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Mission without end? Peacekeeping in the African political marketplace

de Waal, Alex (2009) Mission without end? Peacekeeping in the African political marketplace. International Affairs, 85 (1). pp. 99-113. ISSN 0020-5850

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1468-2346.2009.00783.x

Abstract

Since the mid-1990s the UN, in tandem with major western powers, has embarked upon an ambitious effort of peace support operations in Africa. The results of what we may call the ‘Annan experiment’ are not yet in. But there are good reasons to fear that, in many African countries, such peace operations have defend normative outcomes that are beyond realistic expectation, so that they can never hope to ‘succeed’. This article examines the political and economic functioning of fragile African states using the lens of a ‘political marketplace’ in which local elites seek to obtain the highest reward for their loyalty, over short time horizons, within patrimonial systems. In such systems, political institutions are incapable of managing confect, which means that standard peacemaking efforts and peacekeeping operations do not align with domestic possibilities for settlement. To the contrary, external engagements can so distort domestic political markets that they obstruct national political bargaining and result in an open-ended commitment to peacekeeping in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(IS...
Additional Information: © 2009 The Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/The Royal Institute of International Affairs
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Development
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2015 08:31
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 03:59
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/63567

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