This is the fifth Online Guest Lecture by members of the SCID Panel of Experts. Malcolm Russell presents a lecture entitled ‘Post-conflict intervention: a 3D model’.
States used to be reluctant to take action inside the sovereign territory of another state unless they were at war with them, but it has now become an accepted international norm that there is a responsibility to protect civilians from excessive risk and to intervene where armed conflict crosses a certain threshold of acceptability.
Various international devices are used to legitimise such interventions and a rapid evolution has occurred in the past ten years since the Iraq intervention, that sees a more sophisticated and subtle approach. But still old problems remain. Intervening states assume primacy in much the same way they would have done had they been victors in a war. The perspective of the intervening state tends to lead the direction and high pace of the intervention, particularly in the early stabilisation phase as armed conflict starts to recede. The overall direction of transition is dictated by the intervening state’s world view but intervening states are not unitary actors and there are often, even with joint analysis and an integrated approach, conflicting claims and priorities between different parts of a state’s intervention apparatus and policy streams. This creates tensions and synergies which mask underlying problems of whether the planned and assumed intervention outcome is suitable, sustainable and sovereign in reflecting the views, needs and culture of the state in which the intervention takes place.
The rivalry between different aspects of the intervention and the assumption of the intervener’s values taking primacy and being appropriate to the needs of the local situation divert attention from true impact of the intervention. This is likely to result in unintended outcomes.
This lecture takes a 3D look at what this stabilisation phase of a post armed conflict intervention comprises and highlights some of these issues. This lecture also builds upon some of the issues and themes developed in Malcolm’s Symposium presentation – you can watch and listen to this presentation on this Blog (and in the SCID Course materials) and also read his paper in the recently published Reader, also available on this Blog and in the course materials.
Click on the link below to access Malcolm’s Lecture (it is large so it will take a while to download). Please submit any questions or comments within the next two weeks for Malcolm’s attention and/or discussion by other SCID Panel members, students and staff.