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Liberal Peace Transitions

Between Statebuilding and Peacebuilding

Oliver P. Richmond, Jason Franks

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This book examines the nature of 'liberal peace': the common aim of the international community's approach to post-conflict statebuilding. Adopting a particularly critical stance on this one-size-fits-all paradigm, it explores the process by breaking down liberal peace theory into its constituent parts: democratisation, free market reform and development, human rights, civil society, and the rule of law.

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Introduction: A Framework to Assess Liberal Peace Transitions
1. Cambodia: Liberal Hubris and Virtual Peace
2. Bosnia: Between Partition and Pluralism
3. Liberal Peace in East Timor: The Emperors' New Clothes?
4. Co-opting the Liberal Peace: Untying the Gordian Knot in Kosovo
5. Building/ Rejecting the Liberal Peace: State Consolidation and Liberal Failure in the Middle East
Conclusion: Evaluating the Achievements of the Liberal Peace and Revitalising a Virtual Peace

About the Author

Oliver P. Richmond is Research Professor of IR, Peace and Conflict Studies at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute & Department of Politics Ellen Wilkinson Building, The University of Manchester. His recent publications include Peace in IR (Routledge, 2008), Challenges to Peacebuilding: Managing Spoilers During Conflict Resolution (co-edited with Edward Newman) (UNU Press, 2006), and The Transformation of Peace (Palgrave, 2005).

Jason Franks has been a Research Fellow in the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of St Andrews. He is author of Rethinking the Roots of Terrorism (Palgrave, 2006).s


'This critique of liberal peacebuilding strategies, based on fieldwork in five war-torn societies, reveals variations of approach that are nevertheless commonly based on statebuilding rather than affording justice and livelihoods to populations. Richmond and Franks have identified the dysfunctionalism of these virtual states and the local resistances that give rise to hybrid and diffuse forms of social contract. It is an interrogation of the enlightenment project that leads to revisionist thinking about peacebuilding and causes us to wonder just how emancipatory liberalism really is.'
- Michael Pugh, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford

This book provides a set of illuminating insights (both empirical and theoretical) from the study of a series of post-Cold War 'liberal peace' interventions.

- David Chandler, University of Westminster, International Affairs