The politics of peacebuilding and the emergence of legitimate order
Routledge – 2009 – 240 pages
Series: Central Asian Studies
Post-Soviet, post-conflict Tajikistan is an under-studied and poorly understood case in conflict studies literature. Since 2000, this Central Asian state has seen major political violence end, countrywide order emerge and the peace agreement between the parties of the 1990s civil war hold. Superficially, Tajikistan appears to be a case of successful international intervention for liberal peacebuilding, yet the Tajik peace is characterised by authoritarian governance.
Via discourse analysis and extensive fieldwork, including participant-observation with international organizations, the author examines how peacebuilding is understood and practised. The book challenges received wisdom that peacebuilding is a process of democratisation or institutionalisation, showing how interventions have inadvertently served to facilitate an increasingly authoritarian peace and fostered popular accommodation and avoidance strategies. Chapters investigate assistance to political parties and elections, the security sector and community development, and illustrate how transformative aims are thwarted whilst ‘success’ is simulated for an audience of international donors. At the same time the book charts the emergence of a legitimate order with properties of authority, sovereignty and livelihoods.
Providing a challenge to the theoretical literature on peacebuilding and concentrating on an under-studied Central Asian state, this book will be of interest to academics working on Peace Studies, International Relations and Central Asian Studies.
'This book deserves reading not only for its important contribution to the study of the politics of post-conflict peace building in Tajikistan, but also as a significant contribution to conflict and peace studies in general and for its successful and original application of the epistemology and methodology of these critical approaches to this case in particular.' - Mohira Suyarkulova, University of St Andrews, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 62, 2010
1. Introduction 2. War and Peace in Post-Soviet Central Asia 3. International Peacebuilding in Tajikistan 4. Elite and Subordinate Discourses of Peace 5. Democracy and Authority 6. Security and Sovereignty 7. Development and Livelihoods. Conclusions
John Heathershaw is lecturer in International Relations at the University of Exeter, UK. His research interests lie in three broad areas: theories and practices of post-conflict peacebuilding; new and critical directions in international relations theory; and the study of the Former Soviet Union.