This book provides a critical, conceptual-historical analysis of democracy at the United Nations, detailed in four ‘visions’ of democracy: civilization, elections, governance and developmental democracy. ‘I know it when I see it’ were the famous words of US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart on defining obscenity. It is with the same conviction and (un)certainty that liberal peacebuilders and democracy promoters have used democracy to achieve both the immediate goals of peacekeeping and the broader, global mission of the UN. Today, democracy may have gained an international dimension, yet its success as an organizational practice depends on how it has been defined. Drawing on political theory and democratization scholarship, the book questions the meaning of this well-‘known’ idea. It analyses the way in which the UN, through its Secretary-General, relevant agencies and organizational practices, have thought about, conceptualized and used democracy. The book shows that while the idea of democracy's ‘civilizing’ nature has played a prominent part in its use by the UN, an early focus on sovereignty and self-determination delayed the emergence of the democracy agenda until the 1990s. Today, a comprehensive democracy agenda incorporates not only elections but a broad range of liberal-democratic institutions. Despite this, the agenda is at an impasse, both practically and philosophically. The book questions whether an extension of the UN democracy agenda to include ‘developmental democracy’ is feasible.
A post-colonial reassessment of cultural sensitivity in conflict governance
Elida K. U. Jacobsen
Ginty rather use it as a conceptual entry point for
detailed analysis of the interaction between the actors involved in peacebuilding. Rejecting the framing of the peacebuilding debate as a choice
between liberal and non-liberal/local governance, they recognise that
liberal governance has always been a liberal-local hybrid.
Instead of presupposing that the bias of liberalpeacebuilders can be
replaced by a neutral representation of ‘the local’, or alternatively,
that the difference between local and international perspectives can
be ‘transcended’ through dialogue
contexts from post-conflict state reconstruction to development aid. Indeed, as democracy has been part of most UN missions after the end of the Cold War, any intervention would, in one way or the other, be a pro-democratic intervention. With the widespread use of democracy, the question as to what kind of democracy the UN supports and implements is raised – a question particularly relevant for liberalpeace-builders.
Following varying degrees of success in trying to implement democracy in the context of peace-keeping, post
is the mirror image of
that of the liberalpeacebuilders and state-builders – except in
this image the relevant institutions are generated indigenously
rather than externally imposed and regulated from New York or
Brussels. What is missing in both images is the explicitly political
Cosmopolitan Dystopia.indb 157
dimension concerning ideas of rule, rights, representation and
self-determination. The debate, to that extent, is about effectiveness rather than right, and how far external interventions may or
may not knock
Cultures of governance and conflict resolution in the EU and India
J. Peter Burgess
Oliver P. Richmond
terms of social provision. They conclude
that international attempts which focus on social justice are much fewer
in number than those that address security issues.
In Chapter 6, Lidén and Jacobsen discuss the notion of ‘the local’
through the history of governance in colonial and post-colonial India,
focusing on the ability of liberal governance to adapt to local culture.
They discuss Ilan Kapoor’s integration of post-colonial theory with
debates on development, and use this to identify what could make
liberalpeacebuilders more open towards the idea of greater