strategies actually rhetorically marginalise context, needs, culture, and the material aspects of a peace dividend required to give rights substance – especially for the citizen and the subaltern. It removes these from international normative and material processes of responsibility, so peacebuilding can instead turn to promoting and developing the liberal version of what is civil. 5 Foucault links civil society, as it is constructed in terms of liberal governmen- tality, to the need to be complicit with and support the neoliberal thesis: ‘ … a space of sovereignty which for good or ill is inhabited by economic subjects …’. These subjects find the ‘good life’ in the liberal shell of the state and in the market. 6 In this sense it is a ‘governmental technology’ 7 designed to depoliticise the really existing context and the local in its supposedly pre-modern, or undeveloped, and passive condition, while it learns about liberal civil society. 8 The agency often associated with civil society is therefore negated by governmentality, which in neoliberal form enables distant government of post conflict spaces, according to Western rational forms of problem-solving, often without local support. 9 As Foucault argues even from his relatively Eurocratic perspective we should be cautious about arguments that rhetorically confirm the importance of civil society while at the same time undermining it. 10 This sleight of hand is the essence of the ‘liberal civil society’ putatively installed in post-conflict zones. This externalised Civil society, needs and welfare 29 form is not constitutive of the liberal social contract but instead is driven by donor agendas, and deterritorialised by the market. The resultant focus on state level institutions, often on governance, corruption, and on elite relationships, means civil society becomes an afterthought for peacebuilding. This ironically returns the focus of local communities and elites to power, territory and sovereignty, by way of reaction. The liberal social contract – which one would expect to be crucial to the liberal state – is caught between paradoxical pressures, meaning that the needs of post-conflict individuals, communities, and societies are directly addressed by international peacebuilders and statebuilders, who instead adopt a strategic focus on security, rights, and institutions, as well as trickle-down wealth. Paradoxically, as a result, the ‘local’ has become a new site of contestation, whether to enable, emancipate, include, exclude, self-determine, marginalise, silence, or govern. Civil society, thus fragmented and essentialised, has become a rather super – ficial melange of externally visible and supported normative advocates for liberal peacebuilding’s core values, rights, institutions, and processes. It holds back ‘uncivil society’, the barbarians, the traditional or customary, and the non-secular which it is feared lurk behind local politics and await an opportunity to undermine the liberal state. It has been elided into the very problematic liberal project of statebuilding, 11 which is assumed would supply the necessary security and institu- tions, not to mention material resources, to achieve the ‘good life’. Yet, civil society is supposed to be vibrant, play a key role in advocacy, make the state accountable and improve human rights and development, while also meeting material needs. It is through these paradoxical international expectations that the local is perceived as apolitical, in that culture and needs and often identity are made invisible. Civil society in such processes becomes relatively disconnected from its own local, and more connected to the Western, liberal ideal of civil society and its own context. Indeed, recently donors have begun talking about shifting funds from civil society to the market and the stimulation of private enterprise and to the state through budgetary support, because they cannot see discernable effects from previous civil society funding. This is due to their expectations and methodological biases. 12 Lockean liberalism, aimed at the social contract between subjects and rules over the preservation of life, liberty, and property, is heavily reflected in the intel- lectual discourses of liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding. 13 These processes have lent themselves to this interpretation via the intellectual and policy commu- nities which support statebuilding practices as have emerged in Iraq, Afghanistan, and earlier in East Timor, Kosovo, or Bosnia. In reality, statebuilding, and its association with peacebuilding, is now focused on how to connect the technocratic institutions of the liberal state, which it is believed can be built by external actors, with or without local consent. Yet, with some form of social contract, a liberal state would actually be illiberal and illegitimate, possibly at best a trusteeship in which the local’s rights and needs are indefinitely deferred and any legitimacy mainly stems from donors, Security Council resolutions, international actors, and elite complicity or co-optation. Such legitimacy is often now constructed exter – nally, through the support of international actors, and their aspirations towards international humanitarian norms and norms of liberal governance. This has the 30 The romanticisation of the local effect of marginalising the need for local engagements with peacebuilding and for reconciliation, which the liberal state might have better addressed through its more sweeping, but also more intrusive, older, social democratic position on equality and resource distribution. States, institutions, and governmental practices have displaced some aspects of human needs in order to provide an emphasis on political rights as a result. Societies, groups, identities, cultures, and needs are only rhetorically part of this discourse. Yet, a civil peace, and its offshoots of local ownership and participation, has come to preoccupy the Western dominated peacebuilding consensus 14 being employed in conflict and post-conflict environments around the world. This has generally focused upon institutional versions of the state and individualist Oakshottian ‘civil association’ in instances where context is extremely varied. 15 Thus, it is widely accepted that where peacebuilding or statebuilding occurs it must both create and promote a vibrant civil society. It also expects to receive much of its legitimacy on the ground from civil society and local actors, so the notion of a civil society also acts as a crucial validation of liberal peacebuilding strategies and objectives. Yet, while the civil peace might be taken to denote the indigenous character of peace within local culture and traditional social frame- works, the concept of civil society is mainly used to represent a Western view of non-governmental actors, citizens, subjects, workers, consumers, and institu- tions which are empowered from above and outside in order to adopt neoliberal modes of statehood. On the surface this is politicising, and represents a process of self-determination and self-government. But in practice this has proven to be depoliticising, partly because it often rests upon the conflation of welfare and cultural needs and rights in similar, but secondary, rhetorical categories. This means that needs are not met and cultural agency is ignored, making it difficult for local ownership to be meaningful and for civil society to transcend the narrowness of international visions of what it may entail in a particular context. Empowerment and emancipation in this version of peacebuilding therefore must be carried out in the shadow of ‘security’; and political rights and institu- tions are pre-eminent over human needs and structural problems within the liberal-realist [read neoliberal] conceptualisation of statebuilding now dominant. This favours security apparatus, individualism, economic freedom and inter – dependence, and access to politically representative institutions. It produces a prioritisation that intrinsically undermines the most basic of human needs necessary for day-to-day survival and also marginalises identity, unless it is a political identity. In this system, rights and institutions are effectively meaningless to the post-conflict citizen, who is preoccupied with everyday survival. A vibrant civil society is unlikely to emerge in such conditions except in subsistence mode, either in customary terms and so hidden from the international view or heavily dependent on donor support and direction. This probably explains why interna- tionals often argue that there is ‘little or no local capacity’ in the field. It is somewhat ironic that despite all of this, the civil peace and the ‘vibrant civil society it signifies’ is often said to be the most significant component of the liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding project. After all, what good are institutions if the Civil society, needs and welfare 31 general population of a state does not take part in them, or they do not represent a contract between individual, representatives, and the state? The civil peace is often virtual, a charade, referred to by international actors only to legitimate the new institutional reforms they sponsor. At best it is recognised only as a dependent entity in a relationship of conditionality with international actors, who act benev- olently but according to their own interests and norms. In practice, then, the civil peace is not a space of empathy, emancipation and agency. Rather, the notion of a civil society is a Western concept predicated on social and political rights, which are divorced through a neoliberal sleight of hand from basic needs. Instead, civil society is now seen as a cultural, social, and political arena in which individuals and communities are supposed to become liberal, but without having access to interim economic resources, or retaining their identities and culture. Welfare and development While the concept of culture has received limited attention, one of the biggest gaps that has emerged in peacebuilding has been the question of needs, inequality, and social welfare. It has been assumed that marketisation and liber – alisation would be adequate to provide material substance to the liberal peace for its recipients. It is common that conflict, development, needs and inequality are seen to have a loose connection, but it is rare that culture or welfare are seen as positive contributions to peacebuilding. Yet, this recognition can be found as far back as the Declaration of Human Rights (Chapters 22, 23, and 25, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Chapters 6, 9, 11 and 13). One of the early success stories of modern statebuilding, the Marshall Plan, provided an early example of how reconstruction might work. It endeavoured in a Keynesian context to provide employment and assistance through massive investment to produce a peaceful, liberal, modernity, even if it did not acknowledge local culture or custom for the most part. It is particularly perplexing that there is so little on culture, needs and welfare that had been written in contemporary IR, or peace and conflict studies. It might be expected that welfare could even be seen as an instrument to empower (positive) or co-opt (negative) ‘culture’, subjects, and workers for the purposes of the liberal peace. Liberalism is more comfortable with an institutional and productive identification of the other, and less so with its capacity to understand and support the identity and agency of the other, even in the context of liberalism’s own assertion of the need for peaceful states to be based upon a social contract. While the liberal state encourages a balance in the distribution of all resources (not just political) the neoliberal state emphasises rights, institutional checks and balances, and free trade (effectively endorsing a class system given existing local and international inequalities and hierarchies). One might say that the former liberal justifications for res nullius are echoed by such strategies (as Locke himself was aware). The resulting practice has been in line with a neoliberal state, one in which the market dictates politics and the social distribution of resources. But the idea that the market may drive peace, and lead to a widespread adoption of the 32 The romanticisation of the local state’s liberal institutions is based on the belief that internationals have sufficient capacity to ensure this occurs, and that local elites and civil society will support such a move, rather than see it as undermining or misdiagnosing their perceived requirements or their interests. It also is based on the idea that economic peace emerges naturally, is self-regulating, and is of a higher importance than a social or civil peace (though perhaps slightly lesser than institutional or constitutional forms of peace). In the most recent attempt to build the liberal state in Iraq, efforts to engage with civil society have coincided with a purposive introduction of a market economy, even though there was a clear preference amongst civil society, local communities, and trade unions for a welfare-oriented state model. 16 This, in genealogical terms, can be traced back to the principle of res nullius, through which unoccupied land should be put to productive, commercial use, despite possible customary uses, justifying both colonialism and later private property and enterprise. 17 This illus- trates how liberal peacebuilding, and its progeny, statebuilding, reflect a certain ideological position – or a certain culture. It ignores local voices, which might if given the choice make decisions that would from the local perspective provide the state with more legitimacy than the particular neoliberal model that is often now projected. Customary, social democratic, or welfare forms of state might be locally chosen as a preferred form of modernisation. Indeed, given the lack of apparent concern of the statebuilding model with human needs or with human life that such denial apparently represents, these practices actually appear from the local perspective to represent occupation and neo-colonialism rather than a liberation from conflict, oppression, inequality, poverty, contests over institutions, identity, and territory. One of the key features of these dynamics has been the way neoliberal development thinking and marketisation has supplanted discussions about local needs and welfare, often emanating from the logic of freestanding rights. Yet thinking about welfare has traditionally been the response of the liberally minded social reformer in the face of conflict, poverty and disease. It has been the response of governments to problems of war and violence, both to deal with the problems of unemployment after wars and to deal with socio-economic issues (or root causes) present in transitional environments. Peacebuilding, mediation, and peace work in general has always been torn between social reformism (or transformation) and human needs on the one hand, and the capacity of governments to socially engineer certain forms of behaviour on the other. In this sense, welfarism was a form of the romanticisation of the local, drawing on the idealist argument that if social conditions were appropriate then individuals would enter into peaceful and prosperous relations with each other. This also carries a governmental and biopolitical aspect, in that by providing appropriate conditions via state institutions, polities and social relations would be reshaped to comply with the liberal state framework. Liberal, progressive thinking on peace in these terms rests on democracy, human rights, the rule of law, welfare and mixed economies rather than development and free markets, in this formulation. Until the end of the Cold War at least, received wisdom Civil society, needs and welfare 33 had been that a welfare system was an integral part of the liberal state and its peace, both internal and external, and was integral to the social contract and to an emancipatory form of liberal peace. Later this was transformed into an apparent consensus on neoliberalism, as welfarist approaches appeared to collapse often on the basis of citizens’ rejection of intrusive governance, its cost and dynamics of dependency creation. The need for welfare strategies in a stable polity was identified by Thomas Paine in his Rights of Man (1791–2). He argued that welfare was needed to provide both justice and stability. Welfare was not necessarily about empowering the individual, as Bismarck’s workers’ reforms which were designed to prevent them from rebelling indicated, but in their post-Beveridge form, this was a key assumption. Asa Briggs made the case in more modernist terms: the welfare state emerged to moderate the market by guaranteeing a minimum wage, dealing with economic insecurity and vulnerability, and providing universal access to key services. 18 As Lipset argued, economic development – education, prosperity, growth of voluntary associations, and a reduction in the social and economic costs of redistribution – was a requisite for stable democracy especially in the post-war context. 19 The questions this raised included how entitlement is calculated, according to legal, contractual or contributory, financial, discretionary, or profes- sional criteria: who is entitled and why; and what methods are used to determine the above, allocate, and make payments? 20 The task of the welfare state, as Barr has argued, is to redistribute or compensate, and provide for social justice and economic stability and efficiency. 21 In this context the welfare state has been described as the ‘… major peace formula of advanced capitalist democracies for the period following the Second World War.’ 22 This obliged the state to provide welfare where the market cannot oblige in order to overcome societal contradictions between capital and labour. Such systems often emerged as a result of conflict or crisis (as Roosevelt’s welfare plan illustrates). 23 They may offer universal or minimalist solutions to welfare issues. Welfare in the Keynesian environment was seen as an economic method to stabilise the political system. Indeed, the Marshall Plan, which was an early experience of the sorts of reconstruction that this indicated has been widely lauded since. Yet it was a Keynesian and social welfarist project that ran counter to the neoliberal strategies of the contemporary system of global governance or today’s World Bank, IMF, or donor policies. 24 Some saw the Marshall Plan as indicative of a US superiority, of a totalitarian form of liberalism. 25 Others have abstracted from this experience the need to make the development of social capital a key part of peacebuilding/statebuilding, which would have the effect of making reconstruction as local as possible so that local participants own, define, control, and develop their own social capital. This would lead, so the argument goes, to much greater sustainability. 26 This was at least partly recognised in the US approach in Japan after WW2, where some limited attempts at understanding Japanese society were engaged in before reconstruction by the US, though of course the US team that led the reconstruction project had little knowledge of Japanese language, and no close links with Japanese partners. 27 34 The romanticisation of the local However, it is normally argued against the Marshall Plan as an exemplar for peacebuilding that both Germany and Japan were highly developed in terms of infrastructure before the war, had highly levels of social capital, and still had great potential capacity after the war. Even so, proponents of such arguments have claimed that indigenous institutions must align with international reconstruction paradigms (meaning the liberal peace), rather than the other way around. This means that the indigenous or local is secondary, a rubber stamp, for the recon- struction effort, which was also probably the experience of the reconstruction of Western Europe and Japan after World War II. 28 Legitimacy for international development and peacebuilding was thus to be found in international norms, and institutional and liberal knowledge systems. During the early and mid-twentieth century, it was generally acknowledged among liberal circles and beyond, that welfare and needs formed a crucial part of the social contract needed to have political stability within and between states. The economic management of resources was seen as a key tool of governments in preventing economic crises from undermining social and political stability. The work of Keynes on the post-World War I global economy, Mitrany on ‘function- alism’, Polanyi on the failures of economic liberalism, Deutsch and others on integration in a European context, Burton on human needs and conflict, and many others attested to how far this had been widely accepted. 29 Yet, as peace- building approaches become more all-encompassing they turned away from this consensus after the end of the Cold War, and from its stipulated connections with a sustainable peace in favour of what are, in early post-conflict settings at least, untested approaches derived from marketisation and neoliberalism. The key flaw in this move has been that without an engagement with needs and welfare, peacebuilding will not lead to a sustainable outcome because there are few peace incentives for citizens or elites. As Przeworski et al. have indicated, poor democracies are extremely fragile. When society is poor, the state is less likely to be stable or able to develop. 30 In response, Giddens has argued for what he calls ‘positive welfare’ which goes beyond wealth creation and also includes psycho- logical welfare, avoiding creating situations of moral hazard in which individual behaviour follows a dependent pattern, and focusing on the development of civil society. 31 Bonoli argues that welfare systems have been crucial parts of modern democracies in sustaining successful political mobilisation through the creation of labour movements and social democratic parties, which lead to the adoption of market regulations, social insurance and welfare services. 32 Despite the experience of the liberal states during their several centuries of development, that stability is easily undermined by economic difficulties of a direct kind for individuals (i.e. from the Weimar Republic to Timor in 2006), this kind of support is institutionally absent in most conflict zones. It is often only supplied in a patchy manner by a smattering of development agencies, donors, and NGOs, rather by than the market. A securitised development discourse derived from neoliberalism has instead displaced welfare and needs. 33 Because this involves a displacement of needs by rights, which includes protection for private property and ownership, this has displaced dynamics such as customary Civil society, needs and welfare 35 or social land tenure, which have often been thought of as a social insurance system in developing countries (especially where land is worked on a small scale by peasant farmers). In many developing countries, even where individuals have jobs they may also continue to work their small pieces of land as insurance. Yet, it is generally accepted that development is necessary for and parallel to democratisation, and that a strong economy will lead to a representative politics undercutting and replacing both violence and unrepresentative political processes. Both are conditions for each other in that democratisation allows for a fairer distribution of both political and economic resources, and development provides resources to distribute as well as coordinating their distribution. 34 This provides navigation points for policy makers who become involved in peace- building processes in post-conflict environments, and whose role is to establish a sustainable and self-sustaining peace. It avoids the profligacy of welfare states, as well as their centralisation, but so far development strategies have often failed to provide the resources to make rights meaningful to its subjects. Local partners amongst the elites and civil society are expected to accept this framework, and the relationship this develops is structured around political and economic condition- alities, as can be seen with the World Bank and IMF, and the many organisations, and actors they cooperate with. The neoliberal development model that is articulated in post-conflict zones by these conditional relationships does not meet the expectations of many, and particularly those concerned with social justice and opportunity (i.e. the vast bulk of the populations in these areas, and many commentators on development issues). Though HDI (Human Development Index) data shows a general increase over time since data nearest the end of the conflict and the present time in most cases (eighteen out of twenty-three cases) the Gini data shows a more problematic picture. 35 Inequality has increased or is marginally worse in fifteen out of twenty- three cases (see Appendix 1), especially where inequality was relatively low pre-war. This shows that increased wealth circulates mainly amongst the few, meaning a general peace dividend is marginal for most of the population, at least in material terms. This is partly a result of the nature of the liberal peace, especially given the NGO, business, and political elites it creates. Indeed, the data on these cases suggests that inequality tends to be worse in relation to HDI in UN backed cases of peacebuilding. This might be because it has tighter control over reform and allows IFIs (International Financial Institutions) more access. More stability often associated with UN involvement allows more foreign direct investment, which enables a very rich class to emerge. This exacerbates inequality and also indicates that the often claimed trickle-down effect is minimal. Yet neoliberal strategies have not emerged from past experiences in pre-1990 post-conflict situations or amongst the donors, which often had both closed economies and welfare systems during their own development eras. 36 Neoliberal models do not represent international experience given that past reconstruction efforts, whether after the American Civil War or after World War II, involved a massive redistribution of resources. Development is now generally articulated at an international level: welfare is hardly ever referred to at all and contemporary 36 The romanticisation of the local neoliberal development debates have replaced discussions about social welfare. This shift rests on an international, institutional, epistemic legitimacy, not on local legitimacy and representation. One might point to calls in Iraq for a mixed economy, which were ignored by the US occupiers, or the shift in focus in Timor when a national poverty reduction strategy was formed in 2008 from World Bank and IMF (International Monetary Fund) priorities to local needs (as discussed in Chapter 3). It is now well known that neoliberal strategies have a number of contradictory consequences when development is a high priority: they increase inequality, hollow out democracy, and induce political and social unrest and instability. 37 Social forms of democracy, which offer a compromise between welfare and neoliberalism, have been in a number of recent cases an antidote to such deficiencies by being more inclusive and helping in redistribution of resources, inducing social justice and cohesion, allowing for more progressive taxation, job creation and land reform, aiding labour regulation, social insurance, healthcare, education, and welfare provision. 38 The practices of social welfare systems it is often argued have reduced poverty and consolidated democracy by enabling strong civil societies in post-conflict societies. 39 The neoliberal state on the other hand favours elites and their often predatory behaviour, and reverts to condition- ality or coercion to quell social unrest. Indeed, Chang argues that neoliberalism undermines democracy by concentrating power in the hands of those with property, despite voting rights, and also reflects a managerial attempt to make politics irrelevant. 40 A range of literatures touch upon issues these phenomena raise. Przeworski has argued that development requires structural transformation and ethical change, increases in growth, income, productivity, consumption, investment, education, life expectancy, employment, childbirth survival and other factors related to the qualitative experience of life by civilian populations in a liberal state setting. 41 These everyday dynamics have significant implications for thinking on development, and for the cultural assumptions prevalent in the liberal peace- building project about the prioritisation of political rights over the needs of ‘others’. As a result, Carothers argues that many transitional states become stuck in a ‘grey zone’ between authoritarianism and democracy. 42 The fact that most peacebuilding now takes place in a low development context also means that civil society, and local communities and cultures are often defined as subsistence oriented, patronage-based, corrupt and nepotistic in contrast to the liberal/ neoliberal ideal. It should also be noted that the neoliberal version of the state represents a conservative rather than liberal vision of peace, even though it is commonly thought that neoliberalism is merely another version of liberalism. This elision has the indirect effect of absolving international actors of needs and welfare responsibility and indicates that local actors are incapable of developing without external direction. This is also a classic colonial-style move from the perspective of many local actors. Such apparently negative strategies entailed in subsistence and patronage, however, are often substitution and coping strategies. Neoliberal development Civil society, needs and welfare 37 debates disguise the lack of welfare substitution, and imply local culture is deemed unsuited for development without intervention and transformation, rather than neoliberal strategies being deemed unsuited to the local environment. So by targeting these deficiencies on the ground the liberal peace, influenced by neolib- eralism, fails to provide for needs or welfare, it undermines what little substitution strategies there are, and infantilises local culture. It endeavours to build a limited liberal capacity where it is suspicious of the tendencies of local agency, while remaining unaware of, or even worse unconcerned with, its own cultural assump- tions and deficiencies. What is more, as Przeworski et al. argue, economic growth may not be linked to democracy in poor states, especially where sufficient income replacement is unlikely or absent. In their view egalitarian income distribution is a necessary condition for the development of democracy. Stability is therefore dependent to a large degree on income replacement. 43 This raises the question of why the liberal peace has been influenced by neoliberalism and has disconnected needs and welfare in the context of statebuilding, when so much evidence points to the symbiotic relationship between democracy, civil society, the rule of law, and needs? There now arises an important question as to why income provision or replacement is generally not taken to be part of the short-term peacebuilding attempt to consolidate transitions from war. After all, given such strong evidence that democratisation requires individuals to be able to count on economic survival, that neoliberal strategies are too long-term to provide this immediately, and that aid agencies and NGOs struggle even to provide emergency assistance on the scale that is often needed, it would seem to be obvious that an interna- tional agency tasked with the provision of income replacement in association with local bodies, could take on this role in post-violence situations. This would give substance to rights frameworks offered by liberal peacebuilding, and allow the expression of cultural agency, and for the development of a vibrant civil society which provides legitimacy for the state. Furthermore, because peace processes often take place in developing countries where incomes are low or absent, the costs of such a process would not necessarily be exorbitant at least in the short to medium term. In most cases, a few thousand US$ per annum would suffice to provide individuals, families, and indeed communities, with transitional support where needed and undercut incentives for, or temptations towards, violence. The obvious benefit – beyond its humanitarian contribution – of such a scheme would be to prevent further marginalisation of individuals, their radicalisation, and their co-option into grey or black markets or into militias. Of course, there is also a danger that the actors who managed such a scheme would also see it as an opportunity for their own interests to be inserted into the project, reverting to a form of governmentality. Similarly, some have argued that welfare activities on the part of governments provide them with opportunities to claim rights and exercise powers over individuals and communities that they would not otherwise be able to do. 44 This has always been the danger of welfare schemes. They often depend upon an external actor’s definition of welfare, which in turn rests upon their own cultural and social assumptions in the context of politics and 38 The romanticisation of the local the economy. Welfare developed in the context of the stabilisation of states during industrialisation and after major systemic wars. Neoliberalism developed at a later stage in more stable circumstances – despite the Cold War – within the already relatively wealthy Western bloc. Indeed the brief attempt of the US government to impose neoliberal strategies between 1945 and 1947 after World War II almost proved catastrophic for Britain, Europe, and later for Japan on several occasions. The reversion to a mixed economic mode with the Marshall Plan, and the turn to welfare states in Europe laid the basis for political stabilisation (and, ironically, for a later neoliberal turn). Of course, what emerged were hybrid forms of state and economy where the state provided redistribution and public services where necessary, but also protection of free markets where needed. 45 Given this potential, and despite its shortcomings, ironically a more needs and welfare oriented form of peacebuilding and statebuilding (even in transitional guise) has generally been ignored by those working in mainstream IR, peace and conflict studies, development, and also by policymakers and practitioners, in recent times. This may be because of the hegemonic power that neoliberalism has been imbued with as an ideological outcome of the triumph of liberalism at the end of the Cold War. It has been widely accepted that socialist oriented economic strategies have failed, somewhat tautologically because the prevalence of neolib- eralism (even after the credit crisis in 2008–9). Furthermore, welfare states do produce under-classes and new forms of poverty and dependency. 46 Neoliberals in general argue that welfare is a disincentive to investment and work and creates dependence. 47 Yet, in the specialised context of liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding, welfare policies might, if supported through outside means in the short term, support the creation of a stable liberal polity, a relatively contextualised rather than externalised civil society, and a social contract. Individuals and commu- nities, knowing that peacebuilding entails needs and welfare provision, might be more predisposed towards the development of a long-term liberal peace process in which their rights and the institutions of state, plus the security it provides, become more meaningful. This would necessitate the engagement of an approach or even a new international institution capable of communicating directly with local actors about their everyday needs, relatively free from external or neoliberal prescriptions and with a sophisticated understanding of local contexts. Engaging with needs in a more sensitive way on the part of internationals in this fashion would also require a much more detailed knowledge of local contexts to prevent the resources being offered from being diverted for predatory reasons. This would enable an open discussion about what requirements might enable the construction of a social contract and prevent a reversion to violence. It would require that international actors and donors had linguistic and culture compe- tency, and could engage with the local context. On this basis it might engender a locally led discussion about what policies would be necessary to stabilise everyday life and lead to democratic politics. These might include pensions, child benefit, unemployment benefit, food subsidies, free schooling, free health care, other public services and infrastructure, as well as an international discussion about Civil society, needs and welfare 39 how these services can be funded or supported – with some urgency. They may also include less developmental notions of subsistence, resilience, or approaches to land use, food production, and resource distribution. This is not to say that such welfare oriented strategies would be irreproachable. Clearly they also represent a one-size-fits-all and expensive intervention in post- violence societies, and still require the institutions of state and international organisations and donors. But as social democracies around the world illustrate, they offer a different economic model compatible with democracy and the liberal, but not neoliberal, state. 48 It is perplexing that liberal peacebuilding has not adopted such conceptual frameworks more in keeping with their emancipatory goals. Of course, cost and coordination are significant barriers. It would involve international actors defining and paying for such a system, running the risk of unsuitable conditionalities being inserted into what might be called welfare oriented peacebuilding approaches and subsequent transitions from war to peace, again lacking contextual legitimacy in local terms and resting mainly on interna- tional consensus. In social democracies the labour movements, the poor, and social movements often see democracy and the state as their ally – and indeed, it is more able to deliver them the liberal social contract, and the ‘good life’ as a result. In neoliberal states, the opposite tends to hold true, and the tension between poor and elites undermines any social contract and leads to the securitisation of the state. This is hardly conducive to peacebuilding. Sandbrook et al. argue that social democracy allows the local, whether labour groups or cultural identity groups, to organise the state themselves, and therefore to claim ownership over it because resources are distributed democratically, not according only to the market (which might be manipulated in the favour of an elite otherwise). 49 Many of the roots of conflict often cited are more directly and urgently addressed by such frameworks than the neoliberal system (which may be more suited to already developed polities). Post-war experiences have generally shown this to be the case, rather than the neoliberal development models which often produce political, economic, and social stagnation in post-violence situations. Of course, in many recent state- building or liberal peacebuilding operations, the vast majority regard the state as potentially predatory, but a more welfare oriented version of peacebuilding might be able to create more grounded legitimacy. It is important to note the paradox of a welfare oriented peacebuilding system: it also needs a state, and it is highly interventionary, which is why it has so often collapsed into an institutional social engineering process, and has been criticised for being expensive and inefficient, creating massive bureaucracies, and ‘big states’. States have tended to use welfare strategies to varying degrees to pacify or placate their own poor, and to try to dampen down the abrasive effects of socio-economic classes systems. Thus, welfare strategies are also clearly compatible with liberal peacebuilding while also mirroring its shortcomings. However, in post-conflict transitions, such complaints are probably less significant and more consistent with emancipatory claims about the liberal peace. If liberal peacebuilding aims at a sustainable peace then ethically and politically it is probably better off with 40 The romanticisation of the local this more consistent approach. It is a better conceptual match with liberal peace- building and statebuilding, which are also both social and political engineering processes. Welfare systems also potentially provide more space, though still limited by state prescriptions for civil society and for cultural forms of expression and representation. Both welfare and neoliberalism are compatible with the state, but in very different ways. Welfare redistributes (in this case internationally as well as nationally), equalises, and reduces the power of elites (if they are accountable and do not use welfare systems as a basis for patronage) so enhancing a social contract; neoliberalism does the opposite unless capacity and resources are already high and widely available. In this sense, social democracy might be a better blue print for post-conflict peacebuilding than neoliberal states have proven to be. But this does not fully solve the question of culture in peacebuilding, given that either welfare or neoliberal prescriptions rest on the reconstruction of liberal states via a universal model for peace. Indeed the sorts of local knowledge and capacity that international actors would require to adopt such an approach raises a new set of contradictions for peacebuilding approaches. Conclusion On balance a more welfarist, needs oriented, and social democracy aimed version of liberal peacebuilding might be plausible, or indeed more successful on binding citizens together within a post-conflict state. The redressal of needs issues might make the state seem worthwhile and legitimate, subject to a meaningful social contract. To be internally consistent, the liberal peace should probably engage with needs more directly than at present, as this is normally a significant concern of any democratic process in a fragile, post-conflict polity. Such limitations are all the more perplexing because of the well-known links between inequality, under- development, and lack of social welfare, and the related fragility of democracy. The assumption that democratic rights are more significant, rather than equal to, than economic opportunities is not widely supported in many local contexts, even in the very sensitive and nuanced situations of transitions out of violence – as in Northern Ireland, which has been subject since the peace agreement to massive British and European investment in public services, infrastructure and facilities. The practice in the West is to develop both in an intimate relationship with elites in order to provide for both political rights and economic opportunities for the local. For example, social democracies provide an economic safety net for low earners and the unemployed as well as public services, which make everyday life more secure and meaningful for its participants. This enables rather than reduces cultural agency upon which legitimacy for any state might be built through the emergence of a national consensus. Neoliberal economies provide opportunities for all to buy such services and to have choice, but only when a large proportion of a population have reached a reasonable level of per capita income. The balance between social and neoliberal democracy represents the main difference amongst liberal states. Yet, in a post-conflict development context this balance is lacking, ignored or left to the [often non-existent] market. The lesson appears to Civil society, needs and welfare 41 be that the market does not provide for a stable civil society, or merely promotes an artifice unpopulated by local people. This undermines the social contract, given that this is the goal of the liberal state. A mixed economy and social democracy has far more chance of enabling a civil society at least while its costs are met externally. This raises the issue of what are the costs of such enablement as opposed to the costs of a collapse into violence or of dysfunctional societies, economies, and politics? It is probable that the latter outweigh the former significantly. 50 Many post-conflict states which have been subject to liberal peacebuilding operate fairly authoritarian forms of democracy, as in Cambodia for example. This underlines yet another inconsistency within the liberal peacebuilding model, which consequently favours relatively undemocratic states, or the lack of self- government in the transitional period, or weak implementation of democratic reforms, in order to promote stronger growth. This is one way of addressing the problem that democratic transitions are often undermined by socio-economic problems, which avoids the externalised burden and costs of social welfare programmes. However, it also means that civil society, and a social form of peace may not come into being, meaning the state effectively represents an international imaginary of the liberal peace and an elite vehicle. Neoliberal development strategies do not support the liberal peace, or at least its civil, emancipatory component. They supplant the local, negate cultural agency and the liberal social contract with the market, and drag liberal peacebuilding towards the conservative end of its spectrum. Indeed, often the post-conflict individual and community is abandoned in most respects in favour of institutions and markets. Liberal peacebuilding, and its neoliberalisation instead betrays a cultural blind spot on the part of peacebuilders and policy- makers, who do not see contradictions between replicating long stable liberal states in post-conflict settings, while treating context and the local as voiceless, unempowerable, and sacrificeable in the interim, while neoliberal trickle-down strategies emerge. The proscription of welfare ties in very closely with the positivist emphasis of the state and system and its continuity with inherent order versus violence, and therefore with the subjugation of the individual and his/her subjective consti- tution through emotional, cultural, material resources and connections. The error of institutionalised liberal peacebuilding today has been its willingness to be co-opted within positivist, problem-solving methods and epistemology, which have effectively led to its failure as a practice in many varied parts of the world today. Neoliberalism in particular has been regarded as a science as opposed to an ideology. As a result, an unintended consequence is that the local and context is romanticised in a way which ensures that a social contract between it and the emerging state will not emerge, partly because welfare needs are not addressed by the state or internationals directly during the transition from violence to a form of peace. The delegitimation of transitional welfare has undermined engagement with the local, and is indicative of the hegemonic and non-pluralist culture of liberal peacebuilding – and of the absolutism of liberalism. This, as Duffield has 42 The romanticisation of the local argued, has led to the phenomena of ‘surplus’ and ‘uninsurable’ life, especially in conflict and post-conflict development settings, even amongst more progressive thinkers and policymakers 51 who effectively deploy governmental versions of peacebuilding. This represents a culture–welfare paradox, discussed further in the next chapter. 52 It undermines the very ‘civil society’ and civil peace that liberal peacebuilding claims to emphasise. A welfarist or needs oriented, and social democratic version of peacebuilding is not without its problems of course. It may either maintain liberal governmentality, or rescue the liberal peace, but it does not address its broader problems in the context of a post-colonial world. Of course, both welfare oriented and neoliberal approaches romanticise the local in different ways. The welfare approach requires social engineering to be carried out by enlightened officials and politicians, and a strong social contract between them and society, institutionalised within the state. Needs may be guaranteed, but uninsurable life becomes so heavily insured that it may also be depoliticised and so the support welfare provides for civil society and a social contract may ultimately also become undermined. The capacity of the welfare system to ‘save’ people is romanticised, and needs are constructed in universal modes with little regard to cultural or social patterns or dynamics unless purely at the national level. On the other hand, market oriented approaches over- value political rights as the main priority of peacebuilding along with security, and then undermine them with market freedoms that induce inequality, particularly in fragile post-conflict environments. They allow the state to be hijacked by allied political and economic elites, and romanticise their capacity to mobilise on a large scale to enable society to ‘help itself ’. Add to this the pressures of the global market, and the liberal fiction that the local is helpless and without capacity, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that confirms its political, economic, social, and indeed cultural ‘inadequacy’. This is why rights frameworks and the market have been able to supplant local agency in liberal peace oriented strategies. Given the tendencies of both neoliberal and social democratic or welfarist approaches, it is more likely that a welfarist approach to peacebuilding in the early transitional stage would be more consistent with the liberal goal of a peace that contributed to regional stability. This would remove some of the costs of peacebuilding that neoliberalism has placed on the shoulders of the post-conflict individual and allow for them connect with the state – to enable civil society and the social contract. Costs would be shifted to external actors but probably not in the fragmented way that the current aid and development system often operates. In the longer term, the market might also play a role in this development strategy, but only if a clearer understanding of the economic strategies most suited to each context could be developed. This would be preferable to the current strategy of using the West’s ‘local’ version of the interaction of politics, society, and the economy to dominate those in very different contexts. If liberal peacebuilding is to be rescued, a more welfare and needs oriented strategy might enable a more three-dimensional state, social contract, civil society, and everyday experience of peacebuilding to emerge for its subjects. However, as the next chapter discusses, this assumes that local cultural dynamics are not a significant modifying force Civil society, needs and welfare 43 for the liberal peacebuilding project or that cultural ‘dysfunctionality’ can be ‘overcome’ by its universalism. Such distancing strategies associated with the insti- tutions and mechanisms of the liberal peace and its neoliberal dynamics maintain inequality and indicate a lack of understanding of the significance of cultural agency in peacebuilding. 2 The culture of liberal peacebuilding Introduction This chapter develops further the argument that ‘governmental distance’, partly through liberal and neoliberal design and partly through contextual ignorance, has hindered liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding processes. This enables governance without external actors becoming fully responsible for needs or welfare, or for under – standing context or culture, as well as allowing them to introduce possibly painful reform. Its goal is the liberal transformation of the post-conflict political subject in the context of the necessary state and institutions. This reifies Westphalian notions of sovereignty, as well as modernist international institutions, a cosmopolitan inter – national community of states and architecture of international peacebuilding. There are inevitable tensions in this architecture for international peacebuilding. It indicates that international actors also do not consider liberal peacebuilding as a product of a specific culture itself. The connection of peacebuilding and statebuilding with liberal institutions, neoliberalism and individualism, rather than context, culture, or needs and welfare, ignores the experience of post-war reconstruction and the development of the Western liberal state. The type of security which is produced by this approach tends to be of an international, regional and state nature, rather than grounded in local experiences or needs. It bypasses issues such as reconciliation and has a rather ambiguous relationship with transitional justice. This is particularly important in the context of the now common assertion that a stable and dynamic civil society (at least as it is understood in the eyes of the liberal peacebuilding community) is required, and that local cultural dynamics should be respected by external interveners whose aim is to build a state from the outside and a civil society to cement its legitimacy. But more significant is the oversight of culture as a site of peacebuilding agency. It is culture, custom and modes of organisation that are derived from these dynamics in specific contexts, that often substitute for the failures of liberal peacebuilding, ensuring survival and more. As a result there have been increasing attempts to bring custom and culture into liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding processes (as discussed in Chapter 6). This chapter investigates the culture of liberal peacebuilding, which it argues has been unbalanced by neoliberalism and has tended to essentialise local cultures while ignoring the dominance of its own. Even more crucially this ignores the role The culture of liberal peacebuilding 45 of culture in constructing collective agency for peacebuilding, at a community level or in terms of institutions. 1 It examines these dynamics in the light of the last chapter’s discussion of the way liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding has treated needs and welfare issues, supplanting them with rights discourses and the market by governmental strategies designed to distance the local. It illustrates how culture is treated by liberal peacebuilding, but also how its various forms and expressions have had an impact on external intervention itself. Culture is a site of peacebuilding agency, often ignored, which has modified the practices of liberal peacebuilding, especially in the latter’s concepts of civil society and its cultural and economic formulations, as well as its modes of political representation. Neoliberal forms of peacebuilding are disruptive to these forms of capacity. It would thus be more appropriate for international actors to engage with them, as well as with the possibilities and problems of needs and welfare in peacebuilding. This would further accentuate a commitment to local ownership in contextual terms, as well as local capacity and resilience. This points to the need to develop a form of peacebuilding of a post-colonial nature, as well as the importance of its everyday and hybrid aspects. Rather than peacebuilding being representative of liberal subjects and their institutions and history, it would then represent a negotiation between the ‘local’ and the ‘international’ in simple terms. Implications of culture for peacebuilding Culture, as a concept, is derived from agriculture and cultivation and the notion of self-sufficiency as well as custom, identity, intellectual distinction and refinement. 2 It is notable that the more ancient etymological root of the word indicates distinctive expressions of cultural identity which may also be related to the word ‘acre’, indicating land measurement, use, and ownership. 3 This is crucial because it also connects to liberal understandings of individuality, and to property rights as the basis for the neoliberal economy and indirectly for political representation (as property gives everyone a stake in institutions and before the law in liberal thinking). It is linked to notions of self-expression, memory, self-government and self-determination, and a very broad engagement with politics, society, history and the economy. It implies difference and autonomy rather than homogeneity, universalism and dependence. This is contrary to the problem-solving and institu- tionalised reductions of most modernist theories associated with the state, conflict management, peacebuilding, neoliberal economic approaches and development. As a ‘web of meaning’ 4 from which politics and peace emerge, culture is often regarded as a critical site of agency, often in hidden or marginal ways. This is one of the reasons why progressive projects of modernity often ignore it, because its agencies may conflict with modernisation or claimed universal or cosmopolitan norms. Culture highlights meaning rather than scientific law. Such a view contrasts instrumental understandings of culture against interpretative understandings, 5 which are far more able to comprehend the complex politics of peacebuilding. It precludes a ‘view from above/outside’ (even though most social science writing, including my own, often aims at this) and any analysis 46 The romanticisation of the local will inevitably be incomplete and slightly ambiguous because of its subtleties. Despite this, such semiotic analysis – and its implications for peace – offers more than merely intuition about peacebuilding but excavates the complexity of both agency and structure especially in areas IR has rarely been concerned with: beneath the state and beyond civil society. Culture has often been associated with positions that resist modernity, or with resistance more generally: hence ‘hearts and minds’ strategies against insurgencies and repeated attempts to include cultural sites of influence as common opposite numbers in peace processes, while simultaneously denying the legitimacy of their cultural agency. 6 It has been supplanted in the liberal peacebuilding literature by the concept of civil society. This has the effect of negating its connotations relating to identity, alterity, or resistance as well as maintaining a division between ‘liberal internationals’ and ‘illiberal’ or ‘non-liberal’ local actors. As a result important stakeholders are ignored, partly because of the fear of not being able to deal with local knowledge or expectations. Such problems arise also because international actors, like the UN, have relatively little capacity at the local level though attention to such issues is now increasing though field missions and ‘outreach’ practices. Even so, local languages and culture remain widely acknowledged weaknesses of international actors. 7 The UN Peacebuilding Commission was partly established to provide complementary legitimacy to that of the liberal peace, and of course, field missions in general develop local contacts where they can. Even so, the local remains elusive for international actors. 8 Culture implies a diversity of identities, custom, and practices, many of which are ‘modern’, transnational, and transversal in their expression of the ‘local’ even if not secular, explicitly rational, progressive or universal. Clearly it should not be essentialised, homogenised, and instrumentalised. Indeed, as a si te of agency, it is unlikely that strategies designed for the latter will produce anything but more tension. It can be used to imply relativist and eternal divisions, though this possibility should not be used to censor culture from consideration of liberal peacebuilding’s engagement with the local. 9 Yet, because of these dynamics, local cultures, institutions, actors, and practices are often perceived to be the liberal peace’s other, and an obstacle to the project of liberal, rational governmentalism. Local culture is perceived from this perspective to be in opposition to the liberal peace and democratic government or development. It is from here that the disconnect that allows liberal peacebuilding to ignore needs, local agency and institutions begins and the local is made invisible or romanticised. Yet local cultures often engender social and economic systems that are expres- sions of responsibility to each other, despite their limited resources and lack of market infrastructure, and in contradistinction to the elite, predatory state or class systems that attempt to concentrate power in the hands of one particular identity group. Liberal peacebuilding often interferes with this positive aspect of the local, while restraining but also supporting elites. Twentieth century states were, in more classical and orthodox terms, to represent culture and identity in the context of the modernising nation (hence the term ‘nation-building’). Modern statebuilding, which has swept along much The culture of liberal peacebuilding 47 thinking about peacebuilding especially amongst mainstream Western theorists, has in contrast focused on technical and institutional forms of state governance, but retains a sense of nation-building as a future outcome. Legitimacy according to this latter view lies in institutional coordination and efficiency of the state while often vaguely appealing for the creation of a national identity in the longer term. Along with this should be some discussion of citizenship, and what citizens require, though this rarely happens in practice, given the exigencies and stresses of liberal peacebuilding’s crisis or donor-driven priorities from an international perspective. The return of culture in post-violence liberal peacebuilding experimental states (ironically often in states such as in the Balkans where in the 1990s, ethnic and other identity conflicts raged), has shown this move to be flawed. Legitimacy also lies in cultural forms of representation, which are denied if the state merely provides ‘bare life’ 10 due to its neoliberal character or its reliance on the construction of empty institutions – a virtual peace. Such cultural forms of expression are often tied to land, memory, identity, religion, and history, but not necessarily to nation-states. Of course the modernist obsession with the nation state, and moves to enable universal self-determination have meant that independence is seen by most political groups as the only guarantee of peace and security. As Anderson has famously shown, these simulations of nationhood are imagined and often resist the impulse contained in statehood to objectify them. 11 But they are crucial to the liberal peace because they engender legitimacy, even though the liberal peacebuilding process has tended to avoid modifying pre-existing boundaries (often stemming from decolonisation processes) where possible, and relies on forms of legitimacy emanating from international norms, law, and institutions. As with the difficulty in defining the concept of peace, it is also important to note the difficulty in understanding what culture actually means in different contexts. As Clifford has written, ‘[c]ulture is a deeply compromised idea that I cannot yet do without’. 12 The same might be said of liberal peacebuilding strategies’ treatment of culture. Paradoxically, while welfare strategies might create more cultural space for peacemaking and legitimacy for the state, they also invite the state to take up interventionary positions vis-à-vis its citizens and provide an opportunity to manipulate the cultural and identity forms of society following the patterns established before or during a conflict. In other words, and in different ways, both neoliberalism and welfare oriented liberal states potentially make subjects of their citizens, in different but equally governmentalising ways. Neoliberal approaches to peacebuilding tend to disregard the importance of culture as a site of peacebuilding agencies. Welfare strategies might offer material capacities through which needs might be realised, but they may also contradict or deny cultural agencies in favour of state agendas and interests. However, in post- conflict zones welfare itself is a very basic need for much of the population from long after overt violence has faded. In this sense, it complements but transcends concepts of human security and provides the capacity for cultural and social engagement to democratically shape its environment, polity, or state, and when 48 The romanticisation of the local sufficient political and economic energy has been amassed perhaps to move into a more sophisticated form of polity. In the transitional, post-violence moment, however, neoliberalism represents a failure of liberal thought in peacebuilding terms, which creates subjects rather than citizens. It places too much reliance on the universality of the liberal peace, ignoring context. Liberal peacebuilding is unable to take local culture seriously in this sense, either seeing it at one or other extreme and not reflecting on its own position. For example, locally organised projects – even if recognised as crucial – rarely receive donor or UN funding because of language and bureaucratic barriers. This has been a long-standing problem in the UN system, which has still not been resolved. 13 The local response to these dynamics is therefore predictable from a cultural perspective – resistance, rejection, or co-option of peacebuilding. These dynamics are exacerbated because little or no attention is paid to the inconsistency of building a liberal state that lacks the essential administrative and productive capacities provided by a welfare system designed for such a transitionary state, which would extend the social contract beyond potentially predatory or at least biased elites. This oversight or confusion has a very significant implication: the local is seen as not significant in terms of peacebuilding agency. This is very contradictory in the light of the liberal assertions of civil society and a social contract. This leads to a self-fulfilling spiral: local culture is seen to be inherently flawed or violent, making external intervention and investment risky. Effectively, this means that international faith in democratisation, the rule of law, human rights, and neoliberal development is relatively insecure, meaning minimalist versions of these are adopted. The focus is consequently on neutral and imported institutions rather than local agency. It is indicative of the valuing of political institutions over everyday life, of neoliberalism over needs and welfare, and so of Western models over non-Western human life. This has a whole series of implications, not least the blind faith placed in neoliberal strategies (for attracting FDI, which hardly ever materialises unless it is for high profit enterprises, such as with resource extraction). Of course, there are also indigenous responses that ameliorate such problems. Crime, corruption, and violence are obvious possibilities, which are often locally described in less inflammatory ways. There are also localised socio-economic responses – informal economies and political systems based upon cultural and historical institutions and processes. These often run parallel to the empty liberal states formed by external intervention. Often they depend on customary governance and law, or communal land held by communities as welfare guarantees. On first sight, this is obviously not a cultural critique of liberal peacebuilding, though in many ways it follows a similar path, extending it into institutions used to determine governance in peacebuilding and its focus on political rights rather than social welfare. On closer examination however, what becomes clear are the hegemonic, political, social, economic, and cultural assertions inherent in neoliberal patterns of statehood and global governance, with little regard for the everyday pressures of completely different, perhaps non-liberal and undeveloped The culture of liberal peacebuilding 49 contexts. Thus, liberal peacebuilding as a praxis has a very uncomfortable relationship with local communities and individuals, ranging from domination or co-option, to transformation, emancipation and liberation. Civil society from this perspective is actually empty of individuals and communities who do not accept this agenda – they are deemed uncivil, illiberal, or non-liberal. But this means a significant number of people are excluded from liberal peacebuilding. If it is the case that culture and welfare are ignored, then liberal peacebuilding and state- building can be generally seen as mechanisms of exclusion rather than inclusion. They benefit certain epistemic communities and their elite partners, but not the general population which is engaged in everyday life in a supposed social contract with their representatives, and with peacebuilders. This blind spot on the part of internationals to culture (and needs) in local contexts reflects how the various intellectual and practical peacebuilding projects which were initially individual and community based and bottom-up processes, have been transmuted into contemporary statebuilding of a liberal, institutional, and neoliberal character. This instrumentally exploits, co-opts, or rejects local culture, all of which reflects the liberal and neoliberal culture of peacebuilding itself. This is by design so that individuals may be provided with conditions suited to the good life, that restrictions need to be put in place to prevent ‘uncivil’ (or non-liberal) behaviour, and that suitable conditions are created so individuals can fend for themselves. This blend of liberal and neoliberal thinking results in an instrumental romanticisation of the local and a dismantling of the really- existing local and its agencies. It is predicated upon the predominant thrust of liberal and neoliberal thinking that freedom is found through the creation of a priori governance institutions and self-help in a state context. Thus, needs and welfare are marginalised, and culture is seen to lie in quaint or unacceptable local traditions or patterns of behaviour, the enactments of which are not vital for the emergence of a sustainable state, or a grounded legitimacy. Nor is this culture– welfare nexus necessary for the creation of a liberal state and sustainable peace. At best, it offers a route through which top-down institution peacebuilding can co-opt the local. It is top-down and driven by international norms and institutions where the liberal peace process faces an absence of local agency in liberal terms. Much hope has been placed upon the assumed ‘natural’ desire of civil society for peace, as a collective will. Some have seen this, as a product of a new cosmo- politan order, which allows for cultural difference, and may rest upon global governance. This is aimed at emancipation but reproduces the local as the following: The local is in these circumstances the exotic, the private, the traditional, the parochial, the non-democratic, the non-political. Culture … [constitutes] that which is associated with the other of the modern, the progressive, the universal. 14 What is rarely acknowledged is that this is endorsed by the construction of the liberal peace in post-conflict peacebuilding environments. It is also the cause and 50 The romanticisation of the local target of resistance, often from the local for identity and cultural reasons. 15 The local is often connected transnationally within the context of broader movements endeavouring to articulate their own emancipatory project. It is fully aware of the conditions of both domestic and international contexts. It is these connections that might later become significant for moving the polity beyond the instrumen- talisation of culture and welfare. This connection between the local and international (even though this division is somewhat artificial) often reifies a particular notion of local and international activism and the associated civil society, concerned with the main pillars of the liberal peace. This leads to individualism rather than a politics located within historical, social and cultural networks. Thus, the way that liberal peacebuilding projects the concept of civil society reflects the marketised and neoliberal ideology of developed states where political and social rights take precedence over all over human capacity. As Foucault argued, civil society is the product of governmen- tality in its neoliberal state form. 16 Yet, this is often contrary to local expectations and praxes. It is complicit with the state in the liberal view, rather than resistant to it or even riven by tensions which produce political debate and hence the nature of the state. 17 This ignores the role of emotion, identity, and custom in negative and positive forms in civil society. 18 Such dynamics are obscured by positivist problem-solving assumptions, so that when local recipients of this peacebuilding practice react negatively, it looks as if they are dysfunctional to the ‘neutral’ eye of the peacebuilder. Modernisation and liberalisation often leads to the reassertion of local identities as a reaction. 19 As Said has shown, cultural pluralism and an underlying shared humanity do not need to be contradictory. 20 Thus, such resistance is often discursive, political, social, cultural, or customary, rather than violent. It is often hidden, disguised by its perpetrators or blocked by external actor’s biases. From this perspective culture has to be an important theme in any discussion of peace, which should recognise both its fluidity and dynamism, and its connection with tradition and social cohesion derived from this. 21 The agency associated with culture becomes apparent from this perspective rather than the dsyfunctionality that internationals often perceive. Following on from this, the culture of liberal peacebuilding needs also to be recognised, if only to recognise its neoliberal characteristics and the consequences of this ideology in fragile polities. (Perhaps the best place to look for this is in post-colonial theory, as I endeavour to show in Chapter 5.) Culture is often seen as a generic ‘other’ by internationals, which, where visible, should be incorporated into problem-solving universal institutional and discursive forms of the liberal peace, often in its most conservative of forms. It is not seen as a site of agency, but rather often as an obstacle to peacebuilding, barring a few references to traditional forms of mediation by internationals. As Escobar suggests, however, a form of institutional ethnography can uncover how biases and interests, often themselves of a cultural nature, are exported through peacebuilding. 22 This can be used to both unpack and critique the omissions and biases of the contemporary and mainstream praxis of peacebuilding, but also The culture of liberal peacebuilding 51 to begin to understand the needs and practices of everyday life in post-conflict peacebuilding situations: ‘… to train ourselves to see what culturally we have been taught to overlook …’ 23 Contemporary practices of peacebuilding and statebuilding may be institu- tionally attuned, but not culturally attuned. In doing so they undermine their own claim to rest upon a vibrant civil society and blind themselves to the cultures of peace that may already exist. It is because these are interventionary activities that they – along with any social welfare system – require a recognition of the cultural bias of liberal peacebuilding. Furthermore, they require the recognition of local patterns of politics, of resilience, custom, alterity and identity especially in non-Western settings, where the vast majority of peacebuilding and state- building operations are located. The consequences of not engaging with culture for a civil peace, for civil society and for the local-local, have been enormous. Civil society itself has become representative not of the local, or of an authentic, organic or indigenous context and their many and fluid dynamics, but of an external veneer masking attempts at social engineering. Ironically, even this goal is undermined by its association with marketisation and alien institutions and associated conditionalities. Peacebuilding without a cultural engagement repre- sents a romanticisation of the local. Effectively, the combination of liberalism and neoliberalism has blocked an open and empowering conversation between the local and the international, failed to build a social contract, and has under – mined the liberal peace project and peacebuilding more generally. The praxis of romanticisation has infected peacebuilding, seemingly exposing local dynamics but actually disguising them, and often making them appear to be more suited to liberal peacebuilding than they actually are. The romanticisation of liberalism’s own local, not to say its mythologisation, says more about the West’s interests and attitudes, and is at least partially the result of an age-old failing of disciplinary liberalism. The implications of neoliberalism It is through such dynamics that both liberalism and neoliberalism appear to be plausible approaches to include in post-conflict peacebuilding. The claims of ‘pacific’ qualities through institutionalisation, freedom, law and markets, and the subsequent regulation of the person, state and international relations, 24 reflect a cultural bias and specific ideologies, which themselves reflect dominant interests. Clearly, the three main traditions of liberalism, which include liberal pacifism, liberal imperialism and liberal internationalism, all propose democracy as an essential component of peace, but make underlying normative assumptions about liberalism’s universality that, when confronted, lead to tension between its supporters and those that reject its internal value system. Thus, according to Doyle, liberal states that are prone to war with non-liberal states, may make a separate peace amongst themselves, and have ‘discovered liberal reasons for aggression’. 25 This logic can be extended to offer liberal reasons for hegemony and domination, for the focus on security and institutions, for the denial of 52 The romanticisation of the local culture, agency, and of course for the importance of needs for peace. It explains the need to distance the supposed non-liberal subject, predefined as such by Western elites, politicians, peacebuilders and administrators, in order to govern it in ways to which it may not automatically consent. However, this is difficult to sustain in a rights context, which is why the liberal peace system rarely compro- mises on democracy, rights, or law. In a needs setting though, if one accepts the separation of rights from needs, it is easy to argue that a peace with rights is superior to a peace with needs. Thus, peacebuilding is infused with a neoliberal culture in which rights cannot be compromised. Yet, ironically, the materiality of rights can be denied, or at least left mainly in the hands of post-conflict subjects. This seems to contradict strong evidence that needs, jobs, inequality, and welfare have always been key in conflict situations, which after all often revolve around the distribution of resources. Here the liberal peace displays its hegemony as it merges into a neoliberal peace which fails to address needs. This is ultimately a denial of cultural agency for rights bearing subjects. What this indicates is that the liberal peace argument is strongly focused on political rights and their associated institutions in an international context and at a national level. This has produced an uncomfortable modern form of liberal peace, which is a hybrid of liberal rights and neoliberalism. These undermine each other because the materiality of rights and the importance of cultural agency is denied. An international peace between states is its overriding concern according to international standards, rather than local versions of culture or economic welfare. As a result it provides little space for the subjects of the liberal social contract (i.e. citizens and agents, not merely subjects). In a liberal context the civil peace is viewed from above, from the perspective of national and inter – national elites, who are often trained to speak the same language (literally and metaphorically), who see the liberal peace as a superior knowledge system, and are strongly influenced by neoliberalism. The civil peace is rarely considered from the perspective of the actual subject so civil society is constructed according to individualism, property rights and the market. The idea that the subject might be an agent in other ways is a distant leap. Needs responses are essential for the post- conflict subject. Incorporating neoliberalism into peacebuilding may therefore be profoundly disempowering because of the failure to engage with needs, welfare, and context. This represents a liberal-realist 26 discourse in IR in which power modified by liberal norms, status, and institutions are its main interests. This has a tendency towards emphatic reductionism with particular effects on human life and culture, through its neoliberal bias and its prioritisation of security and state institutions. Most critiques of liberalism fail to uncover this completely, and instead confirm the absence of everyday needs and cultures in their discussion of war and peace. Liberal-realism has the advantage of maintaining sovereign control, through a liberal biopolitics of ‘peace as governance’ 27 but only through the marginalisation of culture and welfare, the local, and everyday life amongst those deemed conflict prone and underdeveloped. Even an acceptance of local culture by international actors often merely represents a disguise for their refusal to engage with the The culture of liberal peacebuilding 53 basic welfare requirements and identities of the post-conflict other. It is not the state that is underdeveloped by implication, but the people. Yet they are denied the very material resources and recognition required to organise politically. The social contract is not recast as an ethical construct, nor can it engage with cultural difference and welfare needs, but instead is an institution of governance at the elite level which binds citizens in the context of political rights (and security needs) as a priority over all else, regardless of their social and economic conditions, history and culture. There is an obvious inconsistency, or at least an obvious assumption, here, relating to the relative value ascribed to political, social, and cultural practices, and the need for normalisation within the liberal model, and a relative devaluing of the identity, culture, economic and welfares rights of individuals in post- conflict zones. This represents an institutional framework that implicitly argues that top-down political, economic and social structures need to be created, but accepts that they make an impact on post-conflict societies at different speeds. Democratisation is experienced as soon as elections are held, and in the interim period beforehand it provides an expectation of political rights soon to be established. Socio-economic intervention by agencies is longer term, generally accepted as not being effective for years or even generations. Votes and social change effectively represent abstract reforms in the context of the post-conflict individual and community in this interim period. Yet, after security, the most basic attribute of a liberal society is the ability to be productive and therefore autonomous, offering individuals the capacity to support themselves and their families as political and social reform develops. For all the trumpeting of aid and development, the role of the World Bank and the IMF, or the many NGOs donor funds, this aspect often lags far behind, meaning that individuals are left to fend for themselves. This apparent double standard has done much to undermine the legitimacy of the liberal peace, especially beneath ‘civil society’, which is the most disadvantaged by these strategies. There is of course a long genealogy critiquing such strategies. For example, Schumpeter argued that the success of capitalism would lead to a counter- response; democracy would lead to the election of social democratic parties in order to introduce welfare states. Capitalism would collapse as democratic majorities demanded the creation a welfare system and civil society voiced grass- roots concerns about their access to resources in a capitalist system. 28 From this perspective neoliberal ideologies and systems are merely the extension of elite interests which perpetuate their political, economic, and cultural hegemony. Indeed, it might be said that neoliberal prescriptions place many areas of life and society outside of the democratic process. 29 That this is problematic is clear, but it is far more so in a post-conflict situation where international actors are attempting to introduce democracy or to enhance the space it covers. Neoliberal orienta- tions for peacebuilding do not respond to societal needs, but instead promote a top-down culture of neoliberal wealth creation that reiterates class, feudal, tribal, or patriarchal system of governance but without their various counterbalancing responsibilities, whether to preserve a tradition, an identity or an environment, 54 The romanticisation of the local or to provide welfare. Thus, set free from the responsibilities of their pre-existing institutions, however disrupted they may have been by conflict, liberal institu- tions are likely to be co-opted by the very elites that conducted the conflict in the first place. This form of peacebuilding ultimately benefits (or buys off) the elites. If the conflict was grass-roots led, then clearly the basic roots that caused the deployment of violence cannot fully be dealt with by liberal or neoliberal peace- building, which exacerbates marginalisation via its own top-down culture. This critique extends into a development and modernisation context. Development studies have aimed to improve living standards and prosperity in the developing world using Western knowledge and technology rather than indig- enous approaches, and encouraging self-help rather than dependency. Its focus explicitly prioritises the economic over the political, social and cultural. Orthodox development work often has little connection with local culture but rather focuses on material gain as it is conceptualised by modern forms of governance and political economy. This has been heavily criticised not just from the point of view of being counter-productive, but also for being inherently violent and a way of monopolising the ‘developing’ body and mind in order to homogenise polities within the broader liberal community of states. 30 This neocolonial critique requires that local knowledge and culture be reconfigured within a democratic, neoliberal statebuilding process entirely controlled by liberal peacebuilders. This has generally created ‘bare life’ for those who are being ‘developed’, 31 whereby their inter-subjective existence or their needs are not valued until they ‘become liberal’ – or more specifically, neoliberal. As Agamben writes, bare life comes about because of the Western political habit of exclusion that simultaneously claims to be inclusive. 32 Thus, bodies are managed and governed, and local agency or even resistance is not tolerated, even if it is an expression of agency and the contestation of politics. Even if society aspires to the liberal project, however, neoliberalism means bare life for many who suffer from poverty despite their aspirations for a liberal state. Even so, bare life engenders some forms of agency – and even resistance – to such practices. For some post-conflict subjects this means death through conflict, or ironically through humanitarian intervention, preventive war, torture, genocide, human rights abuses, or poverty, with little direct concern from the liberal international community. Ultimately, the political culture of liberal peacebuilding has allowed a form of poverty-with-rights to emerge in post-conflict zones, or worse, insecurity- with-rights, in which rights are guaranteed by institutions, but local agencies are denied until they are expressed in liberal ways. If sustainable forms of peace must be locally grounded upon local agency, needs, and culture, then this effectively means a denial of alternative visions of peace by the hegemony of liberal peace- building. This often rather unrepentant culture may emerge unconsciously as a result of weak, exclusively positivist methodologies which enable exclusive metan- arratives to be widely adopted before thorough contextual testing, and it may be more strategically prescriptive on the part of its main international supporters. Most plausible is that the culture of liberal peacebuilding has arisen through both: as a hegemonic expression of a mode of political thought about intervention (and The culture of liberal peacebuilding 55 a generally supportive academy mainly based in the West), and derived from a singular set of historical circumstances through which the West experienced war and peacebuilding in the twentieth century. For post-conflict individuals and communities around the world, this represents long-term insecurity despite having political rights (some of which may be alien). Such subjects may be politically enabled but they are economically and socially vulnerable: the cultural assumption is that the two fundamental components of liberalism – rights and needs – previously connected in the West by a long agreement on a set of welfare oriented policies in most polities, can be discon- nected in the developing, post-conflict world, because these are underdeveloped polities, in which ‘civil society’ is minimal. The Western and liberal focus on political rights as separate and superior to economic rights betrays a certain Orientalism towards the inhabitants of developing states, which of course value political rights but might well place economic rights or needs as well as opportunities at a higher level of priority. Yet the liberal assumption is that political rights are always primary. Interestingly, the recent failures in Iraq have now led to more concrete policies being put in place for job creation there. 33 In both Iraq and Afghanistan, dealing with poverty through small-scale welfare schemes and larger scale job creation programmes, has increasingly emerged as a response to socio-economic and political dynamics of violence. This also represents an attempt to prevent the cycles of escalation that may have been the unintended result of a very high prioritisation of security and securitised discourses in both environments. But parallel development of these strategies, both from a theoretical and institutional perspective has not caught up with the growingly obvious needs on the ground in developing, post- violence contexts, nor with the notion that such a reorientation would necessitate a broader engagement with local cultural norms, and with the highly inter – ventionary aspects of liberal peacebuilding. After all, it is probable that such a realisation necessitates either a change in focus for the UN, World Bank 34 and IMF, or new international architecture to take on this role. This would mean an engagement with liberal and neoliberal cultural assumptions which feed rational and technical approaches for creating the conditions for peaceful politics. It may also then indicate the possibility of a move beyond the negative assumptions of non-liberal incapacity. Is there an economic reason for this lack of direct engagement with the everyday welfare and cultural aspects of post-conflict societies? As noted in the previous chapter, it is generally regarded within the neoliberal consensus that welfare is too interventionary, creates dependency, and is too expensive. It is well known that adding resources to a conflict situation, however well intended, might provoke that conflict. But does this mean that humanitarian assistance should not be extended into welfare during a transitional period, and that local cultural agency is therefore insignificant in the resolution and transformation of conflict? Alternatively, is there a cultural reason for this deficiency, that is rooted in the international perspective of locals and their situation and lack of understanding of the market, corruption, and good practice? International actors simply do not 56 The romanticisation of the local consider welfare, or the establishment of a ‘Marshall Fund’ type of approach in this neoliberal, ideological era, partly because of the common rejection of welfare processes for others, potentially non-liberal, non-citizens, but also because of a cultural relativism whereby a lack of concern for others’ welfare is assuaged by a concern for their political and human rights. Again this anachronism represents the thinking of an elite Western culture, and the degrading of local cultures and actors. It reproduces the vicious spiral that is a fundamental flaw of liberal peace- making – that poverty may lead to violence regardless of whether a democratic system exists or not. It is crucial that political, social and economic justice is achieved if a state is to be stable. Democracy, rights, or prosperity alone are not enough for either the liberal peace to achieve its own emancipatory position or for self-legitimation. This was recognised in a 2006 UNCTAD report on Africa, which to some degree reflected on the lessons of the Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II, in the context of contemporary liberal peacebuilding. 35 This called for generous, predictable long-term aid, without outside conditionalities or resorting to shock treatment. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognised that ‘social peace’ (or civil peace in my own terminology) depends partly upon social welfare programmes. Small but similar moves in this direction have recently been made in the context of Iraq and Timor Leste. 36 It is only through such provision that social justice, growth,and economic stability can be achieved in a balanced manner. It would be sensible to remember that the task of the welfare state, as Barr has argued, redistributes or compensates but in both senses provides for social justice and economic stability and efficiency. 37 These are crucial aspects of peace. What is more, this is not simply a choice to be made by peacebuilders, but is built in to the very standards that are held to be binding in international agreements, such as the UN Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. 38 The liberal modernisation project clashes with the local where identity and cultural concerns appear to defy rational progress towards liberal governance. Indeed, some have argued, following Polanyi, that capitalism and its inculcation into multilateral development institutions is indicative of a disciplinary approach in which social relations are dismembered if they impede neoliberalism. 39 Polanyi argued that fascism was the outcome of neoliberalism’s failure, 40 whereby civil society and indigenous resistance was disciplined by the capitalist state. On a larger scale, this sort of disciplining has become part of global governance whereby international institutions impose strategies that lead to bare life, and cause resistance, civil or otherwise, that require states to take on a more disci- plinary role. This has provoked a fascinating and subtle range of responses from its supposedly powerless subjects. The culture–welfare paradox As a result, current strategies of liberal peacebuilding are subject to a culture– welfare paradox. This betrays something of the culture of both (despite their The culture of liberal peacebuilding 57 claims to represent science, universality, or timeless and eternal laws). In attempting to establish a liberal state and liberal peace, the focus on security, rights, institutions, and markets disempowers the very civil society and social contract they hope to create. The liberal focus removes culture and context and the neoliberal focus removes needs. Both are supplanted with rights and markets. The romanticisation of the local removes (or attempts to remove) cultural agency in order to distance it for harsh, externally driven, reform-oriented governmen- talism, while neoliberalism vetoes the welfare model necessary to materially empower post-conflict citizens to take up their new rights. Without cultural and material agency, peace remains virtual, as does the state, which is controlled by predatory elites in collusion with international actors who cannot ‘see’ what is happening on the ground. Addressing the culture–welfare paradox offers opportunities for the rescue of liberal peacebuilding, but with some significant caveats. Engaging with cultural dynamics may well push the peace that emerges from such processes ‘beyond liberalism’. Indeed, as I argue later in this study, despite this culture–welfare paradox, and its detrimental impacts on the legitimacy of the state and the social contract, cultural agencies remain, provide material support, and often modify the liberal project in situ. What has actually arisen as a result of the prioritisation of security, rights, and institutions over culture and needs, has been a romanticisation of the local. 41 This has emerged as a possibly unintended consequence of liberal peacebuilding. It is possible that the liberal bias or blind spot for the local is entirely conscious and plausible in its own local environment, but less so for those post-conflict environ- ments in development and non-Western settings. This romanticisation represents a process by which the local is mapped and defined from an external perspective for the purposes of locating it in a rational ‘liberal’ state. This has become a cultural project of the liberal international community and its agencies, organisa- tions, institutions and NGOs. It offers the view of the local as a zone of incivility in which ‘new wars’ occur and corruption, a lack of capacity, and ‘primitive’ political, social, and cultural practices are present. This perspective stems from the implications of a lack of a social welfare and local cultural engagement in contemporary peacebuilding practices. This has been dehumanising and marginalising, and maintains a distance between the international and the local akin to the ‘ironic distance’ that Connolly argues that liberalism induces. 42 This separation is essential for the maintenance of the technocratic, normative and cultural superiority of the international liberal project. It has been abstracted from Northern and Western ‘locals’ but it also paradoxically represents an attempt at positive engagement with the local: a co-option as well as a blindness to its many attributes. This illustrates the culture of peacebuilding and statebuilding and its negation of local culture, voices and welfare – indeed the everyday- 43 via ‘superior technol- ogies’. At the same time it imagines common and universal norms, law, and system for the protection of human rights, civil society, democracy and prosperity. This might imply that liberal peacebuilding could be rescued from the failings 58 The romanticisation of the local that have emerged over the last twenty or so years if needs, welfare and culture (and so difference) could be engaged with. However, it may well be that liberalism itself precludes any equitable engagement with these issues in the specific contexts of post-war environments. The solution to such difficulties is not to merely try to remap or redefine the local by building in an understanding of culture and needs for external appropri- ation, but to find ways of enabling local actors collectively (in terms of community, society, custom and individuals, and their own engagement with peacebuilding, liberal or otherwise), and the many internal or external actors who are involved in this project. In the light of the hegemonic weight of the liberal peace project, this raises the question of whether an engagement with the local and an enabling of its diverse voices can occur in the context of the acute resource asymmetries present in the international community’s engagement with post-conflict situa- tions, and whether liberal peacebuilding can ever achieve anything better than its current romanticisation of the local? These failings of the liberal peace may be partly because the key feature of the dominant liberal approach to peacebuilding represents an a priori state form and a neoliberal marketisation of peace, rather than engagement with the agents and subjects of this peace. In contrast, what is needed, is an exploration of culture, needs and welfare-based approaches to peacebuilding that are context sensitive. Objectives of reconciliation, emancipation and empowerment, as well as the crucial terrain of civil society for the legitimacy of the state, require a redressal of needs in the context of rights, and an engagement with culture[s] as the site of agency from which politics and the state emerge. This is as opposed to the top-down export of a one-size-fits-all (neo)liberal state, which tends merely to produce the empty shell of the state when transposed onto a post-conflict environment. As Escobar points out in the context of development, peacebuilding is also a contestation of culture and of otherness. 44 Contemporary peacebuilding has rested to some degree on an infantilisation of its recipients rather than a recognition of this contestation via local agency, administered by an increas- ingly professionalised elite and external institutions. These cannot ‘comprehend’ cultural needs or welfare issues as priorities in the context of security or institu- tional issues, or worse are blinded to such issues by the prescriptions of the liberal or neoliberal project. 45 This has become a political and developmental ‘science’ which has been heavily securitised since neo-Keynesianism gave way to neoliber – alism 46 and liberal institutionalism displaced notions of emancipation and social justice. Liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding have become projects in which coordination, implementation and compliance are key issues, rather than peace, legitimacy, identity and needs. This approach to peacebuilding is a particularly modern Western and Enlightenment derived discourse and praxis. It is far from culturally and socially appropriate or sensitive, and has little chance of establishing a locally self- sustaining peace as a result. A vibrant civil society, local ownership, and social contract are unlikely to emerge from such strategies. In this context, difference is only acceptable when it operates within the liberal framework, and cultures and The culture of liberal peacebuilding 59 needs are contradictorily denied. This represents a romanticisation of the local which consists of four key types: 1 Orientalism in which local grass-roots actors, custom, society, and their needs and institutions are seen as exotic (or indeed quixotic) and unknowable, thus justifying blueprint top-down and illiberal approaches rather than local engagement; 2 an assertion of a lack of agency and capacity in which local actors and insti- tutions are seen as unable to play a role because they are incapable of liberal civility and helpless, again justifying top-down illiberalism; 3 an assertion of local deviousness and incivility, justifying external condition- ality and coercion (often aimed at elites, but also affecting grass roots); 4 an assertion through which the local is seen to be a repository of indigenous capacities that internationals might co-opt where they foreshadow the liberal project, justifying external conditionality. In none of these strategies is the agency of the local accepted, except in relatively negative forms. These strategies appear to construct the local in a positive sense as supporting the liberal peacebuilding framework, but in actual fact they distance the local from international peacebuilding for governmental purposes relating to security, rights, and institutions, with needs, justice, culture and identity often ignored. This reflects the liberal culture of peacebuilding and its hegemonic engagement with the local, which has been particularly problematic in its liberal UN and or more social democratically oriented EU driven contexts in ‘late modernity’. What has emerged so far through this merging of the liberal democratic peace and neoliberal frameworks is a conservative form of the liberal peace. 47 This neither builds a social contract on the ground or between interna- tionals and local actors, nor does it develop its own grounded, contextual and local legitimacy, reconciliation, a social contract, local resonance or sustainability. A post-colonial turn The reliance on neoliberalism to deal with modernisation, development and needs, and a lack of contextual and cultural capacity on the part of external actors have, as a result, led to a post-colonial turn for peacebuilding. What is emerging, follows similar lines to the critique that Fanon adopted of the post- colonial state in his first generation form of post-colonialism, particularly of Algeria. He argued such states were economically defunct, could not support social relations, and resorted to coercion to control unfulfilled citizens. They responded in a range of different ways (including through violence) in order to propagate their own anti-colonial agendas. 48 Similarly, liberal peacebuilders create capacity-less virtually-liberal post-conflict states and governments, in the expectation that society will respond positively and follow. Inadvertently, instead of helping the post-conflict individual recover, they may be indirectly benefiting those who drove the conflict in the first place. 60 The romanticisation of the local Liberal peacebuilding may also be encouraging the appearance of its own hybrids, whether contributing or donor states moderating their own expectations consciously, or being forced by local politics to do so. 49 But as Fanon indicated, economic, social and cultural life are interlinked, and cannot be divorced in the way that [neo] liberal versions of peacebuilding assume. As a result the social and cultural glue that forms the key to the creation of a social contract between citizens, state and government that represents them in a liberal polity is lost. This is problematic enough in a developed context and in stable liberal states, but in a developing or cultural environment in which the group’s social, community, customary, historical and spiritual relations may be valued more than political or economic institutions or resources (especially where the latter are equated with corrupt, predatory, or feudal practices), this is unlikely to work. It may also be that a different ideological position is preferred. Either way, a post-colonial critique follows closely behind (as I discuss in Chapter 5). By implication liberal and neoliberal peacebuilding identifies local politics in post-conflict situations as deviant, and constructs democratic and market processes to replace these as soon as possible. The subtext of this prioritisation is that there is no local culture or need worth intervening for, and the focus of any intervention and assistance should be on security, institutions, and marketisation. This means liberal peace- building’s importation of resources (material, status-related, and intellectual) is directed towards elites, who are better able to engage at this level. This relates to debates emanating from first generation post-colonial theory, which juxtaposes Western liberalism against others who are identified as ‘barbaric’ against the liberal norm. 50 Those who are not engaged in violent acts of resistance or terrorism are essentially the pupils of liberalism; this means they are invisible 51 until they have graduated into the school of mature liberal societies and states. Of course, this mainly benefits pliable elites. For Said, in his later iteration of post- colonial thought, the cultural implications of this, denoted ‘Orientalism’ in which liberals discursively dominate and dehumanise the ‘non-liberal’, non-Western subject. 52 It has become a key assertion of later versions of post-colonial theory that such dynamics have implications for the coloniser, and have a very significant effect on them – from their dehumanisation and their preference for problem- solving knowledge systems, to their realisation of hubris and their own relative incapacity and naivety. Ultimately, their own political cultures were significantly modified by colonialism. 53 Some of these issues are now being investigated in the context of emerging literature on culture, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, or on local ownership, custodianship, and participation in peacebuilding, and on the question of indig- enous methodologies and ontologies of peace. 54 There is very little extant work on the question of how peacebuilders perceive the indigenous by focusing on rights and political representation or identity, which is constituted according to the interveners’ own cultural and normative frameworks and their social or political expectations. This omission biases peacemaking efforts towards the replication of political life via top-down governance in post-conflicts zones as a parallel to that in developed liberal states. The problems this formula for peace brings The culture of liberal peacebuilding 61 about relate in particular to a general belief that culture, identity and peace are universally constituted and understood by liberal peacebuilding actors; that civil society equates to the indigenous (as least its positive liberal qualities and aspira- tions); and most perplexingly, that social welfare need not be institutionalised even in fragile transitional phases. This latter point is indicative of a significant inconsistency, wherein the immediacy of an individual’s need for a productive life is unquestioned, but that in a post-conflict setting individuals need to rely on their own strategies for survival in the interim, sheltered only by rights and institutions before neoliberal marketisation and development strategies make their mark. This, of course, means they may revert to subsistence strategies, grey or black markets, or even join militias, in order to develop a productive life. This is something which would not normally be tolerated in a liberal state context, not least because these dynamics are not conducive to peace, order, and stability. Yet the immediacy of human and political rights is a given in any peacebuilding context. This raises the question of whether this denotes a relative devaluing of productive life in post-conflict development contexts? Indeed, without a civil component, what exactly is the liberal peace? Where there is a concern with local culture and a so-called ‘indigenous peace’ this is also associated with identifying local cultural psychoses, ethnic entrepreneurs and their motivations, tribal warlords or recalcitrant chiefs, or with romantic views of indigenous peacemaking. This is rather than the provision of resources necessary for individuals to survive at a sufficient level to be able to contribute significant capacity to their polity or exercise their new right. One could see this as a form of cultural oppression aimed at reinforcing traditional power and resource hierarchies. (Indeed, some thinkers have made the connection between modern discourses on knowledge, identity and culture propagated by mainstream thinkers and policy- makers, with older and discredited discourses on race. 55) Civil society, in this context, represents an imported and romanticised version of the good liberal in a vibrant, democratic, prosperous social context. It is an idealised version of civil society imported from outside (where it also probably does not even exist in this form). What emerges from all this, is the massive emphasis on top-down insti- tution building, external trusteeship and administration, and the importation of liberal values (political, social and economic) and development models, by an epistemic community of peacebuilders, statebuilders, peacekeepers, development specialists,and other international planners of local and regional order, who focus on blueprint institutions over individual needs, culture, and identity. These actors profess to ‘do no harm’, and often turn to local cultural practices in order to assimilate them into the top-down construction of the liberal peace, and to give the project a sheen of legitimacy and grass-roots consent. But this normally does not occur until after a top-down institutionalist approach has been tried and has begun to show signs of failure. From an internal, local-local perspective (as opposed to the more artificial concept of civil society) and from that of scholars versed in the analysis of colonial structures, class, power and domination, there is little wonder that the result looks very much like a colonial or imperial system, subject to class, cultural, or racist double-standards. 62 The romanticisation of the local From this perspective, liberal peace interventions depend upon the local acceptance of imported hegemonic normative and cultural systems. Where this does not occur, limited attempts at a mutual negotiation between international peacebuilding norms and local normative frameworks may emerge, but normally in an assimilative sense. This approach often appeals to a rather romantic ideal of local culture, while at the same time blaming it for being subject to practices that led to the conflict in the first place, and also underlie any spoiling violence while a peace process is underway. Perhaps even worse is that this same critical analysis could be directed at the liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding actors, theories, and methods. This reflects the mindset of liberal modernity and neoliberalism exactly, in that a blueprint based upon a set of assumptions about institutions and economic development establishes a situation where privileged or wealthy actors are enabled in order to drag along the rest of society. Culture and welfare are again secondary, and not seen as significant in the short term. The implication is that a different kind of ‘romanticisation’ is taking over the liberal peacebuilding process – or at least its mythologisation. This is deemed to be normatively universal and beyond reproach, if technically and methodologically experi- mental. The local becomes a laboratory, with all of its attendant methodological and ethical issues, and in particular its impact on human life. An indigenous, civil peace emanating from civil society actually represents a dichotomy much-noted by pluralist thinkers, and also by indigenous actors in post- conflict zones, who often point to the gulf between them and the socially engineered and artificially promoted civil society imagined by international actors. Though there may be little or no material capacity, however, this does not mean there is no local agency (as I shall attempt to illustrate in Chapter 7). Historical, cultural, social, religious, and often ideological forms of everyday agency, exist. This often represents critical – or resistant – agency vis-à-vis elite and external interventions in such areas, and represents forms of agency that internationals rarely acknowledged. Taking a broad view of statebuilding interventions since the end of Cold War it is clear that these have generally have led to increasing levels of local resistance, in terms of political discourse and even in terms of violence targeting interna- tional peacebuilders, humanitarian workers and soldiers. This can clearly be seen in the policy evolution that has occurred from Somalia to East Timor, and extends into Afghanistan and Iraq. Consideration of local cultural knowledge, ontologies, reactions and requirements has been extremely limited, if it has occurred at all in these locations. Where it has occurred it has tended to be instru- mentalist. Instead, an escalation of interventions has occurred, each driving the next, deeper, as well as more governmental intervention, which together indicate that international actors do not think local actors are capable of running their own affairs. As Chandler has long argued this is contrary to self-determination and self-government despite its stated aim of being supportive. 56 It is politically disabling and represents an assumption that cultures of violence and poverty are too deeply in place to allow local actors to act freely along the lines of the liberal peace framework without international tutelage. Internationals therefore assert their own identity by virtue of having access to superior knowledge systems. The culture of liberal peacebuilding 63 Locals, by contrast are culturally primitive, and economically and institutionally corrupt. Yet what internationals fail to see is that they are offering frameworks that do not provide for needs, and often actively intervene to prevent indigenous welfare institutions from supporting populations –this further disables cultural agency, giving rise to a post-colonial critique. Conclusion Thus far the liberal and neoliberal approaches to peacebuilding are derived from specifically Western and Enlightenment derived discourses. Their exclusivity makes them appear to be guilty of the range of the romanticisation flaws I have identified, leading to a culture–welfare paradox. They appear to be far from culturally and socially appropriate or sensitive, are unable to comprehend the ‘non-liberal’ other or its difference, and deny the role that culture plays in producing agency, and collective political projects. The local is seen as distant, exotic and unknowable: there is no local useful capacity; there is only local deviousness and self-interest, and even amidst such contradictions about local agency and autonomy, there are very limited local capacities for conflict resolution. This allows for and justifies the classic liberal move of relying on coercion and blueprint top-down and illiberal approaches, especially pertinent to the introduction of neoliberalism into peacebuilding. This rests on the legitimacy of Western liberal knowledge, even though this is also ‘local’ (and so alien) in specifically contextual terms. At best it represents a weak cosmopolitanism. It is poignant that such criticism also appears in post-colonial discussions of British rule in India, echoes of which are precursors to modern peacebuilding, aid, development and statebuilding practices, in very disturbing ways. For example, Mehta charts how the great liberal thinkers of the nineteenth century wrote about progress, liberty, and government, and asserted their viability in an alien context while also denying unfamiliar and local versions of these by responding to resistance via power, whether of ideas or in its more material forms. All this occurred without having any experience of what they prescribed or denied, for reasons of classification or comparison (i.e. organisation and problem- solving). It appeared cold and unfeeling, lacking understanding or empathy, and designed with interests, race, strategy, and profit in mind. Theirs was a gaze designed to dominate the world through the connection of its improvement with British interests. 57 For Mehta, liberalism has been impoverished in its capacity to comprehend the local from its very beginnings (with the exception of Burke’s approach which he argues was based on ‘colonial subjectivity’ and some sense of a ‘shared order on the ground’). 58 Thus, the colonial encounter of subjects and imperial power, as with liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding with its subjects today, was an encounter of strangers intent on domination or resistance for the benefit and detriment of others: They literally do not know each other, do not speak each other’s language (in the various senses of the term), and do not share values, cosmologies, or the quotidian norms and rituals of everyday life. 59 64 The romanticisation of the local Worse, there was then as there is today an assumption that there are few significant and viable political structures, organisations, or groups at the ‘native’ level. 60 Most of the administrators of the British Empire were young, idealistic and inexperienced, while also regarding local actors as children. 61 This is what made imperialism acceptable to its proponents in the same way the connection between conflict and apparently non-liberal forms of politics, social organisation or non-neoliberal economic systems appear to make liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding in neoliberal form possible today. This results in the separation of local actors from any capacity, and ultimately in the denial of their sovereignty. At the same time it also endorses the connection, inverse or otherwise, between liberalism and the territorial state, while maintaining the fiction that needs are not related to conflict. Even more notable is that this parallel can be extended. What occurred next, according to the post-colonial critique of British rule in India was that its incapacity, normative inconsistency, naivety, discrimination and racism, was exposed for locals and internationals to see. This happened in small and often hidden ways, or through violent confrontation, necessitating British military reinforcements over time. It also occurred on a grander scale via the political organisation and non-violent resistance to Empire organised by Gandhi, which projected a new political order on a platform that colonial rule could not occupy, and which moved the struggle for political autonomy and agency, denied by imperial rule, into a sphere which rendered it both visible and insurmountable. Limited versions of these dynamics also now apply to liberal peacebuilding, in the same way that it represents some of the dynamics of colonial rule, even if it is based on a responsibility for others modified by its core interests, history, and culture (as liberal imperialists also claimed). Emulating even limited forms of colonial praxis, 62 whether through methods, objectives or ideals, is conse- quently self-defeating if peace is its objective; it also paradoxically stimulates local agencies to reassert local forms and cultures of politics. Given the capacity of the local implied by this analysis, despite assertions of incapacity by international peacebuilders, the latter often revert to what increas- ingly looks like the default setting of interventionary liberalism – even where it is deployed for peacebuilding purposes. Thus, the common response to difficulties emerging in the liberal peacebuilding process is to identify the local as deviant and to make recourse to conditional and coercive strategies of intervention, whereupon liberal statebuilding can commence. This is in line with the linear and rational progressive streak of liberalism which follows a conservative line in order to prove its own legitimacy complete with rhetorical allusions to future emancipation. But what is being emancipated if needs and culture are rejected? This sort of move can be seen clearly in the development of peacebuilding from Agenda for Peace in 1992 to the Responsibility to Protect and High Level Panel Report. This is not to negate their humanitarian purpose, but is to point to the dangers of their equation solely with liberal ideologies of statebuilding. From this perspective, the assumption of neoliberal strategies, the rejection of the institutionalisation of needs, and an engagement with the local (whether cultural or identity based, or in The culture of liberal peacebuilding 65 terms of everyday needs or even with its modes of resistance) represent the West’s export of its own local, its own biases and interests. It undermines the liberal social contract and the rejection of any possible alternative, including voices now perceived as ‘uncivil’ even though they may represent a significant part or even a majority in a specific population. This effectively undermines a culture of peace and replaces it with cultural, economic, and political hegemony, redefined as liberal and civil. Grand institutional solutions to local conflicts fail to address the dynamics of the local, or the problems of such institutional designs (which are probably no more sophisticated than the operatives who control them and implement their mechanistic approaches, and certainly are not able to comprehend the local, the diverse or the different). These represent metanarratives of governance, not peace nor peacebuilding. Moreover, they are not even wholly consistent with political liberalism except in its most conservative of forms. It raises the question of whether, if liberal peacebuilding could adopt a more sensitised approach to cultural forms of local agency, this would rescue the liberal peace? As I will argue in following chapters, this may be a good start, but it is more likely that cultural agency will modify the liberal peace model. 3 Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding: Cambodia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo and Timor Leste Introduction As the previous chapters have illustrated, the inherent biases of liberal peace- building have meant that little attention has been paid to the issues of culture, identity, needs and social welfare during the interim phases of peacebuilding, or to how a range of local actors respond to the liberal peace project or even develop their own politics of peace. 1 This has the intellectual result of inducing and legiti- mating discriminatory patterns of thought and policy between existing liberal states and those that are being built, indicating that a lack of cultural sensitivities at the grass-roots level amongst international actors masks their relative lack of interest in the lives of individuals (beyond their political and human rights). Yet it is also widely accepted that economic expectations and rights need to be resolved early if the state itself is to be protected from political and social instability. Thus peacebuilding is practiced via rights, institutions, and states, even though it is well known that there is more to peace than rights and institutions. The preceding chapters have underlined how liberalism (and neoliberalism) acts to negate the local, culture, and their existing institutional, social, political, and material capacities. This makes them dependent on the liberal peace in theory, but in practice it also evokes alternative understandings of peace and local capacity, especially where culture is seen as a site of agency (rather than merely dysfunctional). This has undermined the capacity of so-called non-liberal others to be heard or to act on the international stage as well as in their own post-conflict polities, and so has undermined liberal peacebuilding. Indeed, such intended and unintended strategies represent the infrapolitics of peacebuilding amongst donors and agencies, especially state backed or ideologically motivated, such as the UN with its inherently liberal stance, or the World Bank, with its more neoliberal approach. Similarly, the local ‘infrapolitics’ of peacebuilding, often aimed at needs and derived from cultural frameworks interact, if only to block, international approaches. More importantly the international approach to liberal peacebuilding has both resisted and spurred on the development of hybridity, and a new consensus on peace processes in each different context. Such externalised approaches are not without contextual responses of course. In the following chapter I examine what this has meant in a number of country cases Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding 67 studies in peacebuilding and statebuilding contexts, specifically during the apogee of post-Cold War peacebuilding and statebuilding. Cambodia: absent citizens and the simulation of a liberal state 2 In this early peacekeeping/peacebuilding/statebuilding operation, it soon became clear that the distinctions between traditional peacekeeping, a peace process, and peacebuilding, had now collapsed into the project of building a liberal state in the period around the end of the Cold War. The focus was initially on a regional peace agreement at the diplomatic and elite level expressed via the negotiations leading to the Paris Peace Accords from 1989 to 1991. These were thought then to form a basis for what was essentially an early statebuilding process run by the UN, which focused mainly on democratisation and subsequent elections. It was generally accepted that regional and international considerations of Realpolitik provided the framework in which limited opportunities for a liberal state might arise in a difficult regional and local environment, one that was not Western, modern, nor development-oriented, and had little pre-existing capacity also because of the violence inflicted on society by the Khmer Rouge. It is little wonder that a hybrid liberal and authoritarian state was to emerge in the years after 1991, with an almost invisible civil society and a subsistence-oriented population beyond the capital, where aspects of modern liberal and authoritarian politics co-existed with more immediate customary processes of governance. Yet in this context the peace agreement and the subsequent implementation process were seen to be generic and based on the now mythical capacity of the liberal peace during these early years after the end of the Cold War. Much criticism has been levelled at the subsequent peacebuilding operation for failing to engage with the more localised realities of Cambodian society, or to distribute a peace dividend more widely. Indeed, while the Human Development Index has risen since the agreement, inequality remains at a very high level (see Appendix 1). This probably means that much of the new wealth is concentrated in the hands of elites. Yet, from the perspective of top-down formal peace- keeping, peacebuilding and more recently statebuilding endeavours, this case is often represented as a great success. 3 This is despite the fact that the attempt to construct a liberal state and neoliberal economy has had little impact on Cambodia’s predominantly subsistence economy. This represents a neoliberal blind spot for the internationals present, particularly the World Bank which has, at least until recently, refused to evaluate the local informal economy by Western standards, in particular with statistics on unemployment which is deemed to be hard to measure given the high levels of subsistence activity present. Indeed, the predominantly subsistence economy (involving perhaps as much as 85 per cent of the population) 4 is at once seen to be an indigenous response to poverty, and by implication a way out of international responsibility for welfare, and so as a number of little consequence for internationals. It is also, from this perspective, a sign of inability of local political culture and the state itself to mobilise on a 68 The romanticisation of the local large scale. Yet, in practice, in everyday terms, substistence strategies are sign of mobilisation, however fragmented, and to some degree make the current state form viable. They effectively subsidise the state and its ‘weak’ capacity. Similarly, it indicates the weakness of internationally backed growth and investment oriented strategies so far. But the blame for this is placed not on the strategies of interna- tional actors such as the World Bank, but on its local recipients, from corrupt or authoritarian political elites to ‘traditional’ rural subsistence farmers and their cultures of corruption, patrimonialism, and nepotism. From an international perspective there has been little interest in local needs beyond urgent humani- tarian assistance, or in local forms of politics, society, and economy, which has instead been seen as pathological in the eyes of international actors. In general, the focus has been on stabilising the state, institutions, the police, military, democracy, markets, and civil society. The emphasis has been on high level politics, supporting economic growth, and attempting to prevent corruption. The latter is often claimed by international actors to represent a significant ‘tax’ on donor inflows every year. This has supported a predatory elite and off the record is sometimes described as an informal bribe to prevent conflict from returning. By comparison, the vast bulk of the population are hidden from the liberal gaze because they are seen as unproductive. Because they are often subsistence farmers or operate in an informal economy and related political sphere they are not included in the main statistical indicators produced to illustrate the state of the economy. 5 In these terms a subsistence farmer is not ‘unemployed’ in much the same way that the grey market or corruption are not deemed to be part of the legitimate economy or acceptable means of income substitution by a pragmatic, if very poor population. This effectively means that a virtual peace has been built within a virtual state, which is now less often seen as a success for liberal peacebuilding. This is partly because of the internationals myopic perspective of the local, now configured around an increasingly authoritarian government, absent a strong civil society or social contract. This has had the uninintended consequence of allowing the state to be hijacked by predatory elites determined to protect their privileges and vision for the state. It has become a vehicle for authoritarianism and corruption – effectively a hijacked state. 6 The normal service and accountability functions of the liberal state have been blocked. The fact that a very large proportion of the local population is not involved in the state’s formal economy means that the neoliberal aspects of statebuilding have been a hindrance to peacebuilding, with an extremely detrimental effect on democracy, civil society, and the local-local below it. Similar dynamics can be observed in the context of democratisation, which many critics agree has also been diverted towards autocratic and authoritarian modes of politics. 7 Corruption, authoritarianism, subsistence and the lack of democracy should not be explained via an inherency or culturalist argument, of course, which is what the rendering of Cambodian politics from the international perspective tends to do. The assumption that an indigenous political, social, or economic system is absent or deviant and itself is responsible for such dynamics is an oversimplification that has been used to legitimate the installation of the liberal Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding 69 peace framework upon a terra nullius, or indeed a res nullius. This has occurred with little regard for actually existing practices and institutions, which are automati- cally delegitimised even if they were not part of the dysfunctional politics that led to conflict in the first place. Instead it has focused on preventing deviation from the ideal form of liberal or more accurately neoliberal state associated with liberal peacebuilding. This reflects a bias of liberal peacebuilders, who established the liberal peace via the installation and reform of governance in all sectors of the state as a way of filling the vacuum perceived in the local context. Yet, what they see may not tally with what is actually there, and represents a blindness rather than an absence, a bias rather than a benevolence. This has substituted the institutionalisation of a semi-authoritarian system for reconciliation. This vacuum may actually be a result of liberal and neoliberal prescriptions, ideals, assumptions, and methods, rather than an accurate depiction of the reality of local politics. At best it represents a caricature of the local, supported by the determination of donors and internationals to focus on transforming the state in the hope that this will trickle down to civil society. It might be thought that the local NGO community, supported by international donors, provides many of the resources or capacities that the liberal state should, and has become the de facto state from the perspective of civil society. Civil society is excluded from the state and elite level politics, and from the formal economy, partly because of the authoritarian nature of the state because of the effects of neoliber – alism, and partly because of the negation of local culture. It is a widely held belief that if the internationals withdrew even the conservative, elite level virtual peace would disintegrate. 8 International donors, frustrated with the endemic corruption and the weakness of state governance, tended for a while to circumvent the bureau- cratic inefficiency of government and instead fund NGOs directly. Although this had obvious short-term gains it also reaffirms the creation of a forum shopping mentality amongst NGOs – of which their representatives are very aware – and the adoption of goals for reasons of funding rather than because they are directly relevant to the issues people face in their everyday lives. Indeed, as a result, and as in many other locations, a new NGO class has emerged which is distinct from local civil society (i.e. the local-local) and the grassroots, which floats above it and represents an artificial, external imaginary of civil society. This has formed a small, new and often transnational middle class framed by the liberal peace but discon- nected from their own state. Yet, this type of civil society is also often critical of the internationals’ rendering of them, who often work on their own projects in disguise. If the liberal goal was ‘capacity building’, then little indigenous capacity has developed other than in opposition to the state or government, or to international approaches to peacebuilding, as a way of subverting the role of internationals and the resources they offer. This form of ‘capacity destruction’ 9 creates a dilemma: peacebuilders and donors need to remain closely involved to support democrati- sation and capacity-building in other areas of the liberal peace framework, but by doing so may undermine local capacity or divert it into open or hidden confron- tation with the liberal project, which is locally perceived not to meet the needs or respect the identities of local actors. Indeed, it benefits elites far more, even 70 The romanticisation of the local if they are relatively authoritarian. If local actors do not remain closely involved with peacebuilding however, local elites may return to their competition over the monopoly of violence, authoritarian politics, and reject the progressive values of the liberal peace. Elites effectively use this to ensnare donors. They may hijack the material aspects of the liberal peace project and construct their own forms of politics. These unintended consequences have the greatest impact on the already marginalised civil society especially in local-local form, preventing a peace dividend and maintaining their marginalisation in the Cambodia state. Paradoxically, and also perhaps more hopefully, it also indicates local-local resilience, levels of agency and autonomy, and unexpected capacities to reframe the peace project. This is made problematic, however, by the continued hegemonic domination of political power that underwrites the patronage system in Cambodia and allows networks to be constructed from the top down, based on loyalty and rewards. Incidentally, to some local eyes this also seems to parallel the role of international peacebuilders, shorn of their masking rhetoric. Such dynamics can be seen in many liberal states of course, but political defeat and the possibility of marginali- sation from power are of relatively more consequence in a society where resources are particularly scarce. The Cambodian polity is overlaid by a network comprised of a multi-dimensional clientelism and patronage that links individuals to centres of political, social, economic and customary forms of governance. International actors have become complicit in a form of state which does not engage with diverse local agencies, and indeed avoids them, preferring to attempt to transform authoritarian elite level politics in the absence of a vibrant civil society and a neoliberal market structure. From the perspective of international peacebuilders this explains why local social, political, and cultural dynamics are responsible for a lack of progress, rather than inadequacies in the liberal peacebuilding framework itself. It is unsur – prising in the light of this that it is widely argued that civil society does not exist in Cambodia (though many local activists beg to differ). From this perspective civil society only emerged during and as a result of the UNTAC era, facilitated by donor funding. 10 Because of the institutions of clientelism and patronage, doubts plague the constitution, membership, and effectiveness of this new civil society with regard to the access and political influence that NGOs and other groups have, and their dependency upon external funding. 11 This civil society is quite possibly an illusionary ‘virtual’ or ‘parallel’ society, matching the virtual state created by the presence and funding of the internationals, and mainly visible to international eyes, perhaps even performing a therapeutic role for them. It does not represent the local-local but allows the state, elites, and donors alike to ignore the immediacy of the plight of the poor, inequality, and human needs more generally in favour of their structural and institutional reform processes. Far from aiding the development and sustainability of an indigenous civil society, or a local-local in its transnational and transversal as well as rural or localised contexts, it is representative of conditionality and dependency rather than local auton- omous agency. It is driven by unreflexive, internationally controlled processes, informed by muscular approaches to problem-solving, heavily mediated by elite Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding 71 level co-option. They are underpinned by a romanticisation of the local which places context beyond the reach of liberal peacebuilding. Even worse (from the perspective of an immanent critique) for any attempt to resuscitate liberal peacebuilding, context is placed beyond the reach of the very social contract that underpins the liberal state. What has emerged in Cambodia is a virtual liberal state and a virtual peace in which authoritarian elites profit from their control of the shell of the state and the donor resources it attracts, and from an international inability to comprehend the nature of local politics. Thus, the local is disempowered, distant, and all but invisible to the liberal and especially neoliberal gaze of elites and the international community. This represents all the aspects of this type of romanticisation that I have identified previously. It rests upon an Orientalist support of the superior technologies of governance. It makes the local populations distant or invisible because of their lack of capacity in both political and economic terms. It facili- tates their governance by internationals and state elites without high levels of local consent or legitimacy. Genocide, conflict, poverty and other local pathologies are deployed to explain these dynamics as a cover for the inadequacies of liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding. A de-romanticisation of the local in Cambodia’s case might enable the devel- opment of an understanding of historical, social, economic and political dynamics to reshape peacebuilding in a way which makes its contextual relevance far more significant, not simply to justify liberal peacebuilding/statebuilding approaches. It would mean a far more culturally sensitised and needs-based assistance process to empower civil society, as well as a reluctance to allow statebuilding to mainly benefit the state’s elites, as it has done so far. Bosnia Herzegovina and Herzegovina: whose stalemate? The development of a sustainable civil society is taken by most international actors as a good indicator of the progress of peacebuilding from a conservative to a more orthodox or even emancipatory version of the liberal peace. Yet, if international actors’ policies and analyses rest on the types of romanticisation of the local I have outlined, this does not indicate the incapacity of local actors to adjust to the liberal peace model. Instead it points to the inflexibility of the liberal peace model itself and its incapacity in recognising the uniqueness of context, culture, or (somewhat paradoxically) to the importance of needs in building peace. Thus, statebuilding projects, focused on security and the political level, almost inevitably have floundered at the level of the individual and the community – and this case is no exception. 12 Indeed, the focus on building civil society from the grass roots emerged as a strategy to circumvent interna- tional, elite level and institutional political stagnation in Bosnia Herzegovina Herzegovina. 13 Yet, over the last fifteen or so years it has been commonplace for international actors, from the OHR to the EU, to argue that the stalemate emanates from contextual political disfunctionality, accounting for the fragility of the state, rather than engaging with the shortcomings of their own polities, 72 The romanticisation of the local attitudes and prescriptions. Nor have they seen fit to empower citizens materially in order to give some substance to the rights their state is supposed to protect, or to enable their political agency to transcend the now long-standing political stalemate. Though civil society is presumed to represent an indigenous socio-political space, engagement with it is driven by political and social agendas derived from bounded perspectives and more importantly, by interests and the material restric- tions of international actors. Thus, ‘civil society building has been conceived as an externally driven process that is dependent upon external resources …’ 14 with little connection to local indigenous and cultural practices, despite the overarching forms of ethnic identity present. As a result, NGOs in this area are increasingly regarded as builders of a ‘new elite’ or ‘new sector’ 15 that draw funding from the internationals by speaking their language and playing their game in classic donor-driven rather than locally driven style. This has made civil society elitist and distant to the local-local. NGOs concerned with local conceptions of needs and culture tend not to be funded. Civil society, even in an environment of apparent cultural and educational similarity to the West has little connection with the local, and far more with the international or transnational. Indeed, it represents the internationals’ romanticisation of their own local (i.e. normally from Western donor capitals) and projecting this as an exemplar for the local to adopt. It represents by implication very negative perspectives of the actual local – a romanticisation familiar from the colonial era. 16 It is used to catalogue, explain, govern and organise, but not to understand. Even so, international actors have acknowledged that the existing institutional framework has stunted rather than supported the growth of civil society. The result has been in many local eyes the consolidation of a problematic peace treaty (Dayton in 1995) and a widespread international and local view that little progress can be made towards a self-sustaining peace which would be stable without the presence of international institutions and actors such as the UN, NATO, the OCSE, World Bank, and EU. Yet, now there are significant political voices arguing that the internationals themselves have become part of the problem. 17 Some argue that the development of Bosnia Herzegovina’s civil society and in particular institutions such as the electoral process, political parties, and the media have been unable to move beyond political exclusion caused by the Dayton Agreement’s vision of the state. This has been accused of ethnicising politics in a way that was not common before the war and of failing to under – stand the legacy of socialism or deal with local needs. 18 This suggests civil society could be developed by discussion and consensus between interest groups, greater independence in the media, and cultural and institutional reform of the formal political process. 19 These are familiar problems affecting all the components of the liberal peace, along with the difficulty of overcoming the reluctance of elite actors to engage and extricate themselves from the ethnic political agenda in which Dayton has continued to embed them. But even these positions assume the sacrosanct nature of the liberal peace rather than engaging with the sort of issues its romanticisation of the local have raised. In Bosnia Herzegovina these Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding 73 imply a misidentification of civil society and of the essentialising role of identity, and an underestimation of local political agency at both the elite and local levels. This has removed from view a range of ideologies, identities and cultures, from religious to socialist, while focusing on ethnic identity as being the major problem. It perhaps also involves an overestimation of international agency. Perhaps most importantly it leads to a diagnosis of a lack of local compliance with the liberal peace as being the result of ethnonationalism rather than being related to a more complex set of contextual matters – institutional, material and identity related – or the weakness of international capacity for statebuilding. It also overlooks the fact that since 1995 the HDI index for the country has not significantly improved for all, while inequality has increased (see Appendix 1). Responsibility for the limited development of civil society in Bosnia Herzegovina is due, at least in part, to the non-cooperation of political elites across ethnic lines and the focus on constitutional reform of the Dayton Annex, which laid out a complex post-war framework for governance. One would expect that civil society approaches to peacebuilding would have, through design, avoided this trap, and would have opened up areas of cooperation and reform outside the stranglehold of ethnic politics groups and elite politics. Yet, the difficulties of developing a sustainable civil society at the grass-roots level suggests that derailing the liberal peace is not just the preserve of the political elites: individuals too, have opted out of the process in very self-conscious terms because it has little resonance with their own political, cultural, and historical identities, needs, and objectives. This is doubly interesting because from a Western perspective it is generally assumed that the Balkans are not subject to the kinds of alterity that other, non-Western conflict zones might be, and so should be more suited to liberal peacebuilding. This failure has arisen partly because the political process has not responded to its own weaknesses and ethnic relations remain very tense, but mainly because the peace dividend in terms of prosperity, employment, representation and recog- nition has been very limited. In short, a social contract has not developed, and all the entities see their identities as separate and under threat from the others at the multiple levels of government in the state, entities, and federation – which has also filtered down into civil society. Many civil society groups see the peace that the internationals are offering, as ambiguous and less sophisticated in terms of social justice – a major aspiration of many – than the socialist model of politics that existed before the war. 20 If civil society groups or NGOs, some of them brought into being by donor funds, are critical of the peacebuilding agenda that has been exported into Bosnia Herzegovina, this should be a source of significant concern for interna- tionals. Instead, the latter tend to adopt positions critical of civil society actors and elites rather than reflecting on the compatibility of their own agendas with those of civil society, or the local-local beneath. Thus, this discourse on peace- building has been framed by an unwillingness of internationals to move beyond their elite level partners who have vested interests in representing politics in ethnonational ways. This unwillingness is caused by the difficulty of moving beyond the liberal and Western conceptions of civil society at play. Yet it is here 74 The romanticisation of the local human rights and social justice come into being. Civil society requires, above all, participation. 21 This requires the injection of material resources and a sophisticated cultural understanding if international actors are to engage with and support another’s civil society. The former without the latter would leave such engagement open to hegemonic discourses and to domination, which are naturally going to arouse opposition (as indeed they have in the Bosnian context), 22 whether in terms of direct or hidden forms of obstructiveness and resistance. Very similar problems have emerged when compared to states like Cambodia or Timor Leste in the disjuncture between the international and local, especially in terms of needs and culture. Indeed, it seems that the dynamic introduced by the interaction between them rests on international assumptions of only very small levels of responsibility directly for the post-conflict individual, or that any responsibility can best be met at an institutional level. Internationals from this perspective have a duty of tutelage and training rather than empathy, care and understanding, the former being the marked characteristic of liberal peace- building in Bosnia Herzegovina, where these deficiencies are very apparent and widely commented upon. Of course, this is not to say that all peacebuilding, statebuilding, or activities of all peacebuilders and officials betray such difficulties. It is also apparent that some donors and internationals are realising the limitations of their actions and increasingly thinking in terms of more engagement in Bosnia Herzegovina with local culture as a way of understanding the roots of the conflict and the sites of power or peaceful social practices that might be supported. ‘Local ownership’ has become a key phrase. However, the period of experimentation that occurred before this realisation indicates that the internationals’ starting point was their own experience, culture, and ideology, and its penetration of the local. Moderating this only occurs when these strategies have failed, and the costs of such experiments are generally ignored. Those more sensitive internationals who are aware of such problems tend to be ignored. 23 The donors are at fault here, as whilst they might unconsciously or consciously employ the rhetoric of liberal peace and statebuilding, their emphasis is often focused on tangible and prompt returns on their ‘investments’. This generates competition for resources and creates a highly exclusive and specialised environment that probably excludes exactly the individuals and groups that it was designed to include, whilst erecting even more barriers to social inclusion. It also creates a short-term NGO community that lurches between fashionable projects, where donors, not the actors on the ground set the agenda. 24 This undermines longer term projects, based upon the complexities of the local (as opposed to the reductive forms of Western governance and management techniques). Ultimately, as many analysts even within the orthodoxy now agree, this degrades the local self-sustainability of civil society, inducing a difficult mix of disillusionment and dependence, and maintaining poverty which prevents the actualisation of rights. The economic project of liberalisation in Bosnia Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding 75 Herzegovina has negatively affected pensions, social welfare and healthcare, compared to before the war, and the insertion of neoliberalism into the peace process (much as in Iraq) has caused opposition to the overall liberal peace agenda. 25 This also has a wider effect on the accountability of peace and the structure of peacebuilding than even the presence of the OHR might have suggested, in that actors and agendas are centrally uncoordinated, often unaware of each other’s programmes or indeed where they fit into the ‘big picture’ of liberal peacebuilding. 26 A realisation of these problems has emerged in certain quarters at least: in 2008 SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), for example, funded three Swedish NGOs that worked in the field in Bosnia Herzegovina. They were not project funded and were in long-term partnerships with local NGOs, often deploying ethnographic methods and expertise rather than solely managers, administrators, and officials. 27 Nevertheless, the international community has been quick to blame the NGO community and some local actors for civil society problems by suggesting that the availability of funding streams promotes ‘forum shopping’ which demonstrate ‘the mentality of the NGOs as self-serving.’ 28 This may well be the case, but this is also caused by donor strategies, and even though such organisations may give lip-service to their expectations, they often carry on regardless with their own projects – in disguised form perhaps. Where organisations are not able to compromise, feeling that this may undermine their integrity, or indeed their own understandings of what peacebuilding may mean, they are often forced ‘under – ground’ where they continue their work in a subsistence mode. 29 The fact that they are even able to do this is very significant, as Chapters 5 and 6 will illustrate. Even so this suggests that internationals and donors in Bosnia Herzegovina regard the local as merely a site for their social engineering projects associated with the liberal peace, though some, such as SIDA may now have begun to try to understand the local rather than manipulate it. At the same time, they have failed to recognise the important of basic human needs at the local level, and see the local through a lens which aspires to freedom, self-government, and self- determination but also fails to allow a divergence between local and international institutional aspirations. Where this divergence produces tensions with democra- tisation processes, with the attempt to construct a rule of law, human rights, and free markets, internationals tend to revert to ignoring or romanticising the local rather than engaging with it. Thus, coercion and conditionality appears to be an international default – the unbecoming face – of liberal peacebuilding, where the local’s complexities are partially exposed but not understood and at best seen as a site for biopolitical 30 forms of governmentality to be applied. Where the local’s ‘simplicities’ are the object of international valourisation, their romanti- cisation ensues – as with their common assertion of the fixity of ethnic identity in the Balkans. Where their complexities are avoided, a demonisation through rationalisation and simplification occurs, which follows similar patterns. Where international shortcomings in terms of dealing with needs, welfare and identity or cultural matters are exposed, the liberal peace retreats into such positions in 76 The romanticisation of the local order to enable its more coercive side to be deployed rather than to admit its own inadequacies. This might be better known as conditionality (‘negative’ of ‘positive’) or even ‘transformation’. In the context of Bosnia Herzegovina, this displays the inherent confusion in liberal peace as it began to take the form of statebuilding as well as the divergence between the agendas of the internationals partnered even with pliable political actors and NGOs. It is illustrative of the stalemate liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding finds itself in because of its low levels of local legitimacy. While the state is assumed to have been built for the benefit of its citizens and for a vibrant civil society to emerge, the state has become the beginning and the end of the peace, owned by internationals in an ever shifting alliance with locally entrenched elites in a political contest over the nature of peace and the state, rather than with its citizens. The failure of civil society is not just a failure of local communities and citizens to avoid conflict, but also of the international project of a distinct but partially integrated patchwork of communities with differing levels of sovereignty linked to their state and to each other for Bosnia Herzegovina. This latter perspective replicates governmentality rather than peacebuilding, and indeed governmentality requires a romanticisation of the local to occur in order to maintain its legitimacy amongst its external constituencies. 31 As a consequence, local actors, beyond or beneath ‘civil society’ remain marginalised from the state and from each other, partly because of the reductionist, simplified, instrumentalised and essentialised focus on the state and on ethnicity (perhaps as opposed to the complexities of everyday life in a pluralist polity). The focus on civil society is heavily constrained by the problem-solving, institutionalist, and neoliberal myopia of internationals, undermining the liberal project itself. The culture of liberal peace/statebuilding that has emerged has undermined its own claims of an emancipatory potential, partly because of its development as a vehicle of conditionality. It was telling that Ashdown, after years spent as the OHR’s Special Representative with far-reaching powers, was warning by 2008 that Bosnia Herzegovina was in danger of collapse after more than a decade of liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding. 32 The local has become a laboratory for international peacebuilding and statebuilding with all of its biases, rather than a site of politics and everyday life, constituting a local and contextual form of peace. That civil society in Bosnia Herzegovina has been slow to develop is only part of the picture, however. A pluralist version of civil society certainly exists in a few adventurous NGOs (e.g. the Nansen Dialogue Centre for one). Mono-ethnic civil society, on the other hand is far more visible partly because of the focus of international rhetoric. This is what internationals mean when they claim that ‘civil society in Bosnia Herzegovina does not work.’ 33 In response, interna- tionals initially endeavoured to increase their influence in Bosnia Herzegovina by effectively denying self-government via interventionary practices – until recently. Though this has been in order to increase the stability and reach of the liberal state, effectively this undermined civil society because the space for independent development was reduced by the intrusion of political elites, local Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding 77 and international. 34 Later, the same mistake was made by the EU Commission and the Special Representative in an attempt to promote the independent local implementation of the SAPs. Add to this the lack of cultural engagement, and perhaps most importantly, the difficult economic situation and the lack of welfare provision, and there has been little space for civil society and the all-important liberal social contract to emerge. One could argue, as many mainstream commentators have, that this is due to elite stagnation and local disinterest, or that international statebuilding processes are inefficient and ill-coordinated, but on the right track. But the inher – ently distant relationship between statebuilding in Bosnia Herzegovina and the everyday lives of its citizens indicate deeper problems. Although the rhetoric of the internationals is occasionally positive about the development of civil society, 35 it is clear that it is subject to a lack of committed participation from both the political elites and individuals and their subversion of international assistance to create new local elites. 36 Such blind spots are perhaps most evident in international assessments of Bosnia Herzegovina’s economic progress, another crucial aspect of the attempt to build a liberal state and a ‘viable’ civil society in which rights are meaningful. According to the World Bank and UNDP, since the end of the conflict Bosnia Herzegovina has returned to pre-war levels of development (a claim which is an anathema to local actors who remember the safety nets available under the old socialist system). 37 This represents a neoliberal focus as opposed to a social democratic framework of analysis. Economic growth is fragile and key reforms have been blocked mainly at the political level. Pugh suggests that this economic change is ‘… adversely affecting economically vulnerable sectors of society’: 38 it represents international social engineering in which the liberal peace has become an end in itself. Predictably, the economic space provided by the introduction of capitalism and the levels of individual empowerment provided by neoliberalism has led to the hijack and monopoly of economic resources by war elites and ethni- cally defined political elites to the detriment of the economic development of society. Perhaps worse has been the undermining of the previous systems of social welfare, for pensions and for healthcare, which in a post-conflict setting would have played a valuable role in stabilising social relations. Generally speaking, internationals have seen it as too costly to invest in these areas even though this forces people into the grey market, which also undermines attempts to develop a viable economy in neoliberal terms at least. As a result there has been throughout the peacebuilding/statebuilding process a growing gap between rich and poor. The estimated unemployment rate varies: in 2006 was estimated at 30 per cent, 39 and according to the World Bank 40 per cent of the economy is unregulated.40 Others argued that unemployment was about 42 per cent (though World Bank personnel were quick to point out that this was only 18 per cent if one took into account the grey economy). This raises questions regarding the suitability of this model. Indeed, it has been asked if such a model ‘… would work in Texas.’ 41 Half the population have also been living on a minimum wage in order to avoid a 68 per cent income tax, effectively opting 78 The romanticisation of the local out of economic development. 42 Local economic advisors suggest that interna- tional investment has opened economic competition but without protecting local economy and business. 43 Instead, it has created a false economy which not only expects poor or unemployed individuals to survive on their own but also to make extensive contributions to the growth of the economy without their having a real a stake in it, and even more implausibly to compete in global markets. This disconnection between the development of pluralism and the lack of social justice and a safety net underlines the ambivalence of the liberal peacebuilding project in Bosnia Herzegovina, derived in part from its use as a vehicle for neoliberalism and from its governmental distancing of needs, local society, and cultural dynamics. Such discussions are not just a product of ‘distant’ academic or policy analysis, but are present in local critiques of the peacebuilding practices which are now emerging. 44 As the OSCE has pointed out, there are major issues with the gap between domestic and international standards, the criteria for granting assistance, and the identification of which groups are vulnerable in Bosnia Herzegovina. 45 This is so even after fifteen years of international engagement. Yet, even these claims are based upon the idea that standards are set internationally and that those standards provide adequate cultural and welfare resources, which is clearly not the case. A consideration of the local which is actually multi-dimensional rather than merely reductionist, would provide valuable insights through which a more sophisticated civil peace might emerge. This would, perhaps in the context of the embedding of the region in the EU, allow for a more hybridised form of state, more conducive to a local understanding of the patterns of identity, of culture and of historical resonances, and of needs as well as rights. From this perspective it is the international romanticisation of Bosnia Herzegovina and Herzegovina as a space of conflict and violence, of acute ethnonationalism, as lacking the capacities and qualities needed for compromise and for liberal politics, which has prevented local actors from being able to engage sufficiently with each other, with donors, the EU, and with their political apparatus to bring about a sustainable peace. Liberal peacebuilding or statebuilding has ultimately been disabling, rather than enabling, and from a local perspective represents an international ignorance of local politics, history, experiences, and embedded methods and dynamics, as well as needs issues which provide conflict and division with much of its traction (See Appendix 2 for an elaboration of local versus international views). Thus, when international actors talk of local pathologies and an incapacity to reform, or to make the necessary decisions to do so, they are encountering the political dimensions of peacebuilding. Instead of rejecting these, romanticising or demonising the local, and mythologizing the liberal peace, it might be better to engage with these dynamics, and to be more open to the modified forms of peace emerging, as well as to engage with the complex issue of how such hybridity may also maintain the claimed integrity of the liberal peace model. Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding 79 Kosovo: from standards before status to a unilateral declaration of independence In Kosovo international actors (including the EU, OSCE, UN, and NATO) took control of government, security, the economy, and a broad range of policy areas in order to facilitate pluralism and also to create a liberal framework to empower that pluralism. To some degree they replicated the liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding process that had developed in Bosnia Herzegovina after Dayton. This most difficult of tasks was made far more complex by the fact that Kosovo’s status was heavily disputed by Kosovo Albanians and Serbs, and that a parallel underground system had long been in existence, before and after the arrival of UNMIK in 1999 and its partners. Though the new mission adopted the guise of statebuilding with the possibility of EU accession in mind, the very concept of statehood was one of the sources of the conflict. Even so, when the SSRG arrived for one of the first meetings with the repre- sentatives of the new provisional institutions for self-government, it was clear that self-appointed elites had taken charge, that civil society was not really repre- sented, that internationals were naïve about the local political situation, and the local elites were intent on taking advantage of their naivety. 46 The internationals assumed that Kosovo could not become a state without international support, or without international consensus, and to some degree that local compliance would be forthcoming, even if not completely necessary. The development of the ‘standards before status’ argument meant to both hold back and to encourage Kosovan desire to form a liberal state, was indicative of this paradox. Yet, the hidden registers of local politics – which might be called the infrapolitics of peacebuilding – ultimately led not merely to stalemate or obstacles in the liberal peacebuilding process, but to statehood and independence. This was based mainly on a nationalist framework derived from a specific set of cultural assumptions though it also represented an infrapolitical (read local and informal) capacity to deal with pressing needs issues in the absence of a state able to provide public services, and an international community focus on rights and institu- tions. Independence came about unilaterally, despite significant local problems and some international opposition, and the internationally prescribed liberal standards not having been unequivocally met. 47 After more than a decade of international engagement, ethnic divisions between Serbs and Kosovans are still deep, there has been limited progress on the economic front, and regular complaints about the historical and cultural ignorance and lack of respect of internationals. The apparatus of the modern state is now present, even if it is mainly controlled by one or other ethnic group, depending on the area. Even the issue of statehood has not been resolved, in that the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) from the Kosova dominated government in early 2008 has been accepted by various states, including the US and many EU states, and has equally been rejected by others, notably Serbia and Russia. As a result there has been a further strengthening of ethnic division and the ‘enclavisation’ of various communities in Kosovo contrary to 80 The romanticisation of the local the liberal and pluralist project of Western actors and international institutions. Many local actors have also long argued for a pluralisation of politics. Yet, the entire process of statebuilding has been contradictorily predicated upon ethnic division at the same time as respect for pluralism. These foci have outweighed any concern for the interplay of cultural identities, or for welfare and needs, which might have been used to avoid a form of nationalist statebuilding. This has undermined attempts to overcome the significant ethnic divides, and encouraged the continuing ethnicisation of politics and institutions. In the light of the skill with which the peacebuilding process in Kosovo was captured by the Kosovan Albanian ethnonationalist agenda, the state which emerged reflects a very compromised version of the liberal peace and in which ethnic reconciliation is unlikely to occur. Internationals have perceived the roots of the Kosovo conflict to lie in the struggle for power between ethnicities (Albanian and Serb), represented by elites and states. 48 This is fuelled by conflicting structures and historical narratives, national discourses and opposing identities, 49 territorialised and historicised in order to maintain implacable enmity between the Serb and Albanian commu- nities. These are compounded by familiar socio-economic issues, discrimination and marginalisation of minorities, underdevelopment, poverty and crime. 50 It is no wonder that UNDP was soon complaining that a ‘democratic deficit’ was undermining the very institutions that the internationals were trying to build, 51 that voter turnout was declining and that individuals felt they could not influence decision-making. 52 This was particularly important for Kosovo Serbs, who boycotted elections and refused to present candidates or take up their constitu- tionally allotted political posts in the Assembly. This confirmed the international view of an ethnically driven conflict and their efforts to invoke liberal standards before status issues could be settled. Unwittingly in some aspects, and in others with complicity, the peacebuilding mission rapidly slid into a statebuilding mission in which the political withdrawal (or lack of consent) of Serb actors enabled the Kosovo Albanian monopoly of political power and the maintenance of their nationalist project. 53 Local claims for autonomy and international understandings of local ownership facilitated this process, given that they also resonated to a large degree with international expec- tations for an independent state to emerge as a result of statebuilding processes in place. As a result, in acting to develop democratic principles and accountability UNMIK effectively reinforced the claim of the Kosovo Albanians for a separate state. Liberal peacebuilding became statebuilding and national liberation, even if in exclusive form. This affected the democratic institutions, prejudiced the outcome of status talks, and implicitly supported the unilateral declaration of independence in 2008, even with so many issues still unresolved. Statehood was achieved via an ethnonationalist project, deploying the expertise and resources of the very internationals which were supposed to be guiding the development of the new liberal peace. Instead the tables were turned because the internationals were not able to engage or even understand local political debates and processes, or see how they were being maintained with international complicity. Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding 81 Local co-option of peacebuilding by the majority group which had the best access to the international community of peacebuilding was the dominant local response. This harnessed the experience of the Kosovo Albanian pre-war parallel institutions and ‘civil’ society, which had developed as exclusively ethnic organi- sations in order to provide governance, services, and autonomy to the Kosovo Albanian community under Serbian rule. Some have argued this led to the LDK resistance movement taking over civil society and the emerging government. 54 This was compounded by the post-communist culture of distrust of central government, which also bred a tradition of non-communication and non-cooper – ation with central government structures, today particularly relevant for the Serb communities. 55 UDI now maintains the mono-ethnic nature of the Kosovo Albanian project in the new state (although many of its supporters argue that it is indeed pluralist and that the onus is on the Serb communities to cooperate), to some degree irritates regional stability (having a knock-on impact in the region for other secessionist impulses), and it has reiterated the division of local communities. Even so, a form of civil society has burgeoned due to the influx of interna- tional funding and NGOs, though this has been affected by the fickle nature of donor priorities. 56 This means, as in other cases, that most NGOs run short- term projects without strong constituencies, and these have tended to dissolve or become inactive after donor funds have been spent. 57 Thus civil society is repre- sented by a range of artificial and ever-changing actors, which are temporary and do not, overtly at least, represent the range of views amongst the different communities, but rather the agendas of internationals. This casts doubt on the plausibility of a pluralist civil society especially as donor funds have tended to go to one community, and anyway were reduced due to the problems caused by local and international positions on final status, and after the international community began ‘drawing down’. 58 A common view amongst internationals has been that there is no real civil society present – a classic international formulation of incapable local agency. Thus, it was internationals themselves who constituted civil society, and perhaps were somewhat careless about, or naïve towards, the issues of who would constitute it, whether local people were actually involved, and to what degree (as senior UNMIK and donor officials later admitted). The development of civil society was thus monopolised by foreign internationals and exploited by local, often ethnic, entrepreneurs. The post-conflict individual and community was largely ignored or included only notionally. Civil society emerged either according to a mixture of international prescriptions about who and what should be involved, or local ethnic divisions and agencies. Because internationals failed to recognise the existence of a Kosovo Albanian parallel society they instead concentrated on creating new NGOs and institutions in their desire to create a liberal civil society rather than working with what already existed. This initially led to a flood of foreign relief workers and the marginalisation of local staff and indigenous NGOs. The UN argued that this was necessary because of the ethni- cised and politicised nature of the parallel society, though Holohan argues it was more to do with the ‘old’ UN attitude of colonial superiority. 59 82 The romanticisation of the local As local communities reacted to this and a ‘Kosovanisation’ campaign began to emerge (reflecting many such campaigns to localise the work of international donors and agencies elsewhere) internationals began to respond by employing more local employees in order to train them. Because of this a new dynamic began to emerge. As international actors sought to enable rather than disable local agency in response to this critique (most violently expressed in the Kosovo Albanian riots of 2004, 2006, and 2008), their strategies inadvertently supported the parallel project for a Kosovan state. Internationals’ knowledge of the local, its dynamics, agencies, identities and politics was so limited by the blind spots created by the liberal/neoliberal discourses of peace that they practically handed the state to the majority community, risking its integrity as well as that of the peace that they had spent years trying to make. Predictably, a pluralist civil society has not emerged as a result, and this has been exacerbated by the internationals’ often repeated belief that many NGOs running multi-ethnic projects are actually exploiting funding streams and are only involved ‘just to get funding’, 60 as well as the imbalance between Serb and Albanian NGOs, and the de facto division. As Kosovo Albanian actors have effec- tively dominated political institutions and access to internationals, they came to represent their own civil society, while the Serbs were portrayed as representing the ‘uncivil’ for reasons of recent historical events and bias. The Serb commu- nities’ agendas became far more distant from the internationals than the Albanian agenda. Those civil society actors who were compliant in following donor prefer – ences also often supported the broader move towards independence dominated by Kosovo Albanians, and most see little contradiction in this. Here local agencies were expressed and played out in complex and hidden ways, playing on Western sympathy for the Kosovo Albanian cause, as well as the normative expectations of liberal peacebuilding. The latter community, with its experience of parallel politics and institutions under the shadow of the Milosevic regime used this to maintain their nationalist agenda. The infrapolitics of peacebuilding in Kosovo have consequently led to the contemporary situation where a state came into being despite significant local and international divisions, in a startling display of local, but hidden agency. Yet it was a state which reflected a deep ambivalence about liberal rights, norms, and institutions. Such dynamics have had a significant impact on the development of human rights, despite the extensive programmes and political rhetoric (both international and local), and was the central focus for international and local criticisms of both the UNMIK and PISG leadership early on. UNMIK admitted that their involvement unintentionally affected the attempt to create a human rights equilibrium in favour of the Kosovo Albanian majority. 61 Again, this was useful in building their case for statehood. Perhaps as importantly, in terms of everyday living standards, the lack of engagement with welfare and needs meant that, with the economy remaining dependant on external support and remittances, 62 37 per cent of the population under the poverty line, 63 and more than 40 per cent unemployment, 64 ordinary individuals could not take full advantage of the democratic process or the market in order to shape the outcome of the peacebuilding process in a pluralist sense. Critical perspectives of liberal peacebuilding 83 Yet, the need to be aligned with the emerging state meant that what resources there were to be redistributed tend not to reach Serb communities. Instead the majority mobilised according to a nationalist agenda, excluding the relatively weak minority communities while claiming that there was space for their political representation. The prevalent informal economy became an important basis for the support of the Kosovo Albanian project of statehood. The attempt to develop a rule of law also presented an array of difficult technical problems because of the existence of parallel structures and multiple versions stemming from local custom, from each community, and from the former Belgrade model, 65 and the parallel societies this represented. 66 This is partly because cultural and historical barriers in Kosovo preclude human rights from being understood as individual rights, but instead as collective or group rights. 67 International actors have been unable to convince local communities that mono-ethnic units are less safe than human rights or minority rights regimes in a multi-ethnic unit. 68 Such local perspectives are buttressed by view amongst the local human rights community that the internationals have violated human rights simply because of their continuing presence, by holding reserved powers, by being unaccountable, 69 and until the declaration of UDI by denying the majority community control of a sovereign state. This played into the hands of those who controlled the infrapolitical aspects of peacebuilding and confirmed the Kosovo Albanian state project. The various forms of the liberal peace’s inability to engage with the culture or welfare supported this. As a result, neither civil society nor a civil peace has developed in a pluralist or sustainable manner. The unilaterally declared state represents the paradox of infrapolitical agency, resistance, and peacebuilding, as well as the role of inter – national actors in liberal peacebuilding. The latter’s blindspots for local agency, needs, culture, and politics in lieu of the prescriptive version of the liberal peace have spurred the evolution of statehood in the very contexts where the state and its territory are contested. This has been rights based, alluding to the way in which liberal rights might be read as majoritarian and indicate self-determi- nation. This imbalance illustrates how liberal peacebuilding, even on the scale and depth employed in Kosovo, is susceptible to local co-option, and how local agencies exploit its weaknesses in order to make space for political agendas which may not be commensurate with its praxis, reproducing exclusion (even if they do not necessarily intend to do as some Kosovan Albanian politicians certainly did not). They achieved this by deploying the language of the liberal peace while maintaining their own interests – in this case an ethnonationalist agenda – in a discourse which they claim is universal and open to all citizens equally. In doing so, they have exploited both the contextual naïvety of international actors, and their unwillingness to use the embroynic institutions of state to redistribute resources. Thus, international ignorance and local inequality provided the conditions in which nationalist rhetoric remained both convincing and effective, mirroring similar dynamics in Bosnia Herzegovina. This raises serious questions about international rhetoric about local ‘ownership’ of or ‘participation’ in the peacebuilding process, again present in Kosovo, 84 The romanticisation of the local especially after the emergence of the Kosovanisation campaign. The role of inter – national actors in not engaging with local needs, welfare, or culture, enabled local comparisons with colonial practice amongst the Kosovo Albanian community. 70 This created space for and enabled a range of local political agencies to maintain the ethnic divide and simultaneously contest ownership over the soon-to-emerge state, as well as over the territory it controlled. Local responses thus indicate more capacity than internationals supposed. Kosovo Albanians were soon infiltrating the peacebuilding process in far greater numbers than Serbs or other minorities, and its so-called ‘Albanianisation’ became indicative of both local desire for custodianship and international disquiet about their own role. Replacing interna- tional capacity with local meant hoping both Albanian and Serb agree on power sharing, and trusting local actors to take on such roles in good faith. But Kosovo Albanians were rapidly replacing internationals in positions from where they could influence the peace process. This subverted the liberal peace agend