Implementing the Franchise

  • Niels Nagelhus Schia
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


This chapter describes how bureaucratic intentions became transformed and eventually skewed into focusing primarily on responding to the donor side. This situation led to less autonomy at the implementation level, which in turn resulted in less exchange and negotiation between representatives of different systems. The many differing views, needs, and existing practices were not put on the table for discussion. Implementation of the intentions concerning, for instance, the security of women and children in Liberia, incorporated as a main activity of UN peacebuilding through UNSC Resolution 1325, was conducted in ways that neglected the local level. Projects like those referred to in this chapter are also part of global processes and require investigation from several perspectives if we are to gain a better understanding of what they are and how they are being performed. This chapter describes how intentions, as embodied in Security Council resolutions, are subject to international as well as national forces, agendas, and resolutions which have effects on the impact on the ground. The ways in which these issues were pursued by actors representing the international community produced certain kinds of actions. These actions connected mainly with actors in Liberia representing social processes and institutions, with an epistemology similar to that of the donors. This acted to marginalize the friction at the interface between the systems and disconnected customary systems which, as described in Chap.  4, are historically important social structures in Liberia. The practical effect of the disconnection, or the emergent property of this part of the peacebuilding process, was that questions of justice and impunity were often dealt with through informal processes and not the newly implemented formal system. This statebuilding aspect of the peacebuilding process was characterized by vertical loyalty, with limited space for bureaucratic autonomy in the field. Ultimately it did not result in an improved situation for women and children. Constructing new buildings in the county capitals helped in (re)producing state capacities, but, at the same time, the statebuilding project produced actions that served to undermine state apparatuses.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels Nagelhus Schia
    • 1
  1. 1.NUPIOsloNorway

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