Spatializing Communicative Ethics

“Spatializing Communicative Ethics: Politics and Legitimacy in Peace Negotiations,” unpublished paper (2010), co-authored with Naomi Head (Aberystwyth); for presentation at ISA conference, New Orleans

This working paper draws attention to the significance of the “space” of peace negotiations.  It argues that the material and spatial circumstances surrounding peace negotiations add an additional dimension to theories of communicative legitimacy.  This raises two issues: first, should spatial and material factors be considered as potentially decisive mitigating factors in the outcome of negotiations? Second, what would a theory that incorporated spatial and material considerations and communication look like and how would it contribute to our current understandings of power within international relations?  The paper will consider three instances during the Kosovo negotiations prior to the use of force by NATO in 1999 to demonstrate the influential role that these factors played in shaping both the interactions between parties and the outcome of the various talks.  The paper suggests the need for spatial, material and communicative factors to be recognised as central to both the analysis and outcome of peace talks and calls for the development of a new model which does so.[1]


This is a working paper in the very early stages.  It is a first attempt at mapping out a new research agenda bringing together theories of spatiality, materiality and communicative ethics.  We believe that this is an underexplored area in International Relations as a discipline and in related spheres such as peacekeeping, peace negotiations, humanitarian intervention and international development.

Drawing on the case of Kosovo we identify three key moments in the peace negotiations which took place at different points prior to NATO’s bombing of Serbia in 1999.  These three moments reveal different uses of space and allow us to identify elements for further research.  While it may seem evident that space has been used for symbolic and political purposes, by analysing the material and spatial conditions surrounding the negotiations which have largely been under-theorised, we can explore its impact on formal and informal negotiations which take place within the international sphere by state and non-state actors.

1) Communicative Ethics and the Case of Kosovo

Kosovo is an appropriate case study because negotiations failed to prevent the use of force for humanitarian purposes by NATO in 1999 which took place without the authorisation of the Security Council.  It was, therefore, a highly contested intervention and one which was identified as ‘illegal but legitimate’ by the Independent International Commission on Kosovo.[2]  Whilst NATO did not justify its actions in the language of humanitarian intervention per se, it was argued that the use of force was indeed the last resort due to the failure of negotiations.  Although justifications are usually offered in deliberative forums such as the UN Security Council, the presence of power and interests, and the concerns over the legitimacy of the decisions taken mean that we need to be able to challenge these claims.  Moral reasons dominated the justifications offered for the intervention in Kosovo, but there were problems with the consensus that the interveners claimed existed.  This suggests that it is worth subjecting the nature of the communication which took place to closer analysis.  In order to critically analyse the dialogue which took place within the United Nations Security Council and during the negotiations at Rambouillet in February 1999 prior to NATO’s military intervention in Kosovo and Serbia, we need to be able to adequately theorise concepts of communication and legitimacy.

Communicative ethics draws on the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas to develop a framework which can be applied to particular moments of dialogue. [3]  It builds on the ‘linguistic turn’ in social and political theory which has been taken up by theorists in critical international theory.[4]  For Habermas, as indeed for other critical thinkers, including some post-structuralists, the politics of speech is preferable to the politics of force.[5]  Embedded in the critical theoretical project of the Frankfurt School and its later adherents is a belief in the emancipatory purpose of critique.  Habermas’ account of discourse ethics requires that moral agents should challenge the boundaries drawn by accounts of the sovereign state which are given moral significance in terms of our responsibilities towards others through the requirement to include all those who may be affected.  Habermas’ work, particularly his discourse ethics, has been understood to offer a way in which to turn a critical eye on the problem of justification in contemporary international politics.  By conceiving of communicative ethics as a principle of legitimacy rather than as a means for institutional design, we can thus avoid some of the difficulties raised by critics of constructing a Habermasian politics.  The ‘ideal speech situation’, which is central to discourse ethics (although not intended to be a concrete reality) offers a position from which we can evaluate social practices and assess the legitimacy of norms.  The ideal of complete participation permits us not only to examine the legitimacy of real moments of participation, but also operates as an emancipatory device.[6]

Drawing on Habermas’s concept of discourse ethics and in the spirit of critical theory, communicative ethics it is intended, inter alia, to reveal empirical moments of exclusion, coercion, misrecognition, reflexivity (or lack of) on the part of actors, and the degree of coherence within the justifications offered and between words and actions.  By doing so, it not only challenges claims to legitimacy which actors attach to their moral and legal justifications concerning the use of force for humanitarian purposes, but offers a framework with an emancipatory aim.  Whilst legitimacy is most commonly conceived of through a moral or legal lens, communicative ethics is intended to offer a deliberative dimension to legitimacy.  Communicative ethics, therefore, is able to highlight the nature of communicative distortion present within decision-making processes in the Security Council and during peace negotiations.  In terms of Kosovo, it is able to challenge traditional interpretations of the intervention through its focus on the quality of communication and the consequent implications for legitimacy.  It challenges the justifications of last resort and it highlights key moments of illegitimate dialogue (contra the claims of the respective actors) which directly led to the use of force.

For the purposes of this analysis, humanitarian intervention is taken to mean the use of force by states across another state’s borders without their consent for humanitarian purposes.  However, we recognise that the variety of practices which fall within the rubric of humanitarianism are far wider than this and many do not involve the use of military force.

2) Space as an analytical and theoretical tool

An examination of the quality and nature of communication in peace-negotiations lends itself to emerging work in the area of humanitarianism[7]and critical peacekeeping[8] which looks at how the material circumstances and underpinnings of interventions and responses are inseparable from the overall intervention.  The infrastructure, modes of service delivery, daily work and life rituals of national and international officials, and the movements and patterns that take place are all part of the spatial practice of humanitarian action. This both shapes the perceptions of those who are doing the intervention and those that are being performed upon.  Similar considerations can be raised in the context of peace negotiations.

Work on the spatial turn in social theory[9]stressed the significance of considering space and spatiality as integral to any social science analysis.  Most notably, within sociology, the need to recognise the mutual constitution of the material world and social relations was brought into mainstream discourse. The impact was twofold. First, the idea of materiality structuring perceptions and dispositions was recovered from Marxism and revised within neo-marxist frameworks. Theorists such as Giddens and Bourdieu agreed that consciousness was structured by material circumstances but wanted to simultaneously explore the possibilities of individual agency and non-determinism.[10]   Second, it drew attention to the degree to which space and spatiality is determined by the practices, patterns and movements of its users and “creators”. Theorists such as Lefebvre, and later Harvey, were interested in elucidating the multiple, overlapping and unclear terrain upon which discussions about space had taken place. For example, in The Production of Space, Henri Lefebvre famously lays out a tri-partite framework for examining space.[11] He lays out a model of conceived, perceived and lived spaces. Conceived space (or representations of space) is “conceptualised space, the space of scientists, planners, urbanists, technocratic subdividers and social engineers…all of whom identify what is lived and what is perceived with what is conceived.”[12] Perceived space (or spatial practice) is the space of everydayness.  It is how a place is commonly used in routine existence and contains the “routes and networks which link up the places set aside for work, ‘private’ life and leisure.”[13]  Lived space (or representational space) is the space of “the imagination which has been kept alive and accessible by the arts and literature.”[14]  It is space as lived through its associated images and symbols, and hence the space of space of ‘inhabitants’ and ‘users’…This is the dominated – and hence passively experienced – space which the imagination seeks to change and appropriate.  It overlays physical space, making symbolic use of its objects.[15]

This tri-partite model (or triple dialectic) has proved useful for subsequent theoretical explorations of the nature of space.  For example, David Harvey lays out the categories of space as absolute, relative and relational.[16]  A third spatial theorist who is well known for his work on spatial trilectics is Ed Soja who translates Lefebvre’s framework into a First Space which is known, mappable (analogous, according to Soja, to Lefebvre’s perceived space); a Second Space which is imagined (analogous to Lefebvre’s conceived and lived spaces), and a Third Space which brings together spaces which are both real and imagined.[17]

Soja’s work was well received within the realm of post-structural/post-colonial studies both of which were interested in the ways in which space – and the related categories of identity – were malleable and constructed.  Work on hybrid or ‘third spaces’ became commonplace as normative frameworks by the likes of Bhabba, Appadurai and Spivak who advocated their potential as emancipatory locales/conditions.

At the same time, work by Thrift, Latour, and Miller expressed interest in the potential of a re-examination of the constraints and possibilities for social theory offered by an object centred approach.[18]  In contrast to the idealist, or subjectivist position of post-structural/post-colonial theorists, non-representational theorists were interested in the limiting e/affect or structural influence that the material world has on individual action.  Evoking the work of Bourdieu and Giddens, there is the recognition of cognition of a co-constitution of the material/structural world and the subjective experience of it.

Returning to our initial observation, however, by and large these debates and theoretical expositions have largely passed by the realm of humanitarian and development studies and by extension, peace negotiations.  In fact, the area of enquiry which takes the material and spatial conditions most seriously with regard to their impact upon social relations is the study of diplomatic relations, although, generally, they are approached from an under-theorized position.[19]  This paper begins to rectify this omission by concentrating on the application of a spatial approach to the realm of peace-negotiations and in particular to examining how such an approach may contribute to an improved understanding of the quality, and ultimately legitimacy, of communication therein.  In the context of this paper, both spatial and material theoretical approaches are considered.  This consciously broad brush approach allows us to begin to identify which approaches are worthy of further enquiry.

Now we turn to the three examples whereby illegitimacy has been identified within the negotiations and explore the relationship between illegitimate communicative practices and the possible effects of particular spatial practices.  This will enable us to identify factors which bear closer investigation in terms of their impact on peace negotiations.

a) London Conference, 1992

Having declared independence in October 1991, Kosovo struggled to achieve recognition from the international community.  Ibrahim Rugova, leader of the dominant political party in Kosovo, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), and soon to be the elected President of the Republic of Kosova, was not invited to the July 1991 European Community Conference on Yugoslavia (ECCY) which ended the fighting in Slovenia and marked the beginning of Europe’s efforts to broaden the search for a Yugoslav settlement.  According to the Brioni Joint Declaration, the Kosovo Albanians had no choice but to remain within Serbia, given that it established that the principle of the right to self-determination was limited to Yugoslav “peoples”.[20]  A request for recognition by the ECCY in 1991 was refused, as were requests to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to be allowed to express their views.[21]  At the same conference the European Community (EC) chief negotiator excluded the issue of Kosovo altogether in his attempt to keep Milošević on board.  Despite Kosovo’s status as a constitutional entity under the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution, it was not invited to participate in the peace process.[22]  In a move which firmly established the exclusion of Kosovo from the international agenda, the ECCY defined Kosovo as an ‘internal’ problem for Yugoslavia, thus preventing it from facing further international scrutiny and involvement.[23]

The exclusion from the international community of states that Kosovo was experiencing in the context of international negotiations was played out in more than metaphorical terms. At the London Conference of August 1992 which was set up to address the ongoing conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the Kosovars were only semi-invited by the chair, Lord Carrington, who wrote a few days prior to the start of the conference to say that ‘If you are planning to be in London at the time of the conference’, then it would be possible to have some meetings, but it would not ‘for practical and other reasons, be possible to grant your delegation access to the Conference chamber.’[24]  The Kosovar delegation, therefore, was not permitted to physically enter the chamber or to represent themselves through oral participation.[25]  Instead, they were put in a salle d’écoute – a small side room with a live video link.  It also seems that the delegation was not officially hosted by the Conference.

In addition to the spatial restrictions, there were also linguistic factors as the official languages of the conference were English, French and Serbo-Croat – Albanian was not included.  Whilst this is perhaps not surprising given the political situation and the subordinate position of Kosovo on the international agenda, when considered in the context of the repression of the Albanian language experienced in Kosovo by Serbia, it reinforces the convergence of nation and language central to notions of sovereignty and territory.[26]  Language remained an important divide within Kosovo – between Albanian and Serbian – and was used or repressed for political purposes on many occasions.  Kosovo’s main Albanian–language daily newspaper, Rilindja, was closed down in 1990 and many other institutions, cultural and otherwise, were closed down or merged with their Serbian counterparts.  Education and the right to teach in Albanian and shape the local curriculum was also a highly politicised issue, with Albanian teachers and lecturers being sacked and the Serbian curriculum imposed on schools. This was compounded by the closing down in 1991 of companies that published textbooks and teaching resources in Albanian.[27]

Ironically, in the letter of invitation that also described the expected spatial restrictions, Carrington remarks that ‘We are thus making strenuous efforts to ensure that the views of the Kosovo Albanians are heard’.[28] However, while mentioned in the overall picture concerning ethnic minorities within the former Yugoslavia, the concerns of the Kosovars were not seriously discussed at the conference.  A working group on Kosovo was established, but at Milošević’s insistence, it was only to deal with issues on minority rights.  The group produced a ‘joint Serb-Albanian statement aimed at normalising the divided Kosovo educational system, but the agreement collapsed after the Serbs arrested the rector of the Albanian underground university.’[29]   According to Weller, ‘[w]orse than the lack of progress on the education issue may have been that the mere existence of the Special Group gave the impression that the Kosovo problem was now being addressed in some way by an international forum’.  No agreement was actually reached until 1996 and nothing concrete ever emerged afterwards.[30]  Mertus concurs that despite overwhelming evidence presented over a number of years from reliable sources that conflict in Kosovo was looming, international policymakers failed to treat Kosovo seriously.[31]  The price of the working group on minority rights was the dismissal of the issue of Kosovo’s legal status and any hope of inclusion for the Kosovo Albanians in the peace process.[32]  The de facto failure of the conference raises the possibility that a different approach, which took spatial and communicative considerations into account would have altered the outcome of the conference for the Kosovars.[33]

If we accept that spatial and material factors are potentially decisive mitigating factors in the outcome of negotiations, then it is possible to argue that the communicative and spatial exclusion enacted upon Rugova was co-constitutive. Most obvious was the issue of Rugova’s physical separation from the core proceedings.  His inability to participate, and by extension, the inability for the Kosovars to participate has a series of implications.  The first, concerns the physical distancing it imposed. The direct implication of this was that the Kosovar position was not represented during the talks. This ensured that the Kosovars had to watch the fate of almost everyone else in the former Yugoslavia being discussed, except their own. Of course, as already mentioned, the exclusion of Rugova also needs to be read in the context of accommodating Milosovic; there is no question that the need to negotiate with Milošević was far higher on the agenda of the international community than Kosovo was.

On a metaphorical level, Rugova’s absence echoed both Milosovic’s attempts to cleanse the Serbian space of Kosovar Albanians, and the ‘invisible’ status that Kosovo held within the community of international sovereign states.  According to Dovey, such an organisation of space mediates social interactions, “particularly the visibility and invisibility of others [and] becomes crucial to effective practices of coercion”.[34]  Unlike naked force, coercion may operate “under the cover of voluntarism” and has long been closely linked to spatial forms of organization.[35] At its most effective such an exercise of power is concealed from the subject who, “‘framed’ in a situation that may resemble free choice,” does not consider that there is any need to resist.[36] Such observations provide a possible explanation for Rugova’s subsequent reference to his ‘inclusion’ in the talks to indicate that diplomatic progress was being made and that the Kosovars were better represented at international summits than previously.[37]

Crary discusses how the rise of 19th century filmic technologies created a novel form of subjectivity that was governed through the act of observing, rather than being observed.[38] Rugova’s position of viewer rather than participant of the conference, likewise implies an inversion of a traditional Foucauldian perspective. Instead of a situation where the viewing of the conference participants by Rugova might have constrained their behaviours or pronouncements, Rugova’s position as passive viewer eliminated any possibility of his altering or changing events.  The effect of this was to disempower the Kosovars still further.  Moreover, these power relations would have been made more acute by Milošević’s awareness of the relative impotence of the Kosovars within the international community. Understanding that international attention was focused on the ongoing conflicts in Bosnia and Croatia, and aware of his own centrality to any peace negotiation, he used this to influence the exclusion of Kosovo from the agenda.[39]

In conclusion, in terms of the legitimacy and long-term success of the conference, the spatial factor is highly relevant, not least in terms of its psychological impact on Rugova, but also in terms of providing clear signals as to the way in which Kosovo was viewed by more powerful Western states.  Thus, the spatial element allows us to do two things:  first, it enables us to develop narratives of representation, of ‘self’ and ‘other’ in relation to Kosovo and the West; and second, it allows us to reflect upon material and affective constraints on participants.

b) Heathrow Airport, 8 October 1998

On 8 October 1998, a key meeting took place in a VIP lounge at Heathrow Airport.  The meeting brought together former British Foreign Secretary, the late Robin Cook, Hubert Védrine, his French counterpart, Klaus Kinkel, the German foreign minister, Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, Richard Holbrooke, Igor Ivanov, the Russian foreign minister, as well as representatives of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Austrians in their capacity as current EU chairmen, and other ministers and aides. The question was the use of force and the need – or not – for a Security Council mandate.

As it was not a public meeting, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what was said. However, it is known that the decision was taken to reduce the number of people present from approximately 50 people crammed in the VIP lounge to include only the foreign ministers and a few other key actors as named above.  Reports of the meeting indicate that the Russians threatened to veto the use of force if it was put to a resolution in the Security Council (as wished for by the French and British) whereas if the Security Council was boycotted, then they would simply make a lot of noise but would not prevent NATO from acting. [40]  Given that one of the most controversial factors of the intervention was the fact that military force was used by NATO (a regional defense organisation) without a Security Council mandate, this meeting clearly represents a significant step in the process which allowed the Security Council to be bypassed.

This meeting raises concerns when considered in context of communicative inclusion.  It was a deliberately exclusionary meeting as it only consulted key (Western/Contact Group) figures which firmly closed the door to other interested parties and located control over the decision-making procedures and the agenda firmly in the hands of the powerful few.  In addition, neither the interests of the Albanians or Serbs were directly represented and there is little indication of reflexivity concerning whether or not this was an appropriate forum in which to decide such a crucial question. Similar to the situation at the 1992 Conference, the physical inclusion of Kosovar representatives was not deemed necessary.  Even if the decision to exclude relevant parties had been justified in terms of efficiency (and such justifications were not offered), this indicates a strategic and manipulative attitude both to dialogue and the need for inclusion and fair deliberation to achieve legitimacy.   It successfully prevents further public dialogue and allows strategic action to dominate while remaining unacknowledged and unjustified in a public forum such as the UN Security Council or General Assembly. Politically, it served to enable the argument to be made for the use of force without being subjected to a public process. It is worth, therefore, considering the physical context in which the meeting occurred:  Heathrow Airport.

An emerging literature on airports highlights their particular spatial and material (architectural) characteristics.[41]  Salter divides contemporary theories about airports into two broad categories – those concerned with airports as spaces of governmentality[42] and those, drawing on work by Latour, and/or Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari which approach them as assemblages or networks.[43] Both groups consider the space of the airport to be significant in its own right. As a space, its primary function is to move individuals and objects from one place to another.[44]   And while it serves as a node, or bridge between different places, it is simultaneously separate from all of them.  The space of the airport operates according to its own temporal logic – that of flights, of destinations, of simultaneous time zones.  There is no “night” in an airport – it is always open, always available for the movements of its users and operators.  It is heterotopic in its makeup – the site of multiple languages, currencies, dress and customs.  As such it is potentially dislocating and destabilizing for its users who must operate according to the logic of the airport or miss their flights, be deported or expelled.[45]

Since its inception, the airport was a site of privilege as only the wealthy had the wherewithal to travel:  “the history of flight has, of course, been a history of difference and class inequality.”[46]  The rituals of the airport were geared to providing a luxurious aesthetic experience with a range of departure lounges, ‘clubs’ and memberships. While the ability to access air travel has now been extended to a wide range of individuals, the pleasurable, luxurious, sensuous possibilities promised for those who can afford it continues to be an integral part of airlines’ marketing campaigns.  The airport’s historical legacy is also one of patriarchy – with gender roles being written into the rituals and performances of passengers and employees alike, the most obvious being the clichéd interaction between the solo, predatory, male business traveller and the attractive, highly sexualised female flight attendant.  Similarly, as a consumption space, it is marked by a focus on luxury items, and historically on exorbitant gifts to be given by the male business traveller to his waiting spouse: perfume, whisky, watches and sunglasses. Obviously in the context of our discussions, Global War On Terror concerns had not imposed themselves onto the architecture of airports to the degree which they have today. However terrorism was always a concern as evidenced in the architectural plans of airports: one-way mirrors, controlled zones, concealed holding cells.

What is significant for our purposes, it that the space of the airport is a historically unequal space.  Divisions between types of individuals are written into its functionality.  According to Adey, “the metaphor of the filter achieved material form in the shape of the airport terminal itself”:  sorting locals from globals, legitimate passengers from potential terrorists, business class from economy.[47]  Not only is such filtering justified based on security concerns, but, within the space of the airport, it is considered to be beyond question.  Consider that many of the barriers or sorting devices that are used to move people through the various areas are permeable, termporary:  cordons, movable walls, tape marks on the floor.[48]  Yet the majority of individuals conform to the expected spatial practice without question.

Turning back to the example in question, it is worth asking how such an important meeting was deemed to be legitimate when held in such a forum.  Whilst the reason for the meeting of foreign ministers and diplomats in the airport was no more sinister than because their schedules made it a matter of convenience to do so, there is some importance in the fact that the decision taken here was done so in a forum that was unaccountable and lacked transparency.  The decision taken was a crucial step towards permitting the use of force by NATO without the authority of the Security Council and the question that is raised by its location is reinforced by the lack of criticism that it has received in the literature.  While Judah offers a narrative description of the proceedings, little attention is paid to this elsewhere.  This poses the question as to whether there is something about the nature of the airport that mirrors the kind of private ‘conversations in the corridors’ where the real decisions are often made in contemporary politics.  Whilst we cannot know whether this move would have received more criticism had it been made in a bar or a café, this raises a fascinating counterfactual which places an emphasis on the need to recognise the significance of space.  It also raises questions as to how the physical space may shape expectations of what is considered to be acceptable practice in particular places, and by extension, contribute to the shaping of parameters and expectations of communication.

c) Rambouillet negotiations

The last negotiations prior to NATO’s intervention took place at Rambouillet, a château outside Paris, beginning 6 February 1999.  Whilst the negotiations at Rambouillet were the most substantive of those held over Kosovo there were significant differences in the attitudes of the parties towards engaging in dialogue conducive to compromise.  The negotiations at Rambouillet were comprised of two parts.  The diplomatic part was based on the basis of draft proposals for Kosovo’s future already worked out by the international community’s negotiators (Christopher Hill (USA); Wolfgang Petritsch (EU); Boris Mayorski (Russia) ).  The other half was the credible threat of force provided by NATO who had issued a statement to this effect on the 30 January 1999.  It was believed by the international community that, on the one hand, the threat of force would be enough to persuade the Serbs to sign an agreement, while on the other, the threat of the withdrawal of political and military support would force the Kosovars to sign.

While the Kosovo delegation submitted detailed comments on the formal documents presented to it at Rambouillet, eleven days passed before the Serb/Yugoslav delegation submitted any written comments, during which time they remained at the château.  During this time, Kosovo’s submissions had not received any feedback.  What triggered participation by the Serbs in the form of a written response to the documents was a trip by Christopher Hill (the US negotiator) to speak to Milošević in Belgrade.  Following the Yugoslav/Serb submission on Milošević’s instructions, a revised draft was produced by the international negotiators, which not only reintroduced the issue of the legal status of Kosovo (a key condition of the Kosovar agreement to come to Rambouillet was that Kosovo’s legal status would not be determined), but also introduced a number of proposals responding to Milošević’s demands, including a second parliamentary chamber which further entrenched the concept of national communities and a veto mechanism for all national communities which would have effectively paralysed legislative action in Kosovo.[49]  In the attempt to ensure that the Serbs would sign, some argue that significant compromises and attention were granted the Serb delegation, thus skewing the effective opportunity of the Kosovo Albanians to guide the development of the settlement.[50]  The Kosovo delegation questioned the fairness of a process which rewarded the Serbs for their obstruction of the talks:[51]

“If the consent of the delegation of Kosova is sought, the unilateral changes imposed, apparently as a result of talks outside of the Conference, must be reversed.  There cannot be a process of obtaining concessions from the Kosova delegation first, through the process of regular proximity talks which this delegation has constructively supported from the first day of the conference, and of then imposing a second set of unacceptable concessions as a result of separate negotiations between the Contact Group and Belgrade in which the Kosova delegation has no involvement [bold added].”[52]

The above quotation helps to identify some of the ways in which spatiality shaped communication in the context of the negotiations.  First, we need to consider what the significance, symbolic, historical and political, is of using this château.  Rambouillet has a long history linked to French politics, having been the haunt of kings, emperors and politicians for many centuries.  It was initially established in 1367 as a fortified manor and still retains its pentagonal bastioned footprint.[53] In 1783 it was purchased by Louis the XVI who built a decorative dairy – ‘la laitiere de la reine’ – for his wife, Marie Antoinette. With the French revolution (1789) it became a public good, and remained so until Napolean I included it in his liste civile (government owned properties at the disposal of the heads of state).  It was the last place that he visited on his way into exile in 1815.  In 1896, President Felix Faure used it as his summer residence and it has since been reserved as such for all subsequent Presidents of the French Republic.  In the 20th century it has also played host to heads of state, government and international conferences. It was here that the first G6 conference was held in 1975, hosted by Valerie Giscard D’Estaigne.[54]


So within the French psyche, the place of the chateau has been equated with the power of the sovereign – both monarchs and presidents – and can be seen as drawing on the continuity of France not only as a recent republic but as an ancien regime. The significance of the château is also closely linked to European politics more broadly including state formation and culture.  Robin Cook, then British Foreign Secretary, observed:

“This château has not always been so peaceful.  The castle which stood at this site has been attacked three times by the English.  However, today Britain and France preside jointly over these talks – a symbol of the strong partnership which we have forged.”[55]

While on one hand, this observation may seem ominous – evoking the violent history of site – it may also be read as hopeful, as England and France, once enemies, are now diplomatic partners.  In that sense it was seen as an appropriate and symbolic venue to try and enable the Kosovars and Serbs to cease fighting and work out a settlement.

We now need to explore the spatial and communicative practices which took place during the negotiations themselves; that is how the delegates used the space and how it may have contributed to shaping their actions, and ultimately to the outcome of negotiations.[56]

A venue such as Rambouillet is conceived within diplomatic spheres as being an ideal venue for high level, sensitive negotiations as it provides the opportunity for delegates to address sensitive issues in privacy and without fear of being observed or reported upon (by the media, by other parties). Such a removed context also forces the delegates to interact with one another in informal ways, in order to foster mutual understanding and recognition that will carry over into the formal negotiations.[57]  As such, the space of the chateau was intended as an effectively closed sphere, where the attentions of the delegates were turned inward, to focus on one another, to improve their communication with, and understanding of one another.  In fact, the practices that were enacted succeeded in retaining a spatial partition that both replicated and reinforced the political divisions which characterized their respective positions.

Although the conference was intended to be segregated with the outcome based on those people physically present, there are a number of factors which indicate that ongoing lines of external communication were vital to both parties: Hill’s trip to Belgrade to see Milošević, despite the supposed competence of the Yugoslav delegation; the external Western advisors brought in for the Kosovar delegation due to their lack of expertise in legal and diplomatic matters; the link with the KLA fund-raisers in the USA who put pressure on the Kosovar delegation by telephone to sign the agreement, and the Kosovar insistence that they would sign the agreement but needed to consult with people at home more fully. In particular, the use of mobile phones by the delegates is worth noting.  Although mobile phones were technically not allowed, they were used by both delegations and other key figures and served to shape the delegations’ decisions and enabled communication with key actors who were not physically present at the château (such as Milošević on the Serbian side, Adem Demaçi, a senior Kosovar figure, and members of the KLA Homeland Calling Fund diaspora in Germany and the USA on the Albanian side). The initial idea had been to segregate the delegates and indeed ‘their passes were marked in such a way that the chateau guards would block their way if they tried to leave.  In fact, such seclusion proved impossible, thanks to mobile phones’[58].

Accordingly, although the space of the chateau was intended to evoke a diplomatic heritage of a safe, secluded, bounded space, in which participants could interact as equal elite power brokers to shape their joint and respective futures, the reality was rather different.  The seclusion of the space was shot through with uncertainties introduced by the intrusion of external voices and presences.  Further, the status of the ‘elite’ participants within the guests was far from equal.  The Kosovars, did not all have passports and, following problems with their departure from Kosovo as a result of Serbian intervention, had to be issued travel documents by the French.  The movement and placement of the participants within the château itself was similarly unequal.  One lawyer commented that:

“the Albanians found themselves lodged in small rooms, under the eaves, ‘without en suite facilities.’  Meanwhile everyone was furious when Italian diplomats, there as part of the Contact Group, the EU and the OSCE delegations locked up shower rooms and toilets for themselves and kept the keys. […] Both delegations were given formal conference rooms.  The Albanians were given ‘a fabulous marbled salon,’ while the Serb room right above, ‘was not so splendid.”[59]

Nor was this grievance allowed any opportunity to be resolved through informal means:

“Although they had sat next to each other during the opening speeches, neither would have to endure this painful ordeal again, apart from the odd ceremonial appearance.  The large dining area was divided into two inter-connecting rooms with two buffets so the Serbs and Albanians neither had to eat nor queue together. […] It is of course a cliché that the real work in international conferences is actually done in the corridors rather than around the negotiating table.  Rambouillet proved the exception to the rule.”[60]

Another exception was in the overt lack of privacy of the negations.  As mentioned, a key premise of such high level negotiations, is that delegates have privacy. At Rambouillet, this was not the case:

“Each room was equipped with a very obvious video camera and outside the chateau was a large lorry with blacked-out windows and cables trailing from it.  Not unreasonably, the delegates assumed that nothing they said was private.”[61]

These spatial and material conditions contributed to a dynamic of increased physical separation, and importantly, the symbolic enactment or performance of this separation:

“Members of both delegations ignored each other when they passed in the corridors. […] To the irritation of the Albanians and others, they [the Yugoslav delegation] tended to congregate in carious public parts of the chateau and gossip, a fact which earned them the nickname of the ‘tea club’.  Even more irritating was the fact that they would keep much of the rest of the chateau awake by late-night carousing and the singing of Serbian songs which induced the negotiators to complain.”[62]

It is worth considering the role that the use of shuttle diplomacy played in shaping the outcome of the negotiations.  Shuttle diplomacy, as opposed to face to face dialogue, was the method adopted throughout the negotiations and its spatial aspect informed the nature of the communication and, arguably, helped to influence the failure to come to an agreement.  The use of proximity talks, or shuttle diplomacy, at Rambouillet instead of direct talks may have been a more likely means through which to arrive at an agreement, but not necessarily a more effective means of achieving peace as it does not offer the parties a chance to understand the legitimacy behind the actions of the other. Consequently, the enforcement of the settlement is likely to be more difficult as the agreement is founded on a threat of force and coercion rather than reflecting genuine persuasion, empathy and understanding.

4)  Conclusion

The three factors which we have identified as being relevant to an analysis of the impact of spatial and material factors on communicative actions are:

1. Space sets the parameters for what is considered to be acceptable communicative behaviour

2. Space needs to be taken into consideration in terms of potential coercive power

3. Space needs to be investigated further in terms of how it conditions and shapes expectations and responses.

The attempt to map out a new research agenda serves to broaden the understanding of communicative legitimacy to incorporate spatial and material practice.  Such a research agenda would have practical and theoretical implications.  Practically, it lends itself to the developing an awareness of the need to take into account a wider range of factors which impact upon peace negotiations.  Theoretically, it contributes to work by Bourdieu and Giddens which recognizes the interplay between structural and subjective concerns.  In addition, it makes a theoretical contribution to work on communicative ethics and deliberative legitimacy in International Relations, indicating that they would benefit from an increased awareness of spatial and material practices.  While it might not be possible to claim that they are decisive in determining communicative legitimacy, there are clearly embedded spatial and material practices within the sphere of dialogic interaction which need to be taken into consideration.

Finally, it also raises theoretical questions concerning whether linguistic (representational) and material/spatial (non-representational) approaches are compatible.  While the preliminary analysis presented here suggests that they offer complementary critical approaches, it is also clear that they need to be carefully balanced.  This is an area which requires further research – going beyond the scope of this paper, but fitting into a wider research agenda.  This approach also contributes to the emerging work on ‘practice’ in international relations and to developing a kind of critical diplomatic theory given that the questions of space and communicative practice tend not to be questioned in the diplomatic literature.

[1] This research was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [PTA-026-27-1979].

[2] Independent International Commission on Kosovo, 2000, The Kosovo Report, Oxford, Oxford University Press

[3] Jürgen Habermas, 1984, The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalization of Society (Vol.1), London, Heineman Educational Books; 1987, The Theory of Communicative Action: The Critique of Functionalist Reason (Vol. 2), Cambridge, Polity Press; 1990, Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action, (Trans. Christian Lenhardt and Shierry Weber Nicholsen), Cambridge, Polity Press;  Naomi Head, 2008, ‘Critical Theory and its Practices: Habermas, Kosovo and International Relations’, Politics, 28(3), p.150-9; Richard Shapcott, 2001, Justice, Community and Dialogue in International Relations? Cambridge, Cambridge University Press; Kimberley Hutchings, 2005, ‘Speaking and hearing: Habermasian discourse ethics, feminism and IR’, Review of International Studies, 31

[4] Andrew Linklater, 1998, The Transformation of Political Community: Ethical Foundations of the Post-Westphalia Era, Cambridge, Polity Press

[5] Andrew Linklater, 2007, ‘Distant Suffering and Cosmopolitan Obligations’, International Politics, 44

[6] Head, 2008

[7] Duffield, Mark, 2009, Architectures of Aid Lecture, University of Cambridge; Smirl, Lisa, 2008, ‘Building the Other, Constructing Ourselves: Spatial Dimensions of International Humanitarian Response’ International Political Sociology, 2(3), September, 236-53

[8] Richmond, O. P. (2009). “Becoming Liberal, Unbecoming Liberalism: Liberal-Local Hybridity via the Everyday as a Response to the Paradoxes of Liberal Peacebuilding.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 3(3): 324 – 344; Higate, P. and M. Henry (2009). Insecure spaces : peacekeeping, power and performance in Haiti, Kosovo and Liberia. London, Zed.

[9] Thrift, N. J. 2008. Non-representational theory: space, politics, affect. International library of sociology, (London: Routledge); Crang, Mike and Nigel Thrift. 2000. Thinking Space. Critical Geographies, (London and New York: Routledge); Soja, Edward W. 1996. Thirdspace: journeys to Los Angeles and other real-and-imagined places. (Oxford: Blackwell).

[10] Giddens, Anthony. 1984. The constitution of society: introduction of the theory of structuration. (Berkeley: University of California Press); Bourdieu, Pierre & Richard Nice. 1977. Outline of a theory of practice. Cambridge studies in social anthropology vol. 16, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

[11] Lefebvre, Henri. 1991. The production of space. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).

[12] Lefebvre, 1991, p. 38.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Shields, Rob. 2004. Henri Lefebvre, in Phil Hubbard, Rob Kitchin & Gill Valentine (eds.) Key thinkers on space and place (London: Sage), p. 210.

[15] Lefebvre, 1991, p. 39.

[16] Harvey, David. 2006. Space as a key word, in Spaces of Global Capitalism:  Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development (London: Verso).

[17] Soja, 1996.

[18] Thrift, 2008; Latour, Bruno. 1993. We have never been modern. (New York and London: Harvester Wheatsheaf); Miller, Daniel. 2005. Materiality:  An Introduction, in Daniel Miller (ed.) Materiality (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press).

[19] Berridge, Geoff. 2005. Diplomacy : theory and practice. 3rd ed. edn., (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

[20] The main reason for Kosovo’s lack of republic status was the Yugoslav constitutional distinction which determined that nations, not nationalities, should have republic status. This was a distinction which the EC and the international community used to its advantage to enable it to draw the line between legitimate statehood and secession.

[21] Letter from Dr. Rugova to Lord Carrington, Peace Conference on Yugoslavia, 22 December 1991 where he requests that ‘the Republic of Kosova be recognised as a sovereign and independent state.’ Marc Weller, 1999a, The Crisis in Kosovo 1989-1999, Vol.1, Cambridge, Documents & Analysis Publishing Ltd. p.347.

[22] Alex Bellamy, 2002, Kosovo and International Society, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, p.22-4.

[23] The Kosovo Report, p.57.  The London Conference on Former Yugoslavia of August 1992 transformed the European Community Conference on Former Yugoslavia into the ICFY (International Conference on Former Yugoslavia), with co-chairs from the UN and the EC (David Owen and Cyrus Vance).

[24] Tim Judah, 2002, Kosovo: War and Revenge, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2nd edition, p.92-3.

[25] Louis Sell, 2002,  Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, USA, Duke University Press, p.108.

[26] Rules of Procedure, London Conference:, accessed 21 January 2010.

[27] Denisa Kostovičová, 2005, Kosovo: the politics of identity and space, London, Routledge.

[28] Letter from Lord Carrington to Rugova, emphasis added. Weller, 1999a, p.86.

[29] Sell, 2002, p.109.

[30] St Egidio Education Agreement, 1 September 1996, Weller, 1999, p.93

[31] Julie Mertus, 2000, ‘Reconsidering the Legality of Humanitarian Intervention: Lessons from Kosovo’, William and Mary Law Review, 41, p.1743-4

[32] Bellamy, 2002, p.31

[33] Certainly the conference cannot be considered a success for the Kosovars and neither was it for the wider situation in the former Yugoslavia which was the actual focus of the conference (notably the conflict in Bosnia).  However, we are not making claims concerning the spatial and communicative practices of the other delegations at the conference.

[34] Dovey, Kim. 1999. Framing places: mediating power in built form. Architext series, (London: Routledge), p.13.

[35] Dovey, 1999, p. 12; In latin, the root of coerce is ‘coercere’ meaning ‘to surround’, Dovey, 1999;   See also Weinstein, M. 1972. Coercion, Space, and the Modes of Human Domination, in J.  Pennock & J. Chapman (eds.) Coercion (Aldine: Atherton).

[36] Dovey, 1999, p.13; See also Wrong, Dennis Hume. 1995. Power : its forms, bases, and uses. (New Brunswick, N.J. ; London: Transaction Publishers).

[37] Letter from Lord Carrington, Chairman, Conference on Yugoslavia to Dr I. Rugova, 17 August, 1992, Weller, 1999a, p.86; Interview with Rugova, from La Question du Kosovo, Entretiens realisés par Marie-Françoise Allain et Xavier Galmiche, Paris, Fayard, 1994, p.170-71.  .

[38] Crary, Jonathan. 1990. Techniques of the observer : on vision and modernity in the nineteenth century. (Cambridge, Mass. ; London: MIT Press).

[39] It is worth noting that there is a substantial literature on the use of CCTV in surveillance in society, in courtrooms and its impact on juries and witnesses.  However, there is much less on its impact in IR and conflict resolution.

[40] Judah, 2002, p.183

[41] Augé, Marc. 1995. Non-places: introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity. (London: Verso); Gordon, Alastair. 2008. Naked airport : a cultural history of the world’s most revolutionary structure. University of Chicago Press pbk. ed. / with a new epilogue. edn., (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press ; Bristol : University Presses Marketing [distributor]); Salter, Mark B. 2008. Politics at the airport. (Minneapolis ; London: University of Minnesota Press); Tomlinson, John. 1999. Globalization and culture. (Chichester: Polity Press); Pearman, Hugh. 2004. Airports : a century of architecture. (London: Laurence King); de Botton, Alain. 2009. A Week at the Airport:  A Heathrow Diary. (London: Profile Books ).

[42] Salter, Mark B. 2008. Politics at the airport. (Minneapolis ; London: University of Minnesota Press).

[43] Latour, 1993; Deleuze, Gilles & Félix Guattari. 2004. A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. (London: Continuum). For more on this approaches see select chapters in Salter, Mark B. 2008. Politics at the airport. (Minneapolis ; London: University of Minnesota Press).

[44] For more on the distinction between place and space see Cresswell, Tim. 2004. Place: a short introduction. Short introductions to geography, (Oxford: Blackwell).

[45] For an argument which considers the opportunities for power to be mediated rather than exerted in the context of airports see Lisle in Debrix, François & Cynthia Weber. 2003. Rituals of mediation : international politics and social meaning. (Minneapolis ; London: University of Minnesota Press).

[46] Peter Adey, “Mobilities and Modulations: The Airport As A Difference Machine,” in Salter, 2008, p. 154.

[47] Adey in Salter, 2008, p. 156.

[48] Adey in Salter, 2008, p. 150.

[49] Weller, 1999a, p.403.  See Interim Agreement for Peace and Self-Government in Kosovo, 2nd Draft, 18 February, 1999, Weller, 1999a, p.434-441.

[50] Marc Weller, 1999b, ‘The Rambouillet conference on Kosovo’, International Affairs, 72(2), p.250.

[51] Letter from Delegation of Kosova to Contact Group Negotiators, Rambouillet, 17 February 1999, Weller, 1999a, p.433.

[52] Kosova Delegation Statement on New Proposal for a Settlement, 18 February 1999, Weller, 1999a, p.444-5.

[53] On Rambouillet see Blecon, J. 1994. Cailleteau, Pierre Known as Lassurance, Architect at the Chateau of Rambouillet (Yvelines). Bulletin monumental, 152(3), 366-67; Boutterin, J.M. 1942. Les pieces d’eau et le rondau du domaine de Rambouillet. Revue des beaux-arts de France, 1942-1943, 1, 303-06; Boyer, Marie-France. 2008. The Princess’ Folly. World of interiors, 28(3), 170-77; Constant, M. 1988. The ‘Palais du Roi de Rome’ at Rambouillet. Monuments Historiques, 156, April-May, 105-05; Dauphinee, Elizabeth Allen. Rambouillet:  A Critical (Re)Assessment, in Florian and Zidas Daskalovski Bieber (ed.) Understanding the War in Kosovo; Gosselin, Louis Le on The odore. 1930. Le chateau de Rambouillet : six siecles d’histoire. (Paris: Calmann-Le301vy); Hamon, Francoise. 2005. Le palais du Roi de Rome: Napoleon II a Rambouillet [by] Jean Blecon. Bulletin monumental, 163(3), 276; Hamon, F. 2005. The Palace of the King of Rome. Napolean II in Rambouillet. Bulletin monumental, 163(3), 276-76; Heitzmann, Annick. 1990. Laiteries royales, laiteries imperiales:  Trianon et Rambouillet. Histoire de l’art, 11, Oct, 37-45; Liot, Thierry. 1998. Des communs peu communs. Vielles maisons francaises, (172), April 84-85; Stated, Not. 1954. Le chateau de Rambouillet rajeuni pour ses hotes d’honneur. Plaisir de France, (188), March, 24-31; Waltisperger, Chantal. 1992. Famin a Rambouillet:  ‘l’architectrue toscane’ en pratique? Bulletin monumental, 150(1), 7-20.

[54] See Gosselin, Louis Le on The odore. 1930. Le chateau de Rambouillet : six siecles d’histoire. (Paris: Calmann-Levy).

[55] Judah, 2002, p.203.

[56] It is worth considering the members of each delegation from the perspective of equality: the Albanian delegation contained the most important Kosovar politicians of the last ten years.  It included Ibrahim Rugova, Bujar Bukoshi and Fehmi Agani for the LDK and the government-in-exile, Hashim Thaçi and Xhavit Haliti, two of the founders of the Kosovo Liberation Army, and Rexhep Qosja, a respected nationalist writer and leader of the United Democratic Party, Veton Surroi, the highly respected editor of Koha Ditore, and Blerim Shala from Zëri.  Thaçi, not Rugova, was elected as the formal leader of the delegation, indicating the dominance of the KLA over the LDK (Judah, 2002, p.200).  There was a decided contrast with the Serbian delegation which contained no ranking politician or diplomats, because the one man who made the decisions, Milošević, had remained in Belgrade.  It was led by Ratko Marković, and included Nikola Šainović, a Yugoslav deputy premier, Vladen Kutlešić, a constitutional lawyer and a Serbian deputy premier, Vladimir Štambuk, a lawyer, and a number of politically inconsequential unknowns sent by Milošević to support his claim that he wanted a multinational Kosovo – he sent representatives of the Roma, Turks, Slav Muslims and an Albanian who belonged to a tiny pro-Serb party.

[57] Berridge, 2002.

[58] Judah, 2002, p.203-6

[59] Ibid.

[60] Ibid.

[61] Ibid.

[62] Ibid.

The Gift of Home

“The Gift of Home: The key role of housing reconstruction in the Acehnese peace process following the 2004 tsunami,” unpublished abstract (2011)

Contemporary aid and development policy has consciously distanced itself from the idea of assistance as ‘gift’ both overtly within academic literature (Kapoor; Kothari) and implicitly through policy positions which emphasize the need for local communities to be active participants in their own relief and development trajectories (DFID, OCHA). But particularly in the area of post-disaster assistance, the paradigm of apparently selfless giving is still a fundamental part of the humanitarian imaginary and business model where both private and public donors are implored through media messages and charity advertisements to do the right thing: give.  Based on the case of the reconstruction effort in Aceh following the 2004 tsunami, this article argues that instead of hampering the relief effort, it was the overt espousal of the idea of the ‘gift’ that enabled the reconstruction to become a success – although not in the way it was originally envisaged.

Drawing on fieldwork carried out between 2006 and 2008 and over a hundred interviews with donors, contractors, beneficiaries and local officials, this paper argues that initially, from within the humanitarian imaginary, the house was viewed as the Maussian ideal of the gift while from the perspective of other parties concerned (Government of Indonesia (GoI), the Aceh and Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Board (BRR), the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka or GAM), the Aceh Transitional Committee (Komite Peralihan Aceh or KPA), contractors, and the beneficiaries themselves) it was viewed as a commodity.  While initially, this epistemological disjuncture contributed to problems – most notably in the reconstruction of 120 000 houses for tsunami affected families – it also enabled a practical re-negotiation of the housing projects. The result was that the ‘success’ of the reconstruction process in Aceh came not from the ‘gift’ of the house but instead from the resultant ‘commodity’ of peace which the practices surrounding the houses enabled.

Drive by Development

“Drive by Development: The role of the SUV in international humanitarian assistance,” unpublished paper (2011)

“There was even an old saying that, for 70 percent of the world’s population, the first vehicle they saw was a Land Rover” (Wernle 2000).

“A Land Rover is less of a car than a state of mind” – Car and Driver Magazine 1964 

The white sports utility vehicle (SUV) has become an inextricable part of aid and development work. Not only do they underpin the majority of aid and development activities – either through the transportation of staff, goods, or equipment – but they have become symbolic of the act of doing aid both for better and for worse.

An analysis of peacekeeping expenses between 2002 and 2009 showed that total expenditure on Motor Vehicles/Parts & Transportation Equipment amounted to $891,807,651 and between 4.5 and 9.7% of total expenditure depending on the year (Figure 2).  In 2009, this made it the 6th highest budget line for total peacekeeping expenses, however, when related expenses such as fuel are taken into account, it is likely that it is closer to third after construction, and air transport.  While peacekeeping operations are notorious when it comes to their fleets of land rovers, they are by no means alone in their reliance on SUVs as a primary form of transport. Most UN agencies, and the majority of INGOs are equally reliant upon the vehicles. Yet despite their prominence both programmatically and physically in the context of aid work they are considered to be an incidental and generally unremarkable.

When compared to the attention that car usage has received in other disciplines the complete absence of discussion over the SUVs ubiquity in aid work is striking.  While there are occasional grumblings regarding the purchase and transport costs of the vehicles and difficulties with re-sale or disposal of the vehicles, these are restricted to the logistics or operations side of aid work.  When compared to the centrality of automobiles and automobility in Anglo-European social theory, the lack of any discussion of the political-economic, sociological, psychological or spatio-material implications of its pervasive use is puzzling.  Why, when car and more specifically, SUV use has been the subject of such extensive social enquiry in other contexts and disciplines, should it have avoided scrutiny in the context of aid and development work.

My work on the SUV serves to rectify this gap, however it’s not meant as merely an academic hole filling exercise. Rather, what initially started as a quixotic sideline of my more broader work on the spatial aspects of aid has quite quickly revealed itself to be, I feel, an enormously productive approach to thinking through the major aspects of humanitarianism broadly speaking. In particular it has led me to the following set of arguments:

1. There has been a co-evolution between technologies of aid and development (in this case the SUV) and the content of aid and development practice.  While the way in which aid is done is usually seen as irrelevant to what is done – so for example, using land rovers as part of staff transport in a micro-finance scheme is seen as extraneous to the project content: advisors; training sessions; credit funds – my work shows how the way in which do aid is influenced by the how we do it.  Likewise, the SUV as a central feature of contemporary metropolitan experience, has been influenced in its design and marketing through its use in the periphery which in turn, has effected the ways in which the object has been designed, distributed and used in the context of aid work.

2.  This challenges the story that we in the humanitarian ‘North’ tell ourselves about development as an encounter “between autonomous and sovereign selves” and challenges the very premise of development as linear, progressive trajectory – as something that can be directed from donor capitals and enacted across the Global South.

3.  This disruption not only dispels the possibility of enacting development the way it is meant to be done, but can also be helpful in examining the seemingly inexplicable ways in which aid relations ‘on the ground’ change, shift, move, are challenged, supported.

4. Forces us to recognize the micro-political of everyday actions – looks at how global political relations are mediated through objects, encounters.  This is not a new recognition but it is one that has been generally applied at the national level with regards to citizenship and demos. Interesting to see what happens when we extend these ideas to the realm of aid work, and ultimately the international.

Now before I turn to the body of the paper, I need to clarify a few concepts, definitions.  First of all, I’m sure that some you are already have internal conversations regarding the flexibility with which I use the terms aid, development, relief, humanitarianism. This is not an accident. In some cases in the paper, I will make clear indication as to whether I’m referring to project based, long-term development aid or short term relief aid.  I use the word ‘aid’ to refer to both. Likewise, while in policy circles humanitarian refers to the strictly emergency phase of a response – I am using it to refer to the broader enlightenment project of helping those in need through established institutions or organizations. I am, however, often quite fluid in my use of the terms for several reasons. First, the lines between long term development and short-term relief are increasingly blurred institutionally, organizationally, in terms of personnel and policy. This is part policy, part accident.  Second, with regard to my discussion of the comment about development containing an implicit narrative of the triumph of man over his own destiny; over nature – this discourse is increasingly also present with strict aid circles.  Disaster and emergency response is increasingly embedded within narratives of prevention, mitigation, minimizing vulnerabilities and complex emergencies point to underlying structural or  root causes which can be minimized and even eliminated.

The methodology for this paper is very much a ‘mixed methods’ approach combining archival research with secondary sources and some preliminary interviews of people who either worked on or with Land Rovers in general or in the specific development contexts under review.  These were obtained through a snow-ball approach i.e. people who knew people.  Theoretically and empirically, I am still working through approaches and moments, so what I am going to present today are really the building blocks of my bigger project, from which an article needs to be extracted. Although I’ve tried to develop a line of argument, I’m intentionally kept the piece quite broad to solicit feedback on the best approach to take in the article that is struggling to emerged. Particularly, as this is turning out to be such an inter-disciplinary project, I welcome advice on theories or approaches that I may have overlooked or omitted.

The structure of the article proceeds in two phases:

1 – an examination of the theoretical approaches that I have been pursuing to explore the phenomenon

2 – an overview of the empirical trajectory that I have uncovered focussed around the object of the Land Rover.

Part 1:  Theorizing the SUV

Thinking about or through ‘the car’ has been a pet project of social theory almost since the object’s inception.  Theorists such Adorno and Benjamin were interested in understanding how the object facilitated systems of capital both materially and symbolically. This theme was to be picked up again by those interested in structural Marxism and became a trope in the writings of Barthes, Baudrillard, Althusser and Lefebvre during the 1960s.  It was during this period that sustained examination was undertaken on the object of the car.  Lefebvre, considered the “motor-car” to be “the epitome of ‘objects’” (Lefebvre and Rabinovitch 1971:101).  Fast forward to the 1990s and a renewed interest in automobilities was adopting a larger phenomenological approach to the subject, but also building upon political economy approaches which had been part of the sub/urbanization discussions of the 1980s and concerns and considerations around car use and energy security of the late 1970s. Within these approaches there was a small, but significant subgenre that was interested more narrowly in the emerging predilection amongst North American suburbanites for large, gas guzzling vehicles whose safety and security features went far beyond the requirements of ferrying lil’ Jimmy to and from soccer practice. But in very rare cases were these discussions taken outside of the metropole and into the realm of international development or even the ex-colonial periphery at large. Notable exceptions include Green-Simms and Higate and Henry’s work.   From this broad work on cars, Matthew Patterson identifies three broad approaches to theorizing the automobile:  Automobility theory (that i’ve already mentioned), ecology and global politics.

But if widen our lens to include those theories which look not only at the object of the car, but the car as objects, we suddenly find at our disposal a much wider repertoire of theory that can be drawn upon.  This includes work on objects and materiality; science and technology studies and actor network network theory.  While this may seem like a very heavy toolkit, it is one that at least, initially is helpful is thinking through how the SUV may be implicated in both the development of individual subjectivities – both of aid workers and so called beneficiaries – but also with regard to the global relations of aid.

This is the part that I am currently working on – trying to figure out how I want to position the paper, and what makes most sense.  Given time frames I haven’t been able to include the most recent work that I’ve been looking at by people like Mol on the Zimbab Bush Pump; Latour’s Aremis and his ideas of scripts and mediation or things and Bennett’s work on vibrant matter and distributive agency.  So I’m going to present the framework from the first draft, even though I am quite sure that this will be discarded in favour of something new.

Working from the micro to the macro, I suggest that at least three sets of theoretical considerations are useful for this project:

1.  affect and interiority of SUV use (being in the car);

2.  Seeing through the car: the SUV as instrument of seeing and way of knowing

3.  the economic and symbolic circuits of car production, distribution and (re)use (car as assemblage).

Having positioned the argument theoretically, the article will then turn to a select genealogy of SUV use in aid work, focussing on the iconic vehicle: the Land Rover.

Although, the way in which these cars are received by their host populations (the citizens of the beneficiary country) is a crucial part of the dynamic, this article is written primarily from the perspective of the primary user of the vehicles – the aid workers.  Understanding this trajectory is a key initial step in the process of understanding contemporary dilemmas associated with the vehicles’ use and future work intends to engage more explicitly with how the vehicles are used and understood by host populations.

1. Being in the car – affect and interiority

The first set of issues surround how aid workers experience the vehicle and what types of emotional or affective implications it may have. Although the focus of this paper is on the SUV and the related form of the 4×4, Automobility theory, which looks at the experience of being in a car more generally – either as a passenger or driver – is relevant (Featherstone et al. 2005; Flink 1988; Urry 2007), identifying a series of ways in which the SUV has affective impact on its passengers.

First, theories which relate to the interior space of the car help understand the various ways that car use impacts on the emotional and cognitive experiences of its passengers.  The attributes of commonly used SUV models such as Range Rovers, Toyota Land Cruisers or Ford Kijangs include air conditioning, sun tinted windows, stereo systems and communications technology for liaising with the home base. This creates a sonic envelope – encasing the passenger(s) and driver in a different soundscape to their surroundings (Bull 2004) – allowing them to block out the representative noises of their environment and/or to create a soundtrack to accompany the passing land and city scapes.  This envelope will also be linked through radio contact to the space of the office base.  When working in tropical countries, the interiority of the LR also offers shelter, from sun, sand, rain and most importantly heat: the climate controlled vehicle a non-representative oasis of cool.  That is not to say that it is necessarily comfortable – not all vehicles are top of the line, the roads are rough, the engine is loud – but relatively speaking it is a more expedient and comfortable way of travelling than that available to the majority of the surrounding population.  Inevitably this creates a physical distance from surrounding environments and populations, particularly where rates of car use are relatively low.

By providing respite from everyday demands (Bull 2004:249), the aid worker may also have unrealistic expectations about the general living conditions of the place they have come to assist. The hermetic space of respite – where engines hum and radios crackle – may help the aid worker to ignore the pedestrian difficulties encountered by the majority of the populations: the unreliable public transport, the lack of childcare, the prevalence of disease flare ups such as malaria, the power cuts, the financial disruptions. In his discussion on cars, Baudrillard considers cars to be an extension of home – something that is even more the case in the context of working in a foreign context. {cite} Merriman compares the space inside a car, and the accompanying space of transit, to Auge’s non-space: a space between places, a space of transit, outside of the time (Augé 1995; Merriman 2004).  Particularly in the context where you are being driven, there may be a moment of nothingness where you may gossip with your co-passengers, listen to music, or contemplate the blurred passing scenery – perhaps recoiling form the children or beggars who run to the windows displaying wounds – sometimes to mirrored glass.  This non-space of the car bears little or no-resemblance its surroundings.

This disjuncture between inside and outside is also reflected in the physical presences of many SUVs or 4×4 as common models used in aid such as, mean that they are highly elevated off the ground – one needs to literally heft oneself up and out of the surroundings and into the space of the vehicle. This vantage point is remarkable, sitting in the SUV you look down upon and over your surroundings, a sense accentuated by the relative absence of similar vehicles and the prevalence of foot traffic, bicycles, or motor-bikes in the majority of development situations.  There is a sense of security through visibility – you are seen and can see.  Although as will be discussed, it is this same visibility that is increasingly putting aid workers under threat. The actual velocity of movement can also be seen as affectively fraught, motion and emotion being co-constitutive – perhaps invigorating, perhaps soothing (Sheller 2004) – but contributing again to a sense of being in-between, ungrounded, ambulatory.

As aid agencies have become more professionalized and rationalized in their labour forces, it is not uncommon for aid workers – particularly those who are visiting experts or on short term contracts to be driven by a local driver. This contributes to a sense of not knowing where you are going and renders the landscape unknown, mysterious, strange.  The ritual of being driven in an SUV, through unknown landscapes may also create a sense of inter-changeability of development or aid contexts: that they are similar in how they are interacted with, and in their unknown-ness. Within the vehicle, being driven creates an implicit hierarchy of ‘international aid staff’ being transported by local drivers although this may also confer power upon the driver – to take the best roads; to not be selling out his/her passenger; to not run out of petrol; to know how to fix the vehicle should things go wrong. A satirical aid blog “Things Aid Workers Like” comments:

Expat aid workers who have limited contact with real live “locals” will often take what their driver says as the “voice of the people.”  This “local voice” can go so far as to influence decisions an aid agency makes with regard to an entire country. Because they are such great sources of cultural information, it may be a good idea to include the driver in focus groups or run new strategy ideas past him for quick informal “vetting.” Drivers make expat aid workers feel like they are friends with a local and have “insight into local perspective,” another thing that expat aid workers like.[1]

A final area where the affective experience of being in a car needs to be considered is with regard to what Miller, Gilroy and others have describes as ‘car cultures’ (Gilroy ; Miller 2001).  These are the affective bonds which develop between people – either individuals or groups – and their cars.  They may invest large amounts of time on their vehicle – fixing it, upgrading – or may overly identify with their vehicle. Car cultures are remarkably strong when it comes to SUVs and in particular land rovers – a point I’ll return to later.

2. Seeing through the car: the SUV as instrument of seeing and way of knowing

A second way of understanding the role of the car in aid work, is with regards to its role as instrument of seeing and knowing.  As already mentioned, the trajectories and narratives of development and car use are inseparable. Post-WW2 development was focussed on a linear modernization narrative – pointing both to the endemic growth potential of so called the third world and its ability to adopt and adapt technological transfers from the first world.  This narrative was constructed by, in good part, the visiting experts – the colonial and commonwealth officers, researchers, and emerging breed of aid workers – who went to the newly invented ‘field’ (Gupta and Ferguson 1997) and discovered, collected, named and analyzed its components (Escobar 1994; Kothari 2005).  An instrumental and constitutive part of these modernization practices were the 4×4 and the concurrent development of roads: enabling factors in the penetration of territory and in the multiplication of collection practices on the part of researchers and aid workers.[2]

The perceived technological superiority of the car versus local modes of transport also reinforced the transformative logic of the modern development project within aid and development circles. An embodiment of enlightenment philosophy’s valorisation of the power and potential of the atomistic individual, the automobile is also the direct and pre-eminent product of the industrial age – of Fordist modes of production, mechanisation, Taylorist rationalisation and petroleum driven dominance.  Chella Rajan calls the car “the (literally) concrete articulation of liberal society’s promise to its citizens” (Rajan 2006:112-13). In the context of development, the SUV could be seen as global liberal society’s promise to the world’s poor.

But the impact of the SUV is more than purely symbolic or metaphorical. A bi-product of the use of the motor vehicle was that it perpetuated a hierarchy of mobility where it was seen as a necessary and normal that aid workers enacted development through short, penetrative missions and engaged with their host landscapes in increasingly hermetic ways.  As a result, the short term mission has come to dominate planning and policy aspects of aid and development (Lewis and Mosse 2007; Stirrat 2000), as alluded to n the acknowledgments of an ECHO report:

“The consultants would like to thank the many people who took time to share their knowledge, experiences and opinions in interviews and consultations for the Security Review, and via the web forum. In many cases, the organisations where interviewees worked lent drivers, recommended other interviewees and gave assistance in setting up meetings and organising accommodation and transport” (European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office 2004:v).

This tendency is recognized by development agencies as problematic and widespread – for example, The EC urges staff to visit “people living away from major towns, and away from major roads.  (There is a tendency for busy humanitarian staff  to visit people near easily accessible towns and routes far more than those in areas off the beaten track.)” (European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office 2004:21). And although the EC wouldn’t put it in these terms, part of the problem is the reinforcement a uniform and unreflexive subjectivity amongst aid workers.

Part of the creation of this subjectivity is through sight and the accompanying techniques of observation which are inseparable from the way in which we organize knowledge and social practices (Crary 1990:3). While in art history or the history of science, the instruments and technologies which structure site have long been the objects of scrutiny {cite}, in the context of aid work, the mechanisms through which ‘local’ knowledge has been viewed and interpreted are left invisible, unquestioned: “[t]hus certain forms of visual experience usually uncritically categorized as ‘realism’ are in fact bound up in non-veridical theories of vision that effectively annihilate the real world” (Crary 1990:14). While Crary is speaking of nineteenth century instruments of vision such as the stereo-scope and the phenakistiscope, the same argument can be applied to the car, and the SUV. For the passenger, the driver, vision is focussed on the external, distant, speeding landscapes, or those that can be reached easily by car. These landscapes are construed as real, and documented and reported upon for development purposes – becoming representative of the development ‘problem’ at large.  But in their most abstract, these landscapes are subjective and imagined and at least can must necessarily be only partial representations, based on previous decisions of where to build roads, gas stations, pipelines, settlements.

A second insight from Crary comes from his claim that “[t]hese apparatuses are the outcome of a complex remaking of the individual as observer into something calculable and regularizable and of human vision into something measurable and thus exchangeable” (Crary 1990:17).  Again, these criticisms can be applied to the SUV, where the relatively recent rise of the white SUV as a global design icon has also contributed to standardizing practice the world over.  As aid workers, the modalities of interaction will be the same whether you are in Kosovo, Liberia or Haiti (Higate and Henry 2009).  And while it is possible to argue that for aid relations this is necessary – quick response times and standardization is arguably a pre-requisite for a rapid and consistent emergency response, for development workers it is not.  Instead, their perpetuation has contributed to a material culture of aid and the creation of an aid subjectivity, which sets up a material template for the physical and embodied etiquette of the way in which aid relations are conducted.

3. Car as assemblage: economic and symbolic circuits of car production, distribution and (re)use

A final area is the area of Networks. Here work on assemblages is helpful in thinking through the material, discursive, social aspects which link together the network of aid vehicles.  For example, the very materials that make up the SUV are the same materials that have driven colonial relations of exploitation and extraction: fuel, tires, aluminium.  Economically, the car companies have seen the aid market as an important and lucrative part of their business not only in terms of its markets but also for the symbolic and moral capital that it provides when marketing to its domestic audiences – these adverts in turn shape the expectations and ideas of aid workers who go to ‘the field’ to ‘perform aid’ in an expected way. There are also well established distribution networks for the cars themselves: networks of logistics, operations managers, mechanics, and procurement experts spanning the globe.

In order to explore these three themes, the article now turns to a case study of one of the most iconic brands of aid SUVs, the Land Rover.  This will take part in four main sections and concentrate primarily on its history in Africa, but first, a brief introduction to the brand.

In post war Britain, Rover company was tasked as part of British Industry to revive the economy through export promotion.  But steel shortages made car construction difficult and limitations on car ownership meant a limited domestic market.  The Wilks brothers had been impressed by the durability of the American Willys Jeep – which were still lying around in Britain. They designed the first Series 1 Land Rover in 1947 as an agricultural vehicle circumventing purchase restrictions and using aluminium (Slavin et al. 1989:14). From the beginning a consciously patriotic product, it quickly caught on with the overseas markets and became intrinsically associated with the British empire, when the Queen and Prince Philippe used it in their Royal Tour of the Commonwealth in 1953 and 1954 (Slavin, et al. 1989:187).  The Wilks brothers – the owners of the Rover at the time – were extremely well connected in British society, and had easy access to existing Imperial and emerging Commonwealth distribution networks for their vehicles.[3] As a result, according to Slavin, Land Rovers were, as of 1989, sold into more overseas territories than almost any other single British product (Slavin, et al. 1989:80).

1. They shall know us by our velocity (Land Rover goes nuts): Development, Legibility and the 4×4

The first documented use of Land Rover in a development context is the infamous Tanganika Groundnuts Project. The mammoth project was conceived and implemented by the Colonial Office in conjunction with The East Africa Corporation (and Unilever) as a way of providing cheap fat to British production, and introduce ‘advanced agricultural techniques’ to East Africa (East African Groundnuts Scheme 1949; Hogendorn and Scott 1981).  It was also used as an employment scheme for decommissioned troops and as a way to re-use ex-army equipment. Interviews and photos indicate that the scheme was used by the rover company to test early prototype models and must have been shipped from the UK by boat and then brought inland by train from Dar Es Salam.  According to an automotive journalist, Michael Bishop, in 1949 there were four Land Rovers, but this number expanded quickly. The early models were notoriously unreliable.[4]

The project was strongly criticised for its lack of attention to local conditions and poor choice of initial location.  Rolled out without a pilot phase, the entire 6 year, 25 mil pound project covering 3 and a quarter million acres (East African Groundnuts Scheme 1949) was planned on the basis of one nine-week mission to East Africa [sic.]  “covering 10,000 miles of territory by air, 2,000 by road, and 1,000 by rail” (Hogendorn and Scott 1981:85).  This velocity would come to characterize the administration of the project, says Wood, “The air of Tanganika was thick with flying executives. They were always either coming or going: they wore themselves out: they never came down to earth long enough to sit down and collect their thoughts…[The]he unfortunate Area Managers spent half their time waiting on the airstrips for people from Headquarters to arrive, or hanging around airstrips waiting for their planes to take off.” {Wood – page?}.  And while the quote applies to airplanes, it was equally applicable to vehicles. Speaking of the scheme in the House of Commons in 1949, Sir John Barlow remarked “There are about 1,000 lorries, cars, jeeps, land rovers and tankers of various sorts. Without doubt a very large amount of transport is available there” (East African Groundnuts Scheme 1949) (See Figure 3).  He goes on to emphasize the significance of transport by says that “there are about 11,000 natives…[m]any of them are becoming skilled or semi-skilled mechanics” and mentions that he saw the Minister in passing (p.1).  International staff turnover on the project was “still” over 60% a month in 1950 (Hogendorn and Scott 1981:91).

The focus on road building and the physical, motorized penetration of the African continent contributed to the experimental nature of late and post-colonial development regimes.  By 1951, the British scientists endorsed an approach to African development that considered it to be an “equation like problem that could be solved by experiment. Planned pilot schemes constituted the laboratories where development could be experimented with, using Africans as subjects” (Bonneuil 2000:259). In particular, the use of large scale settlement schemes and land use schemes that came to characterize development projects across the African continent during this period, stressed legibility and rapid collection of data from subjects.  By 1950 the number of European researchers had reached several thousand from the fewer than 1000 in 1930 (Bonneuil 2000:266).  The novel presence of the Land Rover influenced both their ability to penetrate further and further into rural areas and the way in which they interacted with and understood their landscapes.  The geometrization of land use was facilitated and rendered logical by the concurrent need to establish roads for the multiplying vehicles.  The ability to collect, monitor and collate data at an unprecedented rate through the use of vehicles and air power was also part of this trend.

However, the relationship between the use of Land Rover and collection epistemologies is not as clear-cut as it might first appear. An informant working in Zambia from 1968-70 recounted her experience using World Food Programme (WFP) and UN land rovers. “They were painted grey with the logos on the doors. The Dutch had them too. I think they were brought up from South Africa.”[5] While the project that she worked on was about collecting nutritional data from 12 far-flung villages – visiting each 3 times over the course of a year – because of the poor quality of the roads and the absence of radio technology, the team would spent between 10 day and several weeks in each village per visit.  And although the Land Rover came equipped with a local driver, the informant commonly drove the vehicle herself, increasingly her knowledge of the place in which she worked.

A similar complication arises in characterizing development projects in the periphery as zones of experimentation for the metropole (Jacobsen 2010).  Such narratives risk over-simplifying the geographies and histories of aid and need to keep in mind 2 key points. First, although complicit in the import of experimental technologies, in this case of the LR, the aid workers are equally part of the experimentation process. As liminal populations, they are as much caught within the structures of aid and development as constitutive of it (Smirl 2011).  Secondly, humanitarianism has a much less decisive relationship between technologies developed in the colonies and then re-imported in the metropole. For example, with regard to the use of motorized vehicles in aid work – these can be traced initially to the use of interwar ambulances in Europe and the first UN-led relief programme UN Relief and Rehabilitation Agency for Europe (which would in 1946 become UNICEF). In the wake of WW2, Jeeps, Morris Minors (car), GM trucks were a common part of the European refugee landscape.   Land Rover sold Tickford Station Wagons to UNICEF after the war. It had a “timber ash frame – skinned with aluminium” (see Figure 4).[6] A total of 480 were made and about 80-100 got to Poland (others went to Finland). In concept it was closer to Range Rover in that it was meant to transport people, not just things, and comfort was a consideration although, in an off-road context. Information from UNICEF stressed the important facilitating role that improved transport networks (roads) and new vehicles played in expanding their programmatic areas (Grant 1986). By early 1950s, vehicles were an established part of the humanitarian effort. UNICEF records show that their post-WW2 programme assistance to European Countries was heavily focussed on large scale programmes around mass immunization, malaria control (Bulgaria, Romania), syphilis prevention (Finland) and imply that the approach was to bring health workers to geographically disparate locations (Grant 1986).

However, despite the necessary presence of vehicles to the aid project, it was rarely explicitly acknowledged. A quick examination of the post-war budgets of UNICEF reveal that no motorized transport was explicitly calculated for. And yet, across the world, the advent of the 4×4 was changing the way in which aid work was done, and ultimately changing the aid workers themselves.  In Haiti, the Yaws treatment campaign was realizable only through “extensive travel over difficult terrain with nearly impassable road conditions…[and] instead of trying to train health technicians to drive jeeps, experienced jeep drivers were taught injection procedures – a most successful experiment! [italics mine]” (Grant 1986:36).[7]

The same UNICEF report, describes the work of the organization quotation with reference to the words of Spanish poet Antonio Machado:

‘“Caminante no hay camino, el camino se hate al andar” (the traveller has no path; he makes his path as he goes)…Over the years the lives and work of many individuals have fashioned a path for the organization in The Americas [sic.]. They too might join today in pointing with pride to the many signposts which have marked the progress of a journey not concluded” (Grant 1986:3).

Indicating the axiomatic processual nature of aid work – that it is a route that will never end, that we are travellers, the metaphor of mobility as central to the aid project.[8]

2. Driving into the heart of darkness (1950-1970) – Aid as exploration

Land Rovers penetration of the African aid market was not accidental – as early as 1951 the company was interested in widening its overseas market, but was unsure as to this market’s potential (Slavin, et al. 1989:260). Initial awareness raising for the brand seems to have had a lot to do with specific individuals. For example – a Colonel Leblanc, a “colourful” French-Canadian adventurer who as early as 1951 took on a job as a “sort of travelling salesman” for the company, “demonstrating his Land-Rovers wherever he went” (Slavin, et al. 1989:260). The availability of Land Rovers had taken African adventure tourism to another level, opening up new markets of leisure tourists and new, previously inaccessible geographies.  Again, speaking of Colonel Leblanc, Roger McCahey, retired Manager of UK Government and Military Sales for Rover at Solihull tells us, “’He organized countless expeditions with Land-Rovers another African trip we did together was in 1958-9 from Cairo to Addis Ababa and back again, through Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (the Nubian Desert in those days) taking eight weeks or so. By this time he knew that part of African like the palm of his hand…” (Slavin, et al. 1989:261).[9] Another famous adventurer was Barbara Toy – an Australian woman who toured to world in her Land Rover called Polyanna and wrote a now series of infamous travelogues about her adventures (Toy 1956, 1955a, 1955b, 1957). She too became a travelling salesperson for the company.  It was during this period that Land Rover initiated its official relationship with the Red Cross when, in 1954 they “donated a long-wheelbase Series 1 to act as dispensary in the UAE.”[10]

Through the 1950s and 60s the number of these firms grew.  Julie and Ken Slavin worked for one of these – Militreck expeditions ltd that navigated the trans-Saharan way using up to 40 Land Rovers.[11]  In the late 1960s they broke off and formed Quest Four where they were approached by Land Rover to tailor make vehicles for long expeditions.  Part of the success of Land Rover in terms of African penetration came out of the option for clients to import kits at a much lower tariff and assemble them in country.[12]  Because of this – it is very difficult to know exactly how many there are.

Another market for the vehicles during this time were the colonial administrators. Interviews with the son of an ex-colonial administrator in Kenya indicated that the colonial police force were the primary users of Land Rovers (and other 4x4s). Upon their withdrawal in 1973 the vehicles were turned over to the Kenyans. Originally designed as an agricultural vehicle, the Land Rover also proved very popular with white colonial settlers in Kenya who by 1950 numbered approximately 80, 000[13] and, during the so-called Mau Mau Uprising of 1952-1960, were a vehicle of choice for finding and killing insurgents (Edgerton 1989:152).

From the 1950s-70s there was also the emergence of traveling cinema-mobiles that would travel throughout the country broadcasting documentary films on hygiene, sanitation and nutrition (Green-Simms 2009).  In addition to government sales – both colonially administered and newly independent nations, mining companies such as Shell were also major buyers.[14] The rapid expansion in the African market can be seen by comparing statistics on number of overseas plants. Between 1961 and 1971 they expanded from 3 plants to 13 (Taylor 2007).

3. Car Aid (1980s)

I am still in the process of documenting the use of Land Rover by aid and development agencies in the post-colonial/Cold war period.  As NGOs were not significant international actors until the 1980s (need some stats), it is likely that their use of Land Rovers was not highly significant until then. The emergence of the iconic white SUV as we know it today seems to have been a bi-product of the Red Crosse’s use of white vehicles for their field ambulances combined with the use of 4x4s for development projects. For example, the image an image of a field ambulance from 1940 clearly shows that it was not white, but this ‘kit car’ from the ICRC mission to Nigeria during the Biafran war in 1960 shows the white vehicle with the Red Cross and we found evidence of the white jeeps being used as the official UN vehicles in the first UN mission in Africa – UNOC (1960-64). More work needs to be done in looking at how these decisions were made within the UN – both peacekeeping and the UNHCR and UNICEF, as well as individual organizations such as the ICRC, Care, Oxfam and so on.[15]

It does seem clear that by the mid 1980s, the focus on mobility, and specifically mobility using SUVs was an integral and established part of the aid modality.  For example, Land Rover was intimately involved with the Band Aid project, and their Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) department prepared a

“very special Land Rover for Band Aid – a mobile workshop kitted out with enough equipment to be the envy of a small garage. Based on the Land Rover 127-inch with box body built by SVO, it was airlifted to North Africa to help keep Band Aid’s food truck convoys moving. This box body proved an instant success: the first went to the Ministry of Defence, quickly followed by another to the BBC as a mobile workshop. As word got round, demand for the 4×4 ‘box on wheels’ grew…” (Slavin, et al. 1989:181).

Land Rovers and Land Cruisers were also repeatedly explicitly named as expenditures for Live Aid implementing agencies.  As explicit breakdown was not provided across the board, but even just this cursory glance indicates that the vehicles were being identified by brand name; were considered central to the emergency relief response and that Land Rover has competition. This last observation is consistent with Land Rover’s own analysis. According to their records, until the early 1980s, as a company they were the major supplier of the African aid market, but by the early 1980s they has lost their pole position to other competitors most notably, Toyota Land Cruisers dropping from 80% of the aid market in the 1970s to just over 5% by the late 1990s (Wernle 2000). This was disastrous for the company was, as late as 1989 sold over 70% of all sales overseas (Slavin, et al. 1989:16). The reasons for this are numerous including declining product satisfaction, improved distribution networks on the part of Toyota, and perhaps the recognition of the potential of the aid market.

The worldwide focus on famine relief that resulted from the media focus on Ethiopia, and later Sudan, also entrenched mobility as a central part of the aid enterprise. A much lauded part of the Band/Live Aid response was the Band Aid Trust Shipping Operation which undertook 33 voyages between 1985 and 86 and carried 5, 437, 201 USD worth of food, medical supplies, shelter materials and vehicles to Ethiopia.[16] Of the total short term relief 29,470,654 – 18,735,647 or 63% was spent on transport costs or vehicles.  This was similarly the case with Operation Lifeline Sudan (1989-91), “a massive relief operation to deliver food into Southern Sudan by land, river and aid from across the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.”[17]

Now obviously, a big part of aid is about bringing basic relief supplies to those who have nothing and doing it in the short term – but in addition to the numerous critiques of the efficacy of this type of aid in the first place (De Waal 1997; Duffield 2001; Edkins 2000; Keen 1994), this approach to humanitarianism has had at least two impacts. First, it has amplified and normalized the trend which sees movement, mobility and the passing through of space and an integral and largely unquestioned part of aid work. Secondly, through the development of the ‘relief-to-development’ spectrum, these practices broadly, and the widespread use of usually white Land Rovers/Cruisers in particular are used in places and on projects where it isn’t necessary or justified.  By the end of the 1980s, a ‘regular’ development project inevitably included one or two Land Cruisers/Rovers for the project manager, even for peri-urban or urban projects where a 4X4 was not necessary. Unlike the Groundnuts project, these vehicles increasingly were assigned local drivers – the international aid and development workers, sitting in the backseat, often quite unaware of where they were going or the direction they were going to get there. As technology advanced, the new generation Land Rovers incorporated more ‘luxury’ aspects such as air conditioning, tinted windows, and stereo equipment.  Combined with general improvements in road conditions across the African continent, this meant that the contact of aid workers with their immediate environments was minimized.

The exponential increased in the estimated number of aid workers in Africa (numbers from Stoddard, Fast) has gone hand in hand with an increase in white Land Rovers.  Throughout the 1990s they became standard equipment for everyone from small scale NGOs to UN peacekeeping operations.  Generally, white with the corporation’s logo on the side, a global distribution network grew up to become middle men between the aid agencies and car companies (Kjaer, Conaco).  Recognizing the money that was to be made, in the mid 2000s these distributors began to actively target the aid market.  For example, in 2005, Kjaer, one of the major distributors “made the decision to focus on…developing and professionalizing auto-dealerships in developing countries, and supporting humanitarian agencies” (Stapelton et al. 2009:n.p.). They became explicitly proactive as they felt that “[i]n this aggressive market they could no longer wait for the phone to ring” (Stapelton, et al. 2009:n.p.). Similarly, car manufacturers, in the advent of the media aid frenzies of the 1990s recognized not only the gains to be made from sales the organizations but the knock on effects of being able to use their involvement in aid work as a marketing tool. The companies have been quick to advertise their good deeds in Africa to potential consumers ‘back home’. For example, their website advertises their collaboration with the ICRC, ‘Reaching Vulnerable People Around the World’ in part, through the use of Land Rovers.[18]   But the potential reverberations in domestic minds is more than purely philanthropic. David Campbell has written about the deeply emotional way in which SUVs were marketing in the 1980s and 90s to American suburbanites craving adventure and distant danger (Campbell 2005).  According to Wolfgang Reitzle, chairman of Premier Automotive Group, owner of the Land Rover mark,

‘ìThe aid-agency market is only about 40,000 to 70,000 vehicles a year, but its importance goes far beyond mere numbersÖIf you look at Formula One racing, the aid market has similar benefits for manufacturers,” Slavin said. “In the present crisis we’re having with the environment and global warming, the motor industry takes a hammering. When you have disasters, you need 4x4s. There’s nothing better for a 4×4 vehicle than to be seen with an emblem that says United Nations or Oxfam or the World Wildlife Federation. That’s worth a lot of money to any manufacturer.”’ (Wernle 2000)

By stepping up into her Land Rover, a suburban housewife in Des Moines can step into dreams of escaping to a life of adventure and doing good.  But it is worth bearing in mind the impact that these media images have had on the aid workers who themselves are climbing into their Land Rovers, expecting adventure, danger, the unknown.  Since the early 2000s, however, aid work has been becoming significantly more adventurous. According to Stoddard and Harmer, as of 2009, violent incident involving aid workers were up by xx% and the majority of these involved a vehicle (Stoddard et al. 2009).  In the majority of cases, the aid worker was left unharmed, but the vehicle taken (Fast 2010).  In Darfur, in 2009, car jackings became so widespread that the UN Mission in Darfur issued withdrawal of all Toyota Land Cruisers (Buffalo) as they “are most exposed to attack” (UNAMID 2009).  This led to staff either using local, unmarked taxis or mini-busses, or more commonly, resorted to moving between the monstrous UN supercamps in UN helicopters – further distancing themselves from their surroundings.  It has also led, since the late 1980s to an increased demand for armoured Land Rovers worldwide (Taylor 2007:216).What is interesting about this problem, from our perspective today, is not that marauders are preying on UN assets – this has been the case as long as there have been UN missions to prey upon[19] – but that from a programmatic perspective, the vehicles themselves are seen as little more than incidental to the more generalized hostilities against aid workers not only in Darfur, but, on a global level.  This epistemological separation between the material or ‘hard’ and the programmatic or ‘soft’ sides of aid and development is only beginning to be identified as an area that needs attention.

Since 2003 an organization called ‘Fleet Forum’ begun to bring together the logistics managers from over 40 aid organizations including WFP, ICRC, World Vision international and many others.[20]  Together they operate a combined humanitarian fleet of 80,000 vehicles with an estimated operating cost of USD 800 million, the second highest overhead cost.  They aim to be a neutral interface between private sector resources and humanitarian transport and include a wide range of private sector partners including TNT (who fund the secretariat), Land Rover, the Overseas Lease Group and Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings Limited. Their stated aims are efficient and effective humanitarian aid, increased road safety and security, and improved environmental impact including improved disposal.  (A common problem is what to do with the vehicles as the end of a project).  Although they were formed to re-dress the marginalization of fleet management within the overall development project, they have not gone any way to repositioning the lens of aid to include transport, which remains, for all intents, invisible.  One impact of Fleet Forum may actually be a deepening of the humanitarian assemblage. As Graham points out in his recent work – infrastructure only becomes visible when it breaks down. Similarly, it could be argued that the beneficiary only becomes visible when the transport fails.  Our previous informant recounts with joy the occasions on which her Land Rover got a flat in the bush, and they had to camp for several days while the ‘messenger’ biked back to the nearest town to fetch a spare.  Likewise, Mr. Jackson and his pregnant wife forced to walk back to Urumbo, bitten by mosquitos and threatened by wildlife, were able to relate to the experiences, challenges and fears of the people they were meant to be helping. Rather, that bring us closer to understanding the situation and concerns of potential beneficiaries, improvements to the humanitarian fleet may only increase the inability of the aid community to understand.[21]

Interim Conclusion: Car-jacking the theory

The danger of course, of looking at the history of aid work primarily from the perspective of aid workers is that it “run[s] the risk of re-inscribing the world according to experts rather than recovering the world as lived by people” (Trentmann 2009:302); or, as a participant at a recent conference quipped: “writing a history of white people, for white people, by white people”.  I recognize this as a problem, and am pursuing research into understanding rather than merely speculative how these vehicles were received.  Part of the difficulty is obviously methodological – both in terms of positionality and with regards to records which are more readily available and accessible in the metropole – in this case the UK.  Post-colonial theorists would warn that the narrative of aid and the SUV needs to be understood not only as a homogenous narrative about the imposition of modernity, but also as interactive and ‘multiple’ – taken up in different ways, spun back, hybridized and thrown back again.

Accepting the nuance, a central suspicion of this line of inquiry is that recent car-based violence needs to be read against a deeply unequal narrative of car use and interaction across many parts of ex-colonial Africa.  For example, compared to Western Europe and North America that have 500 -700 vehicles per 1 000 people, most Sub-Saharan African countries have between 20 and 60 vehicles per 1000 people (Aeron-Thomas et al. 2002; Green-Simms 2009). Partly because of this, Green-Simms argues that it cannot be considered to have the same uniform associations of power, autonomy, speed etc. but is much more “disjointed and multiply determined” (Green-Simms 2009:4).  And yet, it is worth investigating the degree to which identifiable narratives have emerged.  For example, amongst those communities who are most in contact with aid workers, anecdotal evidence suggests a perceived visual hypocrisy of the use of these vehicles has not been incidental to a deterioration of relations between aid workers and intended beneficiary populations; their connection with previous modes of interaction (colonialism, elite oppression) and their wasteful use of the very resources which had created grievance in numerous African countries:  tires, oil.   Green-Simms further suggests that fantasies of development or material success co-exist with what she calls “occult anxiety” – “anxiety produced when sources of wealth are obscured and associated with magic and witchcraft” (Green-Simms 2009:30). While Green-Simms is speaking only of West Africa, the lack of material basis for aid wealth is worth considering from the perspective of host nations – who see bases, cars, camps spring up from no-where preaching the doctrine of self-improvement through economic development, but obscuring the mechanisms through which this occurs.

Looking at the history of Land Rover and aid workers, with attention to the three themes – car as personal space; car as instrument of movement; and car as integrated network – highlights the trend of separation, and estrangement in aid and development rather than rapprochement. This may be explained by the emergence of two narratives about aid as understood through the object of the SUV. The first story is the one about development as modernization. As car use and ownership as an example of what can happen when you work hard, invest in innovation, pursue market economies, autonomy, and so on.  This is the story as told within the aid industry and it’s a story that has been exacerbated by technological advancements.  As SUVs have becoming more advanced, larger, more enclosed, so too have aid workers become more distant, and less in contact with the people and places they have come to assist. As Northern car manufacturers have relied on exoticised tropes to sell their product to home markets, some aid workers are steeped in a orientalist binary long before ever entering the profession.  With nothing outside their mobile bubbles to challenge them, these categories have become exacerbated rather than challenged.

The second narrative is that of SUV as symbol of the failure and hypocrisy of development.  Disconnected from the systems of production that created them, local populations may understand these large cars as representative of the unequal development dynamic that has played the African continent since colonialism. As the car has not been obtained through any observable dynamic of progress – but simply appeared, its material presence is a contradiction to the idea of linear, processual development.  It’s very existence undermines the  idea of global development solidarity – a amalgam of colonial and neo-colonial processes of domination – of rubber, oil, aluminium, Fordism, Taylorism, exhaust. Not only does the car appear from no-where, a feature of an elite and rarified landscape, but the repetitive, and non progressive nature of lived-aid work – where new experts continually cycle through on short term projects – undermines the aid and development rhetoric.  As a passenger/vehicle hybrid, the car itself is seen to symbolise and possibly confer power – historically the domain of colonial interests, local elites, and aid workers – it has become sought after as an object to obtain and wield. The rise in car-jackings and modifications of SUVs needs to be considered as an act by groups who feel they have too long,  been excluded from these processes.  Begging through mirrored windows, while, the drivers stare straight ahead.

But what the analysis of this paper tell us about the possibility of a third approach, one that doesn’t focus on either inside or outside, but on recognizing that humanitarianism is inseparable from its “knowledges, discourses, domains of objects, etc” (Foucault and Gordon 1980:117) ….where the SUV becomes the driver of development.


Aeron-Thomas, A,   A. J. Downing,   GD Jacobs,   JP  Fletcher,   T Selby, and DT Silcock. (2002) Review of Road Safety Management Practice Final Report, translated by Translator.

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Bonneuil, Christophe. (2000) Development as Experiment: Science and State Building in Late Colonial and Postcolonial Africa, 1930-1970. Osiris 15: 258-81.

Bull, M. (2004) Automobility and the Power of Sound. Theory Culture and Society 21: 243-60.

Campbell, David. (2005) The Biopolitics of Security:  Oil, Empire, and the Sports Utility Vehicle. American Quarterly 57: 943-72.

Crary, Jonathan. (1990) Techniques of the Observer : On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century. 2nd ed. Cambridge, Mass. ; London: MIT Press.

Dant, T. (2004) The Driver-Car. Theory Culture and Society 21: 61-79.

De Waal, Alexander. (1997) Famine Crimes : Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa. Oxford: James Currey.

Duffield, Mark R. (2001) Global Governance and the New Wars: The Merging of Development and Security. London: Zed Books.

East African Groundnuts Scheme. (1949) In House of Commons. London: Hansard.

Edgerton, Robert B. (1989) Mau Mau : An African Crucible. New York: Free Press ; London : Collier Macmillan.

Edkins, Jenny. (2000) Whose Hunger?: Concepts of Famine, Practices of Aid. Borderlines London: University of Minnesota Press.

Escobar, Arturo. (1994) Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office. (2004) Generic Security Guide, translated by Translator. Brussels.

Fast, Larissa A. (2010) Mind the Gap: Documenting and Explaining Violence against Aid Workers. European Journal of International Relations 16: 365-89.

Featherstone, Mike,   N. J. Thrift, and John Urry. (2005) Automobilities. London: Sage.

Flink, James J. (1988) The Automobile Age. Cambridge, Mass. ; London: MIT Press.

Foucault, Michel, and Colin Gordon. (1980) Power/Knowledge : Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972/1977. Brighton: Harvester Press.

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Stoddard, Abby,   Adele Harmer, and Katherine Haver. (2009) Providing Aid in Insecure Environments: 2009 Update, translated by Translator. Humanitarian Policy Group.

Taylor, James Oct. (2007) Land Rover : 60 Years of the 4×4 Workhorse. Ramsbury: Crowood Press.

Toy, Barbara. (1956) A Fool in the Desert. Journeys in Libya. [with Plates, Including a Portrait.]. pp. xii. 180. John Murray: London.

———. (1955a) A Fool on Wheels : Tangier to Baghdad by Land-Rover. J.Murray.

———. (1955b) A Fool on Wheels. Tangier to Baghdad by Land-Rover. [with Plates.]. pp. 255. John Murray: London.

———. (1957) A Fool Strikes Oil. Across Saudi Arabia. [with Plates, Including Portraits.]. pp. xii. 207. John Murray: London.

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, UNAMID. 2009. Information Circular No.2009/042. UNAMID.

Urry, John. (2007) Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity.

Wernle, Bradford. (2000) Land Rover Eyes Aid Market. In Automotive News.

[2] Important to note that in the 1950-70s aid work and scientific research were often interlinked – considered to be part of the same modernizing project.

[3] Interview, December 2, 2010.

[4] Also, see the Queesland development scheme

[5] Interview, November 27, 2010.

[6] Interview, December 2, 2010

[7] the work of Dant on the driver-car Dant, T. (2004) The Driver-Car. Theory Culture and Society 21: 61-79..  He says…xxxx [need to look at Oct 2004 issue of Theory, Culture and Society – automobility issue

[8] ..could also say development as modernity, as technological progress…as running (driving over) anything in its path

[9] – there was also a well established overland expedition tradition (Oxford-Cambridge race)

[11] Interview

[12] These were called Completely Knocked Down (CKDs) Taylor, James Oct. (2007) Land Rover : 60 Years of the 4×4 Workhorse. Ramsbury: Crowood Press..

[13] Wikipedia.

[14] Interview, December 2, 2010

[15] Work also needs to be done looking at the use of LRs under the late colonial regimes such as the Belgians in the Congo.  More work needs to be on the evolution of the role of motorized transport in aid and development and possibly done separately.

[16] “With Love From Band Aid” report from

[19] See UN SC council resolution xxxx re: situation in Congo 1961.

[20] Accessed December 20, 2010.

[21] It might be worth mentioning, also, that typically, the major problem is not the vehicles themselves – or even procurement, but logistics, transport and political border regimes. A political rather than a strictly material problem.

Apres le Deluge, Nous

“Apres le Deluge, Nous: The Spatial Turn in Post-Disaster Reconstruction,” unpublished paper, 2007


Within modern, Western society, the reconstruction site is an evocative, and recurrent theme. Large scale international intervention transforms the physical landscape of areas affected both through the intended physical changes of the reconstructive process and through the spatial rearrangements that permit the delivery of aid. These physical transformations receive little attention.  What do post-disaster reconstruction sites reveal about relations between the global north and south?  With reference to the built environment and its representations, I argue that the physical production, reproduction and use of space[1] and place in these reconstruction zones, is central to the construction and maintenance of a broader neo-colonial discourse. It is in these spaces that we see the (re)construction of new – and not so new built forms of neo-colonialism. 


The idea of a ‘pure’ or natural disaster is a pervasive one.  The occurrence of an ‘Act of God’ appears to be the one instance where international intervention is beyond criticism:  the blamelessness of the victims, translates into an ethical imperative for action on the part of the ‘international community’ – or on the part of those that have the wherewithal  – to alleviate the resultant suffering.  (Edkins 2000) While it is possible to point to many instances of critique of political interventions[2] and many others who critique the efficacy or appropriateness of certain modes of disaster relief, there are few authors who problematized the basic premise:  the responsibility of the ‘international community to provide assistance to those affected by a natural disaster’.[3] And yet authors such as Neil Smith (2006), Mike Davis (2000), and many others.[4] stress that while natural hazards exist, the severity of their impact on human settlement (whether or not they are a disaster), is determined by human decisions:  where and how to build, access to preventive measures; the existence and knowledge of escape routes. Further complicating the matter has been the introduction, in development circles, of the term ‘complex humanitarian emergency’[5] which refers to a crisis situation with causes that are both political (man-made) and natural,[6] and, in practice, most disasters include both elements.  Disaster practitioners often stress that a disaster is the interface between a hazard (flood, earthquake, hurricane) and an existing vulnerable condition (badly constructed homes, high levels of poverty).[7] (Davis 1978)

Such nuances fail to stop the idea of a ‘pure’ natural disaster from being held up as an ethical rationale for intervention.  These interventions are not confined to  ‘disaster relief’ but slide all too easily into more pervasive forms of intervention in the target society, forms of intervention that become political and engage in political contest and transformation.  The slippage is not only between ‘hard’ and  ‘soft’ reforms within a target society – i.e. that technical superiority in the area of bridge building implies commensurate progress in such (socially constructed) categories as ‘civil society capacity building’ – but also across geographies. Within development practice, the rhetoric that is used to respond to natural disasters is also used to justify interventions in overtly political struggles elsewhere. It is not uncommon, within official rhetoric or policy documents to group references to the post-Tsunami reconstruction of South East Asia along with the conflict in Darfur.[8] This logical slippage has also had an impact on post-crisis response strategies with the reconstruction strategies and actors being used for post-conflict reconstructive strategies underpinning the approach used after large scale ‘natural’ disasters.

The introduction of a spatial lens not only allows us to view contemporary post-crisis interventions as part of a historical continuum – facilitating the identification of  similarities and disjunctures with the past – but it also reveals unintended, and unobserved dynamics in contemporary interventions. It allows us to see a whole zone of transformation and politics that operates under cover of the ethical injunction to assist those suffering from so called ‘acts of god’.

This chapter proposes a retracing of the history of post-disaster interventions from a spatial perspective allowing us to problematized and re-examine some of the basic premises of humanitarian disaster response. An examination of particular built forms of the international community  illuminates a spatial genealogy of humanitarian intervention that is usually obscured by abstract discussions over the ethics and modalities of international intervention.



The process of reconstruction is fundamentally about the construction and reorganization of space, however, very little analysis is undertaken of these sites from a spatially oriented perspective. While the ‘spatial turn’ in the social sciences led many disciplines to problematize questions of space and geography, it did not have a significant impact on development or humanitarian studies, nor, by extension on post-crisis reconstruction.[9] As geography, urban planning, and other social sciences engaged with more structural questions through the application of the spatial turn, development studies moved away from structural, or even regional questions and increasingly focused on the level of the individual and its aggregate – society.

This overlooks the way in which post-disaster reconstruction evolved.  From its modern post-WW2 inception, international humanitarian assistance was conceived in spatial terms. (Slater 1997) The categories and binaries by which it defined itself as an activity were fundamentally geographic – 1st, 2nd and 3rd worlds; developed and underdeveloped countries; the global north/global south.  In particular, Fred Cuny attributes the rise of disaster response as an industry within the global north, to the rapid, post-1945 decolonization process which left the former colonies without either the human or financial capacity to respond.  The ‘apolitical’ international system of NGOs and multilateral agencies was seen as preferable to the reassertion of control by former colonial powers. (Cuny 1983)

The high demand of the former colonies – the ‘third world’ – for support in disaster response is also arguably spatial in nature.  It is demonstrable that certain parts of the world, do experience a higher frequency of hazard events[10] – events such as hurricanes, flash floods, volcanoes – and therefore have a higher risk, ceterus paribus, of  experiencing a disaster. According to Ian Davis, “the study of disasters is almost by definition a study of poverty within the developing world, since this is where most of the disasters take place.” (Davis 1978:  11-12) This highlights the explicitly geographic nature of both natural disasters, and subsequent reconstruction sites: concentrated in countries of the Global South. However, those countries that have hitherto experienced a higher number of hazardous events have also been those countries that have the least amount of financial wherewithal to invest in disaster prevention or mitigation – either individually, socially or nationally meaning that they experience an disproportionately increased risk of disaster, as compared to developed (OECD) countries. Even within the Global North, the spatial nature of disasters holds – with those groups which are structurally impoverished, or underprivileged, experiencing a higher vulnerability to disasters, e.g. Hurricane Katrina (Cutter 2006).

According to Craig Calhoun, the idea of an Emergency Imaginary is an important part the Western Social Imaginary (Calhoun 2004, Taylor 2005).  “This notion of ‘emergency’ is produced and reproduced in social imagination, at a level that Charles Taylor (2002) has described as between explicit doctrine and the embodied knowledge of habitus” (Calhoun 2004: 7).  Calhoun goes on to say that the “production of emergencies, and the need to address them, has become one of the rationales for assertion of global power.” (Calhoun 2004: 9).  This thesis is further explored by Naomi Klein, in her new book on what she terms ‘disaster capitalism’, where she claims that the global neo-liberal order is perpetuated through the windows of opportunity presented or created by large scale disasters. (Klein 2007)  An important part of the discourse is the perceived unusual nature of the Emergency:  “’[e]mergency’ is a way of grasping problematic events, a way of imagining them that emphasizes their apparent unpredictability, abnormality, and brevity, and that carries the corollary that response – intervention – is necessary.[11]  The international emergency, it is implied, both can and should be managed.” (Calhoon 2004: 6)

This view is supported by Bankoff (2001) who traces the evolution of disaster response from the 1960s focus on tropical disease and its potential cures to more contemporary versions of risk management, focused on individual and civic responsibility for both mitigation and response.  This moves the frame of reference away from previous structural and causal interpretations of disaster –  that they were primarily a result of underdevelopment and poverty, or are the result of climate change – towards individual causation and response.[12]  By bringing space back in, we begin to see that an important part of this emergency imaginary is the ability to locate the emergency, the event, in a particular geography or spatial imagination.  The ‘assertion of global power’ that Calhoon points to must be asserted over someone or something – it must be asserted from some position of (perceived) security, and over another place of (perceived) insecurity.  The ‘common practices’ that underpins Charles Taylor’s  understanding of a particular social imaginary happen somewhere – they are locatable, they are grounded.  And if, as suggested by Calhoon (2004) and Klein (2007), the importance of the event is that it provides a rationale for intervention, or response, the reconstruction site becomes an integral, albeit under-theorized, part of the Emergency Imaginary.






The term ‘reconstruction sites’ refers to geographic locations that have or are being physically reconstructed, with external assistance, after experiencing a crisis that overwhelms the ability of the affected society to respond.  ‘External Assistance’ refers to the provision of physical and/or financial resources by individuals and agencies that normally reside outside the geographic boundaries of the reconstruction site and have been brought there specifically by the event of the disaster.  In the contemporary reconstruction site, changes to the physical environment are of two sorts: first, the physical structures that put are in place to assist the victims of the disaster – houses, schools, hospitals, roads and infrastructure; and second, those changes which occur as a result of the influx of ‘external’ actors – refurbished or new hotels, offices, neighbourhoods, security, and transportation infrastructure.  The lens of analysis is rarely, if ever, focused on the latter.  While there is widespread acknowledgement amongst development practitioners and theorists alike, that the rapid influx of hundreds, or thousands of foreign workers has feedback effects, they are dramatically underexamined. This is characteristic of a general lack of understanding as to how the physical/material impacts on the social, and outside of a few specialized disciplines such as architecture and urban planning, there is also a general lack of interest.[13]

But the humanitarian imaginary – a correlate to Calhoun’s Emergency Imaginary – and a concept which draws upon contemporary development theorists ideas of a “New Moral Concensus” (Hoogvelt 2006) or “New Humanitarianism” (Fox) ultimately relies upon global (international) geographic categories and understandings for legitimacy and reproduction (Bankoff 2001).[14] If, as Calhoon says, a social imaginary is based upon the ‘embodied knowledge of habitus’, perhaps we should turn our lens towards the material practices of those individuals and groups who intervene in the reconstruction zone.  As mentioned in the previous section, the object of the reconstruction is only half of the picture with as many material changes occurring as a result of the large influx of internationals.  The material practices – the strategies and techniques (de Certeau 1988); or habitus (Bacherlard 1994) – of these groups will not only inform the immediate and long term direction of the reconstruction project, but may, contribute to the larger social imaginary – both in terms of how the West sees themselves, and how the West is viewed by others, as mediated by their spatial forms, the built environment.[15]   It is within reconstruction sites and other humanitarian spaces that particular key relations are crystallized, produced and reproduced in reconstruction sites.  In particular, they are embodied within particular built forms such as the international compound.

Authors such as de Chaine (2002), Ek (2006) and Edkins (2000) have pointed to the physical, bounded structure of the international compound  (or ‘camp’) as having unique and underexamined properties.[16] While the camp, or compound, is by no means the only type of physical experience of the international community in a reconstruction zone, it is an evocative one – a place that often becomes the focus of ‘ex-pat’ meetings and leisure activity, whether or not it is truly representative of the international sentiment at large.  Descriptions of the US Green Zone in Iraq, increasingly points to the implications of conducting a ‘reconstruction’ from within a walled compound.[17] A initial examination of the impact reveals at least two types.  First, the practices, and modes of thinking that occur within such a microcosm of international activity will influence the way that individuals relate to one another, what types of interventions are chosen, and how they are designed and implemented.  Second, the impression that such structures, and spatial arrangements have on the individuals that they are intended to assist. The tropes of the white SUV land rover, the ex-pat hotel, the WFP transport planes have become clichés, but what impact does the persistence of these clichés have on external impressions of humanitarian intervention.



The built form of the international humanitarian compound is a powerful and pervasive part of the humanitarian imaginary.[18] Within the sphere of international politics, it is also taken for granted; (un)seen as the inert and neutral physical hardware that supports the soft goals of humanitarian assistance.[19]

Despite the continual use of ‘compound’ as a descriptive term in both popular and official international discourse, there has been no consistent study of the compound as a built form.  While there is an assumed understanding amongst the international community of what is meant by the term, it remains largely undertheorized – both from a material and rhetorical perspective.[20] And yet its political and symbolic nature is clearly demonstrated in the ongoing targeting of compounds globally, considered by its attackers as the central embodiment of the international community in the developing world.[21] For countries that are recipients of humanitarian assistance, the compound is one of the most obvious signs of international presence. For the international workers it will be their primary experience with the country – the place where they work and/or live, and/or socialize.

The form of the compound is often held in parallel with other seemingly similar types of buildings.  In particular, comparisons are often made with three major typologies of enclave communities:  the fortress, the camp and the gated community.


Form and function of the humanitarian compound

Within general architectural terminology, a compound refers to a set of buildings, dedicated to a common purpose, surrounded by a wall or fence. In the context of international humanitarianism, a compound can be described as a walled enclosure containing an assortment of offices, storage, living, medical and possibly leisure facilities. Depending on the size, it will also include vehicles for transport of staff and materials. It is highly securitized and may have an extra buffer zone or checkpoint.  There may be watchtowers on the walls where guards can be located.  It may have other oversight mechanisms such as security cameras, or barbed wire on top of the walls.[22]  The form will vary in terms of scale and level of securitization, and these variables are determined in part by their function which are threefold: logistic, diplomatic and staff support.[23] The level of required security will determine the degree of physical fortification as well as the degree of mobility and concentration of international spheres of activity.[24]

Security restrictions on a particular compound will be closely tied to the global political concerns of the agency, and may not be directly correlated to the material circumstance of a particular location.  For example, in the case of the US, the iterative security upgrades since the 1983 bombing of their Beirut Embassy have meant, that a series of baseline requirements have been imposed on all embassies, globally, regardless of their particular security situation.[25] What this has meant for many USAID offices – the overseas development arm of the US government – is that they too, by extension, became highly securitized – in some cases, literally barricaded from the populations they are supposed to be assisting.

Similarly, within the United Nations System, there is an institutional trend towards ‘integrated missions’ where UN Peacekeeping missions are physically housed with other UN agencies such as UNICEF and UNDP.  While this makes sense from the perspective of institutional efficiency consideration needs to be given to the potential effects of housing development and humanitarian projects in the same physical space with quasi-military operations.

The increased use of private contractors is also deserving of some attention. They are often contracted to implement programmes in security related areas:  requiring a higher level of securitization, and attracting a certain profile of employee – often ex-military. As they are not directly operating under multilateral mandate, the diplomatic function of their compounds are reduced, replaced instead with a focus on efficiency and limited liability.  While they have been publicly chastised over their activities in Iraq, further investigation is required with regard to a potential lack of visual accountability in humanitarian zones.  To what degree do particular visual tropes evoke colonial legacies?  The form of the compound evokes certain spatial and visual metaphors, and intuitively resonates with other well documented typologies.  In particular it parallels those built forms which segregate one community from another.

i) The Fortress

In popular discourse, the term ‘fortress’ is often used to refer to humanitarian compounds but how the applicable is the analogy?[26]  As an architectural type, the fortress is a near universal form.  At its most basic, it is an enclosed, defensible space which protects one group of people from another.[27] It has the  practical use of defending those on the inside from attacks on the outside.  In a climate where aid workers have become political targets, the built environment of internationals is becoming increasingly securitized – the fortress metaphor apparently more applicable.

In their work on the nation, Jones and Fowler look at the importance of local spaces in the reproduction of larger, geographic categories, such as the nation. They argue that this (re)production is done in several ways including that ‘localised places’ are used as “‘metonyms’ of the nation” and come to represent, “in a generic and abstract sense” “national messages, symbols, and ideologies.” (Jones and Fowler 2007:  336)  Citing Jackson and Penrose (1994) they “stress the potential for localized places to be key sites for generating ideas and sentiments that can ultimately reproduce the nation.” (Jones and Fowler 2007:  336).  In the case of the international humanitarian compound, what impact does the locale of the compound have on larger conceptions of the international?

For example, the visual metaphor of the fortress also has a symbolic value, representing in physical form the power of their occupants and owners over their surroundings.  It symbolizes the  rights and legitimacy of its occupants to be present in that place. In the case of international humanitarian assistance, the physical presence of the international community is intended to symbolize the precise opposite:  an international responsibility and accountability to local populations premised on a fundamental equality of human subjects.

In the current humanitarian reading, the physical manifestation of an intervention is considered to be largely neutral.  Some attention is paid to the need to aspects such as equal access to facilities, the spatial layouts of refugee camps, and the geographic distribution of projects and interventions, but considerations such as the symbolic value or physical characteristics of a particular building are considered to be either aesthetic or irrelevant.

Now consider, esteemed political scientists, Peter Katzenstein’s  recent work on the apparent rise of Anti-Americanisms in world politics.  He identified one potential causes of anti-americanism as a cognitive dissonance between what the U.S. says it stands for (equality, freedom) and the way it behaves in the sphere of international politics (ignorance of international law, manipulation of international agreements). (Katzenstein 2007) Applying these finding to the realm of humanitarianism, could there then be a relation between the particular, spatial practices of the international community in the field and the perceived increase in mistrust in multilateral mechanisms?[28]

Is the legitimacy of the international compound, not only derived from what it symbolizes, but what it exemplifies with regard to particular, exceptional practices?  (Hirst 2001, p. 191) Beyond its stated objective, such a form could be a constant reminder to the citizenry of the occupant’s elevated position, and their self-invoked right and potential capacity to see and know all. (Foucault 1995) Such forms could potentially evoke colonial legacies, or have an affectual impact on their host populations. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the buildings of the international community and their material extensions, such as Land Rovers and helicopters, reinforce certain stereotypes among local population including those of Western excess, exclusivity, and neo-colonialism. While these themes can only be mentioned in this passing, they serve to emphasize the need to consider the potential impact of particular, exceptional enclaves on their host communities.

ii) The Camp as a Space of Exception

Post 9-11, the idea of the form of the camp as a ‘space of exception’ has received significant attention across disciplines. Citing Giorgio Agamben (1998), particular geographic locations were cited as examples of spaces where the established juridical order can be arbitrarily suspended by the ‘sovereign.’  More recently, scholars have begun to question the applicability of Agamben to places like Guantamo, and have sought to position these experiences within longer geo-political narratives.[29]  Within the context of American and European imperialism, the existence of particular spaces that are exempt from local laws and conditions can be considered as the norm rather than the exception, replete with their own standardized rituals of enclave.

In the case of the compound, regardless of geographic location, certain norms can be identified.  Clothing is western, the language is usually that of the previous colonial power, the electricity, water and sanitation systems, communications networks are self-contained, and the workday is scheduled according to the needs and demands of headquarters – in London, New York, or Amsterdam.

Certain exceptional behaviour is also permitting within the confine.  These do not only apply only to exceptional cultural practices such as the consumption of alcohol, but also to the categorization of workers into pay scales and privilege according to their place of birth. The distinction between local and international categories of staff goes beyond pay grade. It also dictates status within the organization, and the length of time spent in a place. While such differential practices can be (and are) justified in myriad ways the anecdotal evidence suggests that they may feed an image of the international community that is based on arbitrary, discriminatory and exceptional practices.[30]

iii) Gated Communities

Since the 1960s, defensive architectural techniques have been studied in the built form of the Gated Community (hereafter GCs). Atkinson & Blandy (2005) define GCs as a “housing development that restricts public access”  through physical and symbolic measures.  , usually through the use of gates, booms, walls and fences.  These residential areas may also employ security staff or CCTV systems to monitor access.  In addition, GCs may include a variety of services such as shops or leisure facilities.” (Atkinson & Blandy 2005, p. 177)  Most importantly, it is an “attempt at self-imposed exclusion from the wider neighbourhood, as well as the exclusion of others.” (Atkinson & Blandy 2005, p.178)

The immediate difference between the gated community and the proposed type of the international compound is that the latter is established with the purpose of accomplishing a particular labour outcome, while the former, is established primarily for residential and associated purposes such as increased social cohesion and quality of life.[31] However, research on gated communities may offer insight into the way in which the built form impacts social interaction and practice.

Luymes (1997) says that  “residential enclaves in all times and places share a basic characteristic of setting themselves off from the urban matrix around them, through control of access, and the solidification of their perimeters.” (p. 198).  Work on GCs in the UK reveals startling similarities with international compounds in the ways in which their residents interact with the local community. Atkinson and Flint (2004) detail the phenomena of connected “fortified residential and work spaces” which “resembles a seam of partition running spatially and temporally through cities.”[32]  (p. 877)  Their descriptions of the practices of residents of GCs apply nearly perfectly to the work and life patterns of individuals on humanitarian interventions ‘in the field’.  Movement is restricted between office, home and target project.  Contact is often limited with the recipient, and when it exists it is within highly codified interaction – often within humanitarian or government space.

The result of such practices, is that there is very little interaction between the international community ‘in country’ and the target beneficiaries outside the codified relationships of the donor-recipient. The impact that this has on internationals has an effect much like that of Atkinson and Blandy’s description of the inhabitants of gated communities.  “The process of gating surrounds an attempt, in part, to disengage with wider urban problems and responsibilities, both fiscal and social, in order to create a ‘weightless’ experience of the urban environment with elite fractions seamlessly moving between secure residential, workplace, education and leisure destinations.” (Atkinson & Blandy, 2005, p.180)[33] And while the intentionality is different, the effect is the same – the ability to leave, to come and go at will.[34]  While discussions of alternate modes of involvement of the international community with the public policy of their host countries lies beyond the ability of this paper, they do raise a salient yet largely unasked question:  If the objective of the humanitarian assistance is to better understand, relate to, assist, capacitate the other, is  this not completely at odds with the observed spatial prescriptions of the built environments of the internationals?

Not only do the modes of interaction and built forms described radically limit the spatial interactions of internationals with their broader environment, but evidence from work on American GCs, “suggests that living ‘behind the gates’ actually promotes fear of the unknown quantities of social contact outside them.” (Low 2003; Atkinson & Blandy 2005, p. 181)

Ironically, while the compound ensures a virtual elimination of violent crime within its confines, its diplomatic space of exception may encourage other types of non-violent crime such as graft, theft and fraud in such areas as procurement and contracting – jobs traditionally done by ‘local’ employees. And while, according to one reading, the ‘mobility’ and weightlessness of the internationals confers a power it is also opens up a space for the locals to exert power from below.  With a longer time horizon of employment, local employees may have the knowledge of local personalities, relationship, and affiliations that may help direct a project or funds to the groups or agencies most in need. However, it may also mean that certain local workers are in better positions to exploit loopholes in procurement systems, obscure nepotism and act as informers to the host governments.[35]When applied to the context of international humanitarian assistance how would such perceptions influence how the ideal ‘target beneficiary’ is perceived and understood and ultimately how policy and programme are designed?


It is less clear on how the host communities regard to physical presence of international compounds.  Research by Atkinson and Flint (2004) on perceptions by residents living near or around GCs were ambivalent, and tended to reinforce pre-existing socio-economic or cultural divides rather than create new ones.  In the case of international development work, there are similar ambivalences with the international compound both offering the possibility of employment, security, increased demand for certain goods and services (including prostitutes) and also the threat to local authority and custom.

Beyond the floodgates

The classic texts of post-disaster intervention point to the military spatial heritage of humanitarian relief and reconstruction:  the tents, the conception, layout and organization of refugee and relief camps. (Kent, Cuny, Davis)  However, they do not include an examination of older continuities – those that may exist between the built forms of colonial occupation and contemporary relief efforts.  In the current processes and practices of international assistance, the lived experiences and built environment of the international community are rarely examined despite there contributions to the humanitarian imaginary.[36] They may also be an important aspect of the way in which the international community is understood and interpreted at the local level.  In this way, although many theorists have cautioned against drawing historical continuities where none exist (between development and colonialism), I suggest that these parallels may be stronger than hitherto suggested and worthy of further sustained analysis.

There is the need, within international practice, to seriously consider the impact of particular spatial practices of the international community, and to foreground decisions regarding the built environment as a key variable in humanitarian intervention. With the increasingly convergence of security and humanitarian agendas, these considerations are becoming more and more pressing, by the day.  As long as the built forms that are being used continue to invoke and reproduce colonial power relations, is it unlikely that reconstruction sites will produce their stated objective of, in the jargon of the day, sustainable, equitable, emancipated communities or individuals.  Rather these sites will continue to service a vital need of the international community – the contribution to the construction of the Humanitarian Imaginary.


AGNEW, J. A. (1997) Political geography : a reader, London, Arnold.

ARADAU, C. (2007) Law transformed: Guantanamo and the ‘other’ exception. Third World Quarterly, 28, 489-501.

ATKINSON, R. & FLINT, J. (2004) Fortress UK? Gated communities, the spatial revolt of the elites and time-space trajectories of segregation. Housing Studies, 19, 875-892.

BANKOFF, G. (2001) Rendering the World Unsafe:  ‘Vulnerability’ as Western Discourse. Disasters, 25, 19-35.

BOONE, J. (2008) Bars lose expats to safety bans. Financial Times. Online ed.

BUZAN, B., WÆVER, O. & WILDE, J. D. (1998) Security : a new framework for analysis, Boulder, Colo. ; London, Lynne Rienner.

CALHOUN, C. (2004) A World of Emergencies:  Fear, Intervention, and the Limits of Cosmopolitan Order. 35th Annual Sorokin Lecture. University of Saskatchewan, University of Saskatchewan.

CASTORIADIS, C. (1987) The Imaginary Institution of Society, Oxford, Polity in conjunction with Blackwell.

CHANDLER, D. (2002) From Kosovo to Kabul : human rights and international intervention, London, Pluto Press.

CHANDLER, D. (2006) Empire in denial : the politics of state-building, London, Pluto.

CHANDRASEKARAN, R. (2006) Imperial Life in the Emerald City, New York, Alfred A. Knopt.

COLGAN, J. (2003) Bush Talks Tough to UN. The 7:30 Report. Online ed., Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

CRESSWELL, T. (2004) Place : a short introduction, Oxford, Blackwell.

CUNY, F. C. & ABRAMS, S. (1983) Disasters and development, New York, Oxford University Press.

DAVIS, I. (1978) Shelter After Disaster, Oxford, Oxford Polytechnic Press.

DUFFIELD, M. R. (1991) War and famine in Africa, Oxford, Oxfam.

DUFFIELD, M. R. (2001) Global governance and the new wars : the merging of development and security, London ; New York, Zed Books.

EDKINS, J. (2000) Whose hunger? : concepts of famine, practices of aid, Minneapolis, Minn. ; London, University of Minnesota Press.

ELDEN, S. (2006) Spaces of humanitarian Exception. Geografiska Annaler, Series B, 88, 477-485.

FERGUSON, J. (2006) Global shadows : Africa in the neoliberal world order, Durham, N.C. ; London, Duke University Press ;.

GRAHAM, S. & MARVIN, S. (2001) Splintering urbanism : networked infrastructures, technological mobilities and the urban condition, London, Routledge.

GREGORY, D. (2004) The colonial present : Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq, Malden, MA ; Oxford, Blackwell Pub.

GREGORY, D. (2006) The black flag: Guantanamo Bay and the space of exception. Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography, 88, 405-427.

KAPLAN, A. (2005) Where Is Guantanamo? American Quarterly (American Studies Assn) (Baltimore, MD), 57, 831.

KEEN, D. (1994) The benefits of famine : a political economy of famine and relief in southwestern Sudan, 1983-1989, Princeton, N.J. ; Chichester, Princeton University Press.

LANE, B. M. (2007) Housing and dwelling : perspectives on modern domestic architecture, London, Routledge.

LEWIS, I. M. (2001) Why the Warlords Won. Times Literary Supplement.

MAMDANI, M. (2007) The Politics of Naming:  Genocide, Civil War, Insurgency. London Review of Books. London.

MERLEAU-PONTY, M. (1962) Phenomenology of perception, Routledge & K.Paul.

MORLEY, J. (2005) Tsunami Wipes Darfur Off Priority List. Washington Post. online ed. Washington.

O’KEEFE, P., KEN WESTGATE AND BEN WISNER (1976) Taking the naturalness out of natural disasters. Nature, 260.

PENZ, F. O., RADICK, G. & HOWELL, R. P. D. (2004) Space : in science, art and society, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

PUGH, M. (2005) Peacekeeping and Critical Theory IN BELLAMY, A. J. A. P. W. (Ed.) Peace Operations and Global Order. London and Oxford, Frank Cass and Routledge.

PUPUVAC, V. (2005) Human Security and the rise of global therapeutic governance Conflict, Security & Development, 5, 161-181.

REID-HENRY, S. (2007) Exceptional Sovereignty? Guantanamo Bay and the Re-Colonial Present. Antipode, 39, 627-648.

SMITH, N. (2006) There’s No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster. Social Science Research Council

STOHR, K. (Ed.) (Not Specified) Design Like You Give a Damn:  Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crisis London, Thames & Hudson

TAYLOR, C. (2002) Modern Social Imaginaries. Public Culture, 14, 91-124.

TAYLOR, C. (2005) Modern Social Imaginaries, Durham and London, Duke University Press.

UNITEDNATIONS (Not specified) Security in the Field:  Information for all staff members of the United Nations system. United Nations.

USGOVERNMENT (2006) U.S. Embassy Breaks Ground on Perimeter Security Initiative. London, Embassy of the US in London, UK.

WAAL, A. D. (2000) Democratic political process and the fight against famine, University of Sussex, Institute of Development Studies.

[1] Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Oxford:  Basil Blackwell, 1991)

[2] c.f. MAMDANI, M. (2007) The Politics of Naming:  Genocide, Civil War, Insurgency. London Review of Books. London. PUGH, M. (2005) Peacekeeping and Critical Theory IN BELLAMY, A. J. A. P. W. (Ed.) Peace Operations and Global Order. London and Oxford, Frank Cass and Routledge., CHANDLER, D. (2006) Empire in denial : the politics of state-building, London, Pluto.

[3] A notable exception here is BANKOFF, G. (2001) Rendering the World Unsafe:  ‘Vulnerability’ as Western Discourse. Disasters, 25, 19-35.

[4] For the human construction of famine, in particular, see works by KEEN, D. (1994) The benefits of famine : a political economy of famine and relief in southwestern Sudan, 1983-1989, Princeton, N.J. ; Chichester, Princeton University Press. EDKINS, J. (2000) Whose hunger? : concepts of famine, practices of aid, Minneapolis, Minn. ; London, University of Minnesota Press., WAAL, A. D. (2000) Democratic political process and the fight against famine, University of Sussex, Institute of Development Studies. Davis, DUFFIELD, M. R. (1991) War and famine in Africa, Oxford, Oxfam.

[5] For a discussion of the political nature of this term see EDKINS, J. (2000) Whose hunger? : concepts of famine, practices of aid, Minneapolis, Minn. ; London, University of Minnesota Press.131-132.

[6] Cuny includes a third type of disaster – ‘technological’ to refer to those events such as nuclear explosions, chemical spills, etc.. CUNY, F. C. & ABRAMS, S. (1983) Disasters and development, New York, Oxford University Press.

[7] C.f. O’KEEFE, P., KEN WESTGATE AND BEN WISNER (1976) Taking the naturalness out of natural disasters. Nature, 260.

[8] C.f. MORLEY, J. (2005) Tsunami Wipes Darfur Off Priority List. Washington Post. online ed. Washington. or,892/index.html (last accessed September 11, 2007)

[9] This may have been partly explained by timing:  the peak of the spatial turn in the late 1990s coincided with a renaissance in development assistance, and particularly in the realms of post-conflict intervention and peacekeeping.  With the publication of such agenda setting policy pieces as Boutros Ghali’s Agenda for Peace (1992) and the Brahimi Report (2000) the important questions were not whether the international community should intervene in and after conflict, but what was the most effective method.

[10] For a discussion of the distinction between hazard, vulnerability and disaster see  DAVIS, I. (1978) Shelter After Disaster, Oxford, Oxford Polytechnic Press.

[11]In this way, natural disasters have a similar logic to security threats in blocking off ‘normal politics’ and creating space in which emergency measures can be taken.  C.f. BUZAN, B., WÆVER, O. & WILDE, J. D. (1998) Security : a new framework for analysis, Boulder, Colo. ; London, Lynne Rienner.

[12] See also PUPUVAC, V. (2005) Human Security and the rise of global therapeutic governance Conflict, Security & Development, 5, 161-181.

[13] This logic is further intensified by the notion of an emergency— the ethical imperative for action justifying short-termist or normally inappropriate decisions.

[14] Taylor briefly discusses the “extension of the imaginary in space”, acknowledging both national and supra-national loci (Taylor 2005:  178) but fails to specify what constitutes such a loci.

[15] See also MERLEAU-PONTY, M. (1962) Phenomenology of perception, Routledge & K.Paul. and Heidegger’s iconic piece on ‘Building and Dwelling’ reprinted in LANE, B. M. (2007) Housing and dwelling : perspectives on modern domestic architecture, London, Routledge.

[16] The recent flurry of work on Agamben has introduced a wealth of study on the form of the ‘camp’ however rarely from a primarily spatial or architectural perspective.

[17] See CHANDRASEKARAN, R. (2006) Imperial Life in the Emerald City, New York, Alfred A. Knopt.

[18] This paper, is part of a larger piece, forthcoming, which considers the significance of particular built forms in the humanitarian imaginary.  On the idea of the social and emergency imaginary see CASTORIADIS, C. (1987) The Imaginary Institution of Society, Oxford, Polity in conjunction with Blackwell. CALHOUN, C. (2004) A World of Emergencies:  Fear, Intervention, and the Limits of Cosmopolitan Order. 35th Annual Sorokin Lecture. University of Saskatchewan, University of Saskatchewan. TAYLOR, C. (2005) Modern Social Imaginaries, Durham and London, Duke University Press.

[19] GRAHAM, S. & MARVIN, S. (2001) Splintering urbanism : networked infrastructures, technological mobilities and the urban condition, London, Routledge.

[20] Some work has been on the environmental aspects of military compounds, and on the effects of UN peacekeeping operations on local socio-economic conditions.  A series of workshops has been done by NATO on the ‘Environmental Aspects of Military Compounds.’ See XXX

[21] Work is being done on improving the security of field missions in the “new terrorist threat environment” but how this may influence the humanitarian mission is not known. C.f. BOONE, J. (2008) Bars lose expats to safety bans. Financial Times. Online ed.

[22] For the purposes of this paper, the term ‘humanitarian’ refers to the full spectrum of relief to development work, from quasi military –  such as UN Peace Keeping Operations and Security Contractors – to relief operations such as the Red Cross or the World Food Programme. All use the form of the compound in their field operations.

[23] Logistically, a compound provides a base where supplies food and NFIs (non food ite ms) may be amassed prior to distribution.  Compounds secure the vehicles and delivery systems that are used to interact with the target beneficiaries and provide communications networks when others have been destroyed, or are not working.  Diplomatically, they provide a location where various types of meetings and information sharing may take place such as emergency or reconstructive planning processes take place.  The compound must also provide bodily security to the aid workers who are increasingly targeted by the elements of the populations they intent to assist. They also provide an environment in which the workers are able to carry out their tasks to a speed and level of efficiency required by their donor governments and agencies.  This means high-speed communications systems and a common working language.In the case of the UN this usually means the official colonial language for that area – English, French, Spanish, Portuguese. It also means that hygiene standards are such that foreign nationals are able to function without being sick – food and water is either flown in or provided to a standard that is acceptable to its occupants. In this way, the international humanitarian compound provides security as comfort. Scale will be determined by the size and the mandate of the organization in question.  The World Food Programme and the UN HCR require space to store the vehicles used for distribution and the items slated for distribution. This requires large warehouses, water and petrol storage facilities and even hangars. Power generation facilities will also be required in most developing contexts.  Programmes that are involved in ‘soft’ projects such as training and capacity building need less space.

[24]. If a country is highly insecure, or is generally lacking in basic amenities, it is more likely that living quarters and offices will be integrated. If a country is determined to be safe, there will be no official restrictions on where internationals live or move. In most countries, the level of security is determined at headquarters based on field level risk assessments.  The UN uses a 6 level security rating system from ‘No Phase’ or completely secure to ‘Phase 5’.The numerical risk rating is highly subjective, influenced by political and institutional factors. In the case of Rwanda, the initial security rating was revised downwards after complaints from the government over the negative image that it projected abroad. The low security rating meant that there was no budget for a highly securitized UN compound. The walls were low, the security low-key.  This was in contrast to the Presidents extensive security cordon around his property.  On some days, all streets within a one block radius of the President’s residence were barricaded with concrete bollards and armed guards.  The symbolic message was clear.  The UN is not a relevant actor in this country. The real power lies with the President.  This is in contrast to post-Tsunami Aceh where the UN security rating was, in the wake of Tsunami in 2004, Phase 5 despite it being simultaneously designated a post-conflict country, and (more tellingly) despite the impressions of local aid workers.  Here, the main international compound was the World Food Programme compound where the offices of the UN Office for Reconstruction and Coordination (UNORC) and other UN agencies were located.  The walls were high, there was a manned security booth and a watch tower, and barbed wire encircled it.  In the context of Banda Aceh, the extreme visual level of security raised questions of the threat.  While the Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS) for the UN cover the areas of telecommunications, equipment and security plan, specific guidance has not been given on building types. There are also Minimum Operating Residential Security Standards (MORSS) for staff, but these cover only the most basic of security aspects such as locks and lighting.

[25] Following the August 1998 bombings of the US Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi Kenya, the U.S. State Department created the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations.  “In concert with other State Department bureaus, foreign affairs agencies and Congress, OBO sets worldwide priorities for the design, construction, acquisition, maintenance, use and sale of real properties and the use of sales proceeds.” In London, this required the installation of bollards in Upper Brook Street and Upper Grosvenor Street.  No irony can be detected when the US Embassy to the UK website proudly proclaims that the project “aims to enhance security for the Embassy and the surrounding neighborhood by making the Embassy a less attractive target.” USGOVERNMENT (2006) U.S. Embassy Breaks Ground on Perimeter Security Initiative. London, Embassy of the US in London, UK. Where existing embassies could not be upgraded, entirely new compounds were created, in locations that could be more easily secured – in the case of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan only reachable by car.

[26] In a 2003, ABC reporter Jill Colgan referred to the UN compound as the “UN fortress” COLGAN, J. (2003) Bush Talks Tough to UN. The 7:30 Report. Online ed., Australian Broadcasting Corporation. See also Lewis’ reference in LEWIS, I. M. (2001) Why the Warlords Won. Times Literary Supplement.

[27] Significant work has been done on the use of defensive, military architecture in the creation of an Israel (Yacobi, Weizman) in the defense of diplomatic space (Vale) and of spaces of incarceration or detainment. (Kaplan, Reid-Henry)

[28] In addition to its symbolic value, Hirst was interested in the possibility that the form of the fortress could have social significance that went beyond its originating ideas. (Hirst, 166) He seems to imply that the form of the fortress embodied certain values or norms through the effects of particular physical characteristics upon its inhabitants and host communities.

[29] C.f. KAPLAN, A. (2005) Where Is Guantanamo? American Quarterly (American Studies Assn) (Baltimore, MD), 57, 831, REID-HENRY, S. (2007) Exceptional Sovereignty? Guantanamo Bay and the Re-Colonial Present. Antipode, 39, 627-648, GREGORY, D. (2006) The black flag: Guantanamo Bay and the space of exception. Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography, 88, 405-427, ARADAU, C. (2007) Law transformed: Guantanamo and the ‘other’ exception. Third World Quarterly, 28, 489-501. ARADAU, C. (2007) Law transformed: Guantanamo and the ‘other’ exception. Third World Quarterly, 28, 489-501.

[30] This is based on informal discussions with ‘local’ workers in a variety of UN offices between the years 2000 and 2004.

[31] There is an extensive literature on Gated Communities including Gated Communities in the Developing World.  See the Special Issue of Housing Studies 20:2 (2005) and the special issue of Environment and Planning D:  Society and Space.  Within this literature there are well established debates regards whether it is possible to speak of a universal form of gated community, and authors such as Atkinson and Blandy caution against making universalist claims that ignore local history and context.

[32] In the UK and America such “premium network spaces” result in their  users – wealthy individuals who can afford to live and use such spaces – being “increasingly withdrawn from the wider citizenry.” ATKINSON, R. & FLINT, J. (2004) Fortress UK? Gated communities, the spatial revolt of the elites and time-space trajectories of segregation. Housing Studies, 19, 875-892. (p. 886)

[33] See also Ibid.

[34] Such differential rights to mobility lie at the heart of international practice.  In the case of the United Nations, “locally recruited staff members may be evacuated from the duty station in only the most exceptional cases in which their security is endangered as a direct consequence of their employment by the organizations of the United Nations. A decision in this regard can only be made by the Secretary-General, as recommended by UNSECOORD, based on a recommendation by the Designated Official.” UNITEDNATIONS (Not specified) Security in the Field:  Information for all staff members of the United Nations system. United Nations.

[35] The use of such weapons of the weak may give the impression that it is in fact the international community that is being directed – that the spaces of humanitarian exception are more tolerated than imposed.  However, it is important to remember that the introduction and establishment of an international humanitarian presence is most often within the context of a weak or failing central government, or where a disaster has overwhelmed the capacity of a government to act.  For example, the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami left the governments of several of the affected countries unable to defend themselves against the second Tsunami of aid funds, and international workers who flooded their shores in the days after the actual disaster.

[36] Another spatial consideration are the international networks that are created between what de Waal refers to as the ‘International

Conflict, Security and Development

“Conflict, Security and Development” – MA core module, University of Sussex



Part I: Introduction to the CSD Nexus: policy oriented approaches/interpretations

Week 1: Introduction to CSD: Themes and Actors
• Overview of theories of CSD
• The ethics of researching CSD

Week 2: Diagnostics and analysis:
Case study and conflict mapping – Afghanistan

Week 3: Presentations & debrief; methodological and conceptual challenges

Part II: Interrogating causality

Week 4: When is a war (not) a war? Defining and understanding violence

Week 5: Identity as source of conflict? Case Study: Bosnia

Week 6: Economic sources of conflict? Case Study: West Africa

Part III: Considering the solutions

Week 7: Essay Preparation week

Week 8: Who’s responsibility to protect? Defining State Failure and Refining State- building Case study: East Timor

Week 9: Conflict is elsewhere the construction of the “third world”; and the changing dynamics of aid
Case Study: China in Africa

Week 10: “Security first” and the militarization of humanitarian assistance?
Case Study: Afghanistan in the context of British Development Policy

The aim of this course is threefold:
1. Examine the extent to which destructive cycles of insecurity and violence affect the possibility of development for large sections of the world’s population.
2. Investigate whether underdevelopment can be said to constitute a security threat. Some Western governments, for example, claim that underdevelopment in the global South could threaten their national security by facilitating the international spread of terrorist and criminal networks.
3. Analyze the difficulties that aid agencies, non-governmental organisations, governments, and international organizations encounter when trying to negotiate these spirals of violence and insecurity – be it through armed intervention, the provision of aid, the sponsoring of peace-building processes, or assisting states in post-conflict reconstruction.

The learning objectives are:
1. Provide students with an overview of contemporary perspectives on CSD;
2. Provide students with the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that will allow them to critique these approaches on process grounds;
3. Reposition current CSD debates within a wider, critical frame.

The course combines contemporary policy approaches and frameworks with a solid grounding in relevant, cross-disciplinary, social theory. Doing so allows students to both develop practical skills that will prepare them for a policy oriented career in the public or non-government sectors but also provide them with the opportunity to hone their critical abilities. Other skills that will be developed include:
• Presentation skills in weekly seminars
• Research skills through developing a presentation on a particular case study
• Team work through the development and presentation of the group project.
• Writing skills through composing an essay that requires them to read widely from the reading list and to synthesize the information for      the purposes of the essay
• Problem solving skills by exploring complex contemporary issues of conflict, security and development
• Reflective skills by critically evaluating and synthesizing competing conceptions and theories of security
• Information technology skills by suing word processing for the essay and seminar notes and on the internet to obtain further information on issues of conflict, security and development

Given the short time frame, certain topics could not be included such as security sector reform & demobilization; climate change as security threat; conflict prevention & resolution; natural disasters; peacekeeping; the privatization of humanitarian assistance; international humanitarian law; and many others. Many of these topics are covered in the various optional courses, including Complex Humanitarian Emergencies. If you are intent upon covering any of these (or related) topics within CSD, I am happy to work with you to develop a reading list and research agenda as part of your long essay (provided they are linked into the main themes of this course).

Coursework & Assessment

This work is cumulatively assessed as followed:

Students will be assigned to a group and week. They are required to present, as a group to the seminar on the case study of that week. The presentation must be prepared according to specifications in Annex 1. Marking criteria are also set out there.

Prepared according to specification in Annex 2

DUE DATE: Please refer to your Sussex Direct ‘Assessment Deadlines and Exam Timetable’.
5,000 word essay due at the beginning of Spring Term. Students may pick from one of the “Sample Essay Topics” listed in Annex 4, or may define their own question. The final essay must conform to the standards as laid out in the PG handbook as follows:

Term papers and dissertations should be word processed or typed on one side of paper only. They should conform to professional standards of punctuation, grammar and academic discourse. Clear references to sources and bibliography should be provided and all direct quotations should be clearly marked. Consequently, all students must be aware of the following definitions of collusion and plagiarism.

Collusion is the preparation or production of work for assessment jointly with another person or persons unless explicitly permitted by the examiners. An act of collusion is understood to encompass those who actively assist others as well as those who derive benefit from others’ work. Plagiarism is the use, without acknowledgement, of the intellectual work of other people, and the act of representing the ideas or discoveries of another as one’s own in written work submitted for assessment. To copy sentences, phrases or even striking expressions without acknowledgement of the source (either by inadequate citation or failure to indicate verbatim quotations), is plagiarism; to paraphrase without acknowledgement is likewise plagiarism. Where such copying or paraphrase has occurred the mere mention of the source in the bibliography shall not be deemed sufficient acknowledgement; each such instance must be referred specifically to its source, Verbatim quotations must be either in inverted commas, or indented, and directly acknowledged.

Format of essay:
I don’t have formal style requirements, but the following points are important.
• Please use clear 12 pt. font, double spaced, with adequate margins for all work.
• Please be consistent in your style (paragraphs, spelling, capitalisation). It all contributes to the overall impression and legibility of your argument.
• For informal work (presentations, etc.) please make sure your name is on the document itself.
• Proper referencing is essential both on grounds of avoiding plagiarism, and to support your argument. A consistent referencing style must be used throughout your submitted work. See for more information. I don’t have a preference as long as it’s clear and consistent.

Submission of Essay:
The essay will need to be submitted to the School Office (C168) between 9:00 and 16:00 on January 10th, 2011. Students need to submit two copies of the essay, one with a green cover sheet for the first examiner and one with a blue cover sheet for the second examiner. The cover sheets will be available from the School Office in Week 10 of Autumn Term.

Feedback & Questions
I am happy to consider your evaluations of this course. Please raise any difficulties as they arise. You will be able to anonymously assess the course via Sussex Direct near the end of term and I ask that you take the time to fill in the questionnaire, as it is taken very seriously by the department, school and university. Your feedback is important.

Learning Methods
There will be a series of weekly seminars of 1h and 50 min duration. The seminars are designed to provide an overview of the course syllabus with commentary on the literature and are an opportunity to explore in depth particular issues and to engage in discussion in a small group context. Students will be expected to at a minimum read the “essential reading” which is included in the course pack and come to seminar armed with two or three questions/issues that the readings raised. Most importantly, students will also be expected to engage in continuous independent study, employing the reading list (below) to deepen their knowledge of the subject. In the second week of term we will be undertaking a mock “strategic conflict assessment”. Students are expected to prepare for this exercise as they would any other seminar and to fully participate. A debrief will be held in Week 3 at which point each team will present their SCA.

Use of Study Direct
Study Direct will be the primary mode of communication for the course. Information will be posted to the News discussion forum (and emailed to all course members) by the course convenor. Likewise, students are expected to post any relevant information such as presentations or handouts that they have produced to Study Direct as soon as possible (preferably prior to the class in question). Discussion groups will be set up by the course convenor for this purpose.

Office Hours
Are posted on my University website. Please use them.

Using the Library
Arrangements will be made so that important course texts will be made available in the library. Other useful texts that are not in the library’s normal collection will be made available where necessary. If material listed appears to have disappeared altogether or damaged please let the library staff know about this, and they will inform the course supervisor, so we can make alternative sources available wherever possible. Similarly if you cannot find any of the material listed, because it is out on loan, do search through the rest of the collection to find other relevant texts. The reading lists are deliberately extensive to allow you to consult other works if your first choice is not available. Remember also that the reading list does not exhaustively list all the available material in the library on a given subject. If you find anything particularly valuable let the course convenor know so that material can be added to subsequent years reading lists. You’re urged to take the time to familiarize yourselves with the library resources including electronic databases such as Web of Knowledge. In addition, the library has put together “subject pages” which may be of use. See, for example – for International Relations. You may also want to consult the Anthropology, Geography, Development Studies (forthcoming) or Politics pages. Google Scholar is another useful resource for locating articles, but be aware that there’s no quality control.

Useful Journals (Bold are highly recommended):
• Alternatives
• Civil Wars
• Community Development Journal
• Conflict
Conflict, Security and Development
• Development and Change
• Development in Practice
• Development Policy Review
• Disasters
• Ethics & International Affairs
• Ethnopolitics
• Global Governance
• Human Rights Quarterly
• IDS Bulletin
• International Affairs
• International Organization
• International Peacekeeping
International Security
Intervention and State Building
• Journal of Conflict Resolution
• Journal of Conflict, Security and Development
• Journal of Developmental Studies
• Journal of Humanitarian Assistance
• Journal of Human Development
• Journal of International Development
• Journal of Peacebuilding and Development
Journal of Peace Research
• Oxford Development Studies
• Progress in Development Studies
• Public Administration and Development
• Review of African Political Economy
• Review of International Political Economy
• Security and Development
• Security Dialogue
• Survival
Third World Quarterly
World Politics

Additionally, region-specific journals, such as Journal of Modern African Studies, etc., will carry articles relevant to the themes covered in this course and may be a good source for
case-study materials.

Useful Websites (please let me know of others you come across):
• Berghof Centre:
• Centre for International Development and Conflict Management:
• Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (Johannesburg):
• Centre for the Study of Violence, University of Sao Paulo: or another Brazilian site on public security:
• Center on International Cooperation
• Chronic Poverty Research Centre:
• Clingendael Institute:
• CMI:
• Department for International Development (DFID):
• Development Studies Association:
• Global Facilitation Network for SSR:
• Governance and Social Development Resource Center:
• Human Rights Watch:
• Human Development Reports:
• Human Security Gateway
• Human Security Report:
• Human Security Network:
• ID21:
• Institute of Development Studies:
• International Alert:
• International Crisis Group:
• International Institute for the Environment and Development:
• International Peace Institute (formerly Academy):
• MandE News:
• ODI:
• OECD DAC:,2688,en_2649_33721_1_1_1_1_1,00.html
• Oneworld:
• Paris Declaration:
• Reality of Aid:
• Reliefweb:
• Reuters Alert Net
• Small Arms Survey
• Stimson Center:
• The Correlates of War Project, University of Michigan:
• United States Institute of Peace:
• Uppsala Conflict Data Project:

See also the websites of the major International Organizations (UN, World Bank, IMF), bilateral agencies (CIDA, SIDA, USAID, JICA) and NGOs (Oxfam, Care, Save the Children…) as all will have CSD oriented programmes or thematic areas. For news, and news magazines and broadsheets see BBC News, The Economist, Financial Times, Guardian, Washington Post, and New York Times.

Background texts:
If you are considering buying any texts, I would highly recommend purchasing (and reading) Cramer, Christopher (2006) Civil War Is Not a Stupid Thing : Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries. London: Hurst & Co. It covers the themes of the course in a thorough and sophisticated manner and you will find it useful throughout the term. Other useful “overview” books and articles are listed below under “Additional Readings”.

Weiss, Thomas George; and Cindy Collins. (2000) Humanitarian Challenges and Intervention. Dilemmas in World Politics. 2nd ed. ed. Boulder, Colo. ; Oxford: Westview Press. provides a good overview of the humanitarian themes and you’ll notice that other books such as Kalyvas, Stathis N. (2006) The Logic of Violence in Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. come up in multiple weeks.

Kalyvas, Stathis N.,Ian Shapiro; and Tarek E. Masoud. (2008) Order, Conflict, and Violence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. and Scheper-Hughes, Nancy; and Philippe I. Bourgois. (2004) Violence in War and Peace : Edited by Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Philippe Bourgois. Blackwell Readers in Anthropology. Oxford: Blackwell. are both thought provoking anthologies covering various aspects and concepts covered by the course.

Additional Readings:
Brahimi, Lakhdar. (2000) Report of the Panel on United National Peace Operations. New York: United Nations (DPKO).
Chesterman, Simon. (2001) Just War or Just Peace? : International Law and Humanitarian Intervention. Oxford Monographs in International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Crocker, Chester A.,Fen Osler Hampson; and Pamela R. Aall. (2006) Leashing the Dogs of War : Conflict Management in a Divided World. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press.
Duffield, Mark R. (2001) Global Governance and the New Wars : The Merging of Development and Security. London ; New York: Zed Books.
———. (2007) Development, Security and Unending War : Governing the World of Peoples. Cambridge: Polity.
Hutchinson, John F. (1996) Champions of Charity : War and the Rise of the Red Cross. Boulder, Colo. ; Oxford: Westview.
Jackson, Robert. (2004) International Engagement in War-Torn Countries. Global Governance 10:21-36.
Jacoby, Tim. (2008) Understanding Conflict and Violence : Theoretical and Interdisciplinary Approaches. London: Routledge.
Kaldor, Mary. (2006) New & Old Wars. 2nd ed. ed. Cambridge: Polity.
Kalyvas, Stathis N. (2001) ‘New’ and ‘Old’ Civil Wars: A Valid Distinction? World Politics 54:99-118.
———. (2006) The Logic of Violence in Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Keen, David. (2008) Complex Emergencies. Cambridge: Polity.
Lepard, Brian D. (2002) Rethinking Humanitarian Intervention : A Fresh Approach Based on Fundamental Ethical Principles in International Law and World Religions. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press ; London : Eurospan.
Moyo, Dambisa. (2009) Dead Aid : Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is Another Way for Africa. London: Allen Lane.
OECD DAC. (2008) Introduction and Chapter 1 In Resource Flows to Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, edited by OECD DAC. Paris: OECD DAC.
Paris, Roland. (2006) At War’s End: Building Peace after Civil Conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Power, Samantha. (2008) Chasing the Flame : Sergio Vieira De Mello and the Fight to Save the World. London: Allen Lane.
Pugh, Michael. (2005) Peacekeeping and Critical Theory In Peace Operations and Global Order, edited by Alex J. and Paul Williams Bellamy, pp. 39-58. London and Oxford: Frank Cass and Routledge.
UN Secretary-General,, UN Secretary-General. 1992. An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace-Keeping.
Weiss, Thomas George; and Cindy Collins. (2000) Humanitarian Challenges and Intervention. Dilemmas in World Politics. 2nd ed. ed. Boulder, Colo. ; Oxford: Westview Press.
Welsh, Jennifer M. (2004) Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wheeler, Nicholas J. (2000) Saving Strangers : Humanitarian Intervention in International Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Part I: Introduction to the CSD Nexus and mainstream approaches/interpretations

The first part of the course is devoted to introducing students to the emergence of the CSD debate post-1990, and to provide them with a working understanding of current policy approaches from both a diagnostic and prescriptive perspective.

Week 1: Introduction to CSD: Themes and Actors
In this seminar, the various components of the course outline will be explained including coursework and assessment requirements. Following this, the themes and issues that form the basis for the course will be outlined. The central thesis of the course will be advanced: namely, that current policy and mainstream academic discussions of “Conflict, Security and Development” approach the topic from an overly narrow perspective, and fail to problematize its basic conceptual apparatus such as the “nation state”; “conflict” and “security” or to contextualize these concepts within a longer socio-historical narrative.

In this seminar, students will be introduced to the analytic modelling approach to conflict, security and development (CSD), as it emerged as the dominant policy perspective post-1990. You will be introduced to the Strategic Conflict Assessment to be used next week.

Guiding Questions:
• When did CSD emerge as a concept and how has it evolved?
• Who are the actors involved?

Essential Readings (in pack):
Berger, Mark T and Heloise Weber (2009) War, Peace and Progress: conflict, development, (in)security and violence in the 21st century Third World Quarterly 30 (1):1-16
Chandler, David. (2008) Review Article: Theorising the Shift from Security to Insecurity – Kaldor, Duffield and Furedi. Conflict, Security & Development 8:265-76.
Collier, Paul (2008) Chapter 2 from The Bottom Billion. New York: OUP
Duffield, Mark. (2001) Chapter 2 in Global Governance and the New Wars : The Merging of Development and Security. London: Zed (2001).
Mac Ginty, Roger; and Andrew Williams. (2009) Introduction In Conflict and Development, edited by Roger Mac Ginty and Andrew Williams. London: Routledge.

Additional Readings: (See also, Background Readings, above)
Chandler, David. (2008) Theorising the Shift from Security to Insecurity – Kaldor, Duffield, Furedi. Conflict, Security & Development 8:265-76.
Dower, Nigel. (1999) Development, Violence and Peace: A Conceptual Exploration. The European Journal of Development Research 11:44 – 64.
Edkins, Jenny. (2003) Humanitarianism, Humanity, Human. Journal of Human Rights 2:253-58.
Fox, Fiona. (2001) New Humanitarianism: Does It Provide a Moral Banner for the 21st Century Disasters 25:275-89.
Gasper, Des. (1999) Violence and Suffering, Responsibility and Choice: Issues in Ethics and Development. The European Journal of Development Research 11:1 – 22.
Kaldor, Mary. (2007) Chapter 3. In Human Security, edited by Mary Kaldor, pp. ix, 228 p. Cambridge: Polity.
Mills, Kurt. (2005) Neo-Humanitarianism: The Role of International Humanitarian Norms and Organizations in Contemporary Conflict. Global Governance 11:161-83.
OECD DAC. (2008) Introduction and Chapter 1 In Resource Flows to Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, edited by OECD DAC. Paris: OECD DAC.
Secretary General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. (2004) Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. New York: United Nations.
Tausig, M. (2004) Culture of Terror – Space of Death: Roger Casement’s Putumayo Report and the Explanation of Terror In Violence in War and Peace : Edited by Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Philippe Bourgois, edited by Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Philippe I. Bourgois, pp. xv, 496 p. Oxford: Blackwell.
UN Secretary-General,, UN Secretary-General. 1992. An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace-Keeping.
UN Secretary-General. 2005. In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All. United Nations
Wheeler, Nicholas J. (2000) Saving Strangers : Humanitarian Intervention in International Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wood, William B. (1996) From Humanitarian Relief to Humanitarian Intervention: Victims, Interveners and Pillars. Political Geography 15:671-95.

Week 2: Diagnostics and analysis: Case study and conflict mapping – Afghanistan
Students will be broken up into small groups to do a Strategic Conflict Assessment on Afghanistan. Students will be given detailed instructions at the beginning of class. Students should prepare for this class by (a) familiarizing themselves with several of the “conflict assessment methodologies” listed below*, as well as with (b) the ongoing conflict situation in Afghanistan.

Essential Readings on Afghanistan
BBC. 2010. Country Profile: Afghanistan.
CIA. 2010. The World Factbook: Afghanistan.
International Crisis Group. 2010. Afghanistan.

Essential Readings on Conflict Assessments
Governance and Social Development Resource Centre: Conflict Analysis Frameworks and Tools (on line) – have a look at the various approaches to analyzing conflict and choose one or two that you are most comfortable with to analyse in depth.

Additional Readings:
Bank, The World. (2009) Afghanistan: Data, Projects & Research.
DFID. (2007) Preventing Violent Conflict London: DFID.
———. (2009) Eliminating World Poverty: Building Our Common Future. London: DFID.
Felbab-Brown, Vanda. (2006) Kicking the Opium Habit? Afghanistan’s Drug Economy and Politics since the 1980s. Conflict, Security & Development 6.
Giustozzi, Antonio. (2007) War and Peace Economies of Afghanistan’s Strong Men. International Peacekeeping 14.
World Health Organisation. (2002) World Report on Violence and Health. edited by Etienne G Krug and et al. Geneva.

Week 3: Debrief and discussion of measurement and conceptual problems
During the first part of the seminar, each group will briefly present their SCA from the previous week, highlighting why they used a particular approach and the challenges that they faced using the methodology. It will introduce a discussion of the underlying assumptions of this approach to modelling conflict and discuss the implications that this had on the types of interventions that are proposed.

Part II: Interrogating Causality

The next three sessions (Weeks 4 through 6) examines the relationship between causal factors and conflict and violence, highlighting two common themes: identity and economics.

Week 4: When is a war (not) a war? Defining, measuring and understanding violence

This week considers the idea of conflict, and the commensurate idea of violence (and conversely peace).

Guiding Questions:
• How do we measure violence and conflict? What assumptions are made, and limits met? How is correlation established? Is there a spectrum of violence?
• What are the methodological and measurement issues encountered during field work? Is it realistic for agencies and researchers to try and ‘do no harm’?
• Is the violence that we are seeing somehow ‘new’?
• What is peace?

Essential Readings:

Suhrke, Astri and Ingrid Samset (2007) What’s in a Figure? Estimating Recurrence of Civil War. International Peacekeeping 14:195-203.
Collins, Randall “Micro and Macro causes of Violence” International Journal of Conflict and Violence 3(1) 2009: 9-22.
Kalyvas, Stathis N. (2001) ‘New’ and ‘Old’ Civil Wars: A Valid Distinction? World Politics 54:99-118.
Sambanis, Nicholas. (2004) What Is Civil War?: Conceptual and Empirical Complexities of an Operational Definition. Journal of Conflict Resolution 48:814-58.
Wood, Elisabeth Jean. (2006) The Ethical Challenges of Field Research in Conflict Zones. Qualitative Sociology 29.

Additional Resources:
Arendt, H. (1969) Reflections on Violence. Journal of International Affairs 23:1-35.
Barakat, S., M. Chard, T. Jacoby and W. Lume (2002) The Composite Approach: Research Design in the Context of War and Armed Conflict. Third World Quarterly 23:991-1003.
Blok, Anton. (2000) Chapter 1 – the Enigma of Senseless Violence. In Meanings of Violence : A Cross Cultural Perspective, edited by Go ran Aijmer and J. Abbink, pp. xvii, 220 p. Oxford: Berg.
Brennan, W. (1998) Aggression and Violence: Examining the Theories. Nursing Standard 12:36-38.
Browning, Christopher R. (1992) Ordinary Men : Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. New York, NY: Aaron Asher Books.
Chomsky, Noam. (1967) The Legitimacy of Violence as a Political Act.
Collins, Randall. (2008) Violence : A Micro-Sociological Theory. Princeton, N.J. ; Woodstock: Princeton University Press.
Collins et al. A mini-forum on Violence in The British Journal of Sociology (2009) Vol. 30:3.
Courtney, Morgan (Lead), Hugh Riddell, John Ewers, Rebecca Linder, Craig Cohen. . (2005) In the Balance: Measuring Progress in Afghanistan. In Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project edited by Frederick Barton, Bathsheba Crocker (Co-Directors): CSIS.
Cramer, Christopher (2006) Chapters 2 & 3 in Civil War Is Not a Stupid Thing : Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries. London: Hurst & Co.
Csete, Joanne; and Juliane Kippenberg. (2002) The War within the War : Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo. New York ; London: Human Rights Watch.
CSIS. (2004) Progress or Peril: Measuring Iraq’s Reconstruction In Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project, edited by Frederick Barton, Bathsheba Crocker (Co-Directors): Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Davenport, C; and B Ball. (2002) View to a Kill: Explaining the Implications of Source Selection in the Case of Guatemalan State Terror, 1977-1995. Journal of Conflict Resolution 46:427-51.
Dauphinee, Elizabeth (2007) Chapter 2 in The Ethics of Researching War. Manchester: Manchester University Press
Ehrenreich, Barbara. (1997) Blood Rites : Origins and History of the Passions of War. London: Virago.
Eldringham, Nigel. (2004) Accounting for Horror: Post Genocide Debates in Rwanda. Vancouver: Pluto Press.
Gilligan, James. (2000) Chapter 5 In Violence : Reflections on Our Deadliest Epidemic, edited by James Gilligan, p. 306 p. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Girard, Rene. (1996) Chapter 1 – 3 & 6. In The Girard Reader, edited by Rene Girard and James G. Williams, pp. xii,310p. New York: Crossroad.
Grossman, Dave. (1995) On Killing : The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. Boston, Mass. ; London: Little, Brown.
Hanssen, Beatrice. (2000) On the Politics of Pure Means: Benjamin, Arendt, Foucault. In Critique of Violence : Between Poststructuralism and Critical Theory, edited by Beatrice Hanssen, pp. vi, 314 p. London: Routledge.
Hoffman, Danny. (2005) Warscape Ethnography in West Africa and the Anthropology Of “Events”. Anthropological Quarterly 78:315-27.
Holsti, K. J. (1996) The State, War, and the State of War. Cambridge Studies in International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hussein, Karim,James Sunberg; and David Seddon. (1999) Increasing Violent Conflict between Herders and Farmers in Africa: Claims and Evidence. Development Policy Review 11:397-418.
Jacoby, Tim. (2008) Understanding Conflict and Violence : Theoretical and Interdisciplinary Approaches. London: Routledge.
Kalyvas, Stathis N. (2004) “The Urban Bias in Research on Civil War” Security Studies Vol 13(3): 160-190.
Kalyvas, Stathis N.,Ian Shapiro; and Tarek E. Masoud. (2008) Introduction In Order, Conflict, and Violence, edited by Stathis N. Kalyvas, Ian Shapiro and Tarek E. Masoud, pp. xiii, 436 p. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kassimeris, George. (2006) The Barbarisation of Warfare – a User’s Manual. In The Barbarisation of Warfare, pp. xii, 321 p. London: Hurst.
Keane, John. (1996) Reflections on Violence. London: Verso.
Kriger, Norma J. (2003) Guerrilla Veterans in Post-War Zimbabwe : Symbolic and Violent Politics, 1980-1987. African Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Leach, Fiona. (2006) Researching Gender Violence in Schools: Methodological and Ethical Considerations. World Development 34:1129-47.
Mawdsley, Emma; and Jonathan Rigg. (2002) A Survey of the World Development Reports I: Discursive Strategies. Progress in Development Studies 2:93-111.
Milgram, Stanley. (1974) Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. London: Tavistock Publications.
Mitchell, Timothy. (2002) Rule of Experts : Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity – Chapter 5. Berkeley, Calif. ; London: University of California Press.
Nordstrom, Carolyn; and Antonius C. G. M. Robben. (1995) Fieldwork under Fire : Contemporary Studies of Violence and Survival. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Rubinstein, Robert A. (1998) Methodological Changes in the Ethnographic Study of Multilateral Peacekeeping. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropological Review 21:138.
Sartre, Jean Paul (1969) Preface. In The Wretched of the Earth, edited by Frantz Fanon and Constance Farrington, p. 255. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Scheper-Hughes, Nancy; and Philippe I. Bourgois. (2004) Violence in War and Peace : Edited by Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Philippe Bourgois. Blackwell Readers in Anthropology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Shaw, Martin. (2000) The Contemporary Mode of Warfare? Mary Kaldor’s Theory of New Wars. Review of International Political Economy 7:171-80.
Smyth, Marie; and Gillian Robinson. (2001) Researching Violently Divided Societies : Ethical and Methodological Issues. Tokyo ; New York: United Nations University Press ; London : Pluto Press.
Tausig, M. (2004) Culture of Terror – Space of Death: Roger Casement’s Putumayo Report and the Explanation of Terror In Violence in War and Peace : Edited by Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Philippe Bourgois, edited by Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Philippe I. Bourgois, pp. xv, 496 p. Oxford: Blackwell.
Tilly, Charles. (2000) Introduction: Violence Viewed and Reviewed. Social Research 67.
Wallensteen, Peter; and Margareta Sollenberg. (1998) Armed Conflict and Regional Conflict Complexes, 1989-97. Journal of Peace Research 35:621-34.
World Bank/DSF. (2009) Aceh Conflict Monitoring Update. World Bank/Decentralization Support Facility.

Week 5. Identity as source of conflict?
Identity in its various forms – ethnicity, nationalism, race, religion – has frequently been considered as the leading cause of conflict and instability. This weeks looks at the various theories which propose that identity and violent conflict are linked and asks how and when this is so. It asks what is meant by “identity” and whether it is a fixed or constructed category, and whether this matters.

Guiding Questions:
• What role has identity played in theories of CSD?
• How has identity become a mobilizing factor in conflict, and more specifically terrorism?
• Is identity constructed?
• Has development practice constructed “the victim” as an identity?
• Is there a difference between religion and ethnicity?

Essential Readings:
Fearon, James D., D Laitin. (2000) Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity. International Organization 54.
Kalyvas, Stathis N. (2002) The Ontology of Political Violence: Action and Identity in Civil Wars. Perspectives on Politics 1:475-94.
Khotari, Ammina (2010) “The Framing of the Darfur Conflict in the New York Times:2003-2006” Journalism Studies Vol 11(2):209-224.
Stewart, Francis. (2009) Religion Versus Ethnicity as a Source of Mobilisation: Are There Differences? Oxford: CRISE.
Young, Crawford. (2003) Explaining the Conflict Potential of Ethnicity. In Contemporary Peacemaking, edited by John Darby, Roger MacGinty. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Case Study: Bosnia
To get you started see: Susan Woodward’s Balkan Tragedy; Mary Kaldor’s New and Old Wars (sections on Bosnia); Laura Silber and Alan Little’s Death of Yugoslavia.

Additional Readings:
African Rights. (1994) Rwanda : Death, Despair and Defiance. London: African Rights.
Anderson, Benedict R. O’G. (1991) Imagined Communities : Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Rev. and extended ed. London: Verso.
Bennett, Christopher. (1995) Yugoslavia’s Bloody Collapse: Causes, Course and Consequence. New York: New York University Press.
Besancon, Marie L. (2005) Relative Resources: Inequality in Ethnic Wars, Revolutions and Genocides Journal of Peace Research 42.
Bhavnani, Ravi. (2006) Ethnic Norms and Interethnic Violence: Accounting for Mass Participation in the Rwandan Genocide. Journal of Peace Research 43:651-69.
Bowen, John. (1996) The Myth of Ethnic Conflict Journal of Democracy 7.
Burg, Steven L.; and Paul S. Shoup. (1999) The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Ethnic Conflict and International Intervention. Armonk: M.E. Sharp.
Campbell, David. (1998) Chapters 1 & 7. In National Deconstruction : Violence, Identity, and Justice in Bosnia, edited by David Campbell, pp. xv,304p. Minneapolis, Minn. ; London: University of Minneapolis Press.
Collett, Moya. (2006) Ivorian Identity Constructions: Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Prelude to Civil War. Nations and Nationalism 12.
Devare, Aparna. (2009) Secularizing Religion: Hindu Extremism as a Modernist Discourse. International Political Sociology 3:156-75.
Eldringham, Nigel. (2004) Accounting for Horror: Post Genocide Debates in Rwanda. Vancouver: Pluto Press.
Eller, J; and R Coughlan. (1993) The Poverty of Primordialism: The Demystification of Ethnic Attachments. Ethnic and Racial Studies 16.
Fearon, James D., D Laitin. (2000) Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity. International Organization 54.
Fearon, James D.; and David D. Laitin. (2003) Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War. American Political Science Review 97:75-90.
Gurr, Ted Robert. (1993) Minorities at Risk : A Global View of Ethnopolitical Conflicts. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press.
Hoffman, Bruce. (2006) Inside Terrorism. Rev. and expanded ed. New York: Columbia University Press.
Huntington, S. P. (1993) The Clash of Civilizations? Foreign affairs 72:22-49.
Kaldor, Mary. (2007) Chapter 3. In Human Security, edited by Mary Kaldor, pp. ix, 228 p. Cambridge: Polity.
Kalyvas, Stathis N. (2001) ‘New’ and ‘Old’ Civil Wars: A Valid Distinction? World Politics 54:99-118.
Kaufman, Stuart J. (2001) Chapter 1 – Stories About Ethnic War and Chapter 2 – the Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War. In The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War, edited by Stuart J. Kaufman. New York: Cornell University Press.
Lake, David A.; and Donald Rothchild. (1996) Containing Fear: The Origins and Management of Ethnic Conflict. International Security 21.
Mamdani, Mahmood. (2002) When Victims Become Killers : Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton, N.J. ; Oxford: Princeton University Press.
Mann, Michael. (2005) Chapter 1 – the Argument In The Dark Side of Democracy : Explaining Ethnic Cleansing, edited by Michael Mann, pp. x, 580 p. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mueller, John. (2000) The Banality of Ethnic War. International Security 25.
Sageman, Marc. (2008) Leaderless Jihad : Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century. Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press ; Bristol : University Presses Marketing [distributor].
Tilly, Charles. (2003) The Politics of Collective Violence. Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Turton, David. (1997) War and Ethnicity : Global Connections and Local Violence. Studies on the Nature of War. Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press.
Walker, Brian M. (2007) Ancient Enmities and Modern Conflict: History and Politics in Modern Ireland. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 13.

Week 6. Economic sources of conflict?
The occurrence of violent conflict is often attributed to economic factors. This week provides a introduction to the various approaches to the topic. Specifically it looks at (i) natural resources as cause of conflict (ii) the political economy of war and (iii) globalization & trade as source of conflict. The majority of the focus will be on the first two, as we will return to the third in more depth in Part III of the course.

Guiding Questions:
• Do natural resources cause conflict? In scarcity or abundance? Is war a resource?
• What role does the “grey economy” play in conflict and peace?
• Is the “greed vs. grievance” framework useful?
• Do root causes matter?

Essential Readings:
Andreas, Peter. (2004) ‘The Clandestine Political Economy of War and Peace in Bosnia’ in International Studies Quarterly 48:29-51.
Cramer, Christopher (2006) Pp. 108-138 in Civil Wa r is not a Stupid Thing
Le Billon, Philippe. (2007) Geographies of War: Perspectives on ‘Resource Wars’. Geography Compass 1:163-82.
Murshed, Syed Mansoob and Mohammad Zulfan Tadjoeddin. (2009) ‘Revisiting the Greed and Grievance Explanations for Violent Conflict’ in Journal of International Development Vol 21:87-111.
Woodward, Susan L. (2007) “Do the Root Causes of Civil War Matter” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding Vol 1(2): 143-170.

…and if you want to see where the controversy started Collier, Paul and Anke Hoeffler (2004) “Greed and Grievance in Civil War” OEP Vol.56:563-595.

Case Study: West Africa
To get started see…Will Reno’s Warlord Politics and African States; Collier et al.’s Understanding Civil War Volume 1: Africa (on order); Philippe LeBillon (2003) “The Political Ecology of War and Resource Exploitation” Studies in Political Economy Vol 70(Spring):59-95.

Additional Resources:
Aspinall, Edward. (2009) Combatants to Contractors: The Political Economy of Peace in Aceh. Indonesia 87:1-34.

Aspinall, Edward. (2007) The Construction of Grievance: Natural Resources and Identity in a Separatist Conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution 51:950-72.
Ballentine, Karen; and Heiko Nitzschke. (2004) Profiting from Peace : Managing the Resource Dimensions of Civil War. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner.
Bannon, Ian; and Paul Collier. (2003) Natural Resources and Violent Conflict : Options and Actions. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
Berdal, Mats; and David Keen. (1997) Violence and Economic Agendas in Civil Wars. Millennium – Journal of International Studies 26.
Boas, Morton. (2001) Liberia and Sierra Leone – Deadringers? The Logic of Neo-Patrimonial Rule. Third World Quarterly 22.
Collier, Paul. (2000) Doing Well out of War: An Economic Perspective. In Greed and Grievance: Economic Agendas in Civil Wars, edited by Mats Berdal and David Malone. Boulder: Lynne Reinner.
Cramer, Christopher Dr. (2002) Homo Economicus Goes to War: Methodological Individualism, Rational Choice and the Political Economy of War. World Development 30.
Deudney, Daniel. (1990) The Case against Linking Environmental Degradation and National Security. Millennium – Journal of International Studies 19.
Diamond, Jared M. (2005) Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive. London: Allen Lane.
Duffield, Mark. (1998) Post-Modern Conflict: Warlords, Post-Adjustment States and Private Protection. Civil Wars 1.
———. (2000) Globalization, Transborder Trade and War Economies. In Greed and Grievance : Economic Agendas in Civil Wars, edited by Mats R. Berdal and David M. Malone. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Felbab-Brown, Vanda. (2006) Kicking the Opium Habit? Afghanistan’s Drug Economy and Politics since the 1980s. Conflict, Security & Development 6.
Ferguson, James. (2005) Seeing Like an Oil Company: Space, Security, and Global Capital in Neoliberal Africa. American Anthropologist 107:377-82.
Giustozzi, Antonio. (2007) War and Peace Economies of Afghanistan’s Strong Men. International Peacekeeping 14.
Goodhand, Jonathan. (2003) Enduring Disorder and Persistent Poverty: A Review of the Linkages between War and Chronic Poverty. World Development 31.
Haugh, W.; and T. Ellingsen. (1998) Beyond Environmental Scarcity: Causal Pathways to Conflict. Journal of Peace Research 35.
Hirsch, John L. (2001) War in Sierra Leone. Survival 43.
Homer-Dixon, Thomas F. (1999) Environment, Scarcity, and Violence. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
———. (1999) Environmental Scarcity and Violence. Princeton University Press.
Kalyvas, Stathis N. (2001) ‘New’ and ‘Old’ Civil Wars: A Valid Distinction? World Politics 54:99-118.
Karl, Terry. (1997) Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petrol States. Berkeley: University of California.
Keen, David. (1997) A Rational Kind of Madness. Oxford Development Studies 25.
———. (2008) Chapters 2 & 3 In Complex Emergencies, edited by David Keen, pp. viii, 293 p. Cambridge: Polity.
Kolko, Gabriel. (1994) Century of War : Politics, Conflicts, and Society since 1914. New York: New Press.
Krueger, Alan B. (2008) What Makes a Terrorist : Economics and the Roots of Terrorism. Princeton, N.J. ; Woodstock: Princeton University Press.
Le Billon, Philippe. (2000) The Political Economy of War : What Relief Agencies Need to Know. London: Humanitarian Practice Network.
———. (2000) The Political Economy of War : An Annotated Bibliography. Overseas Development Institute, Humanitarian Policy Group.
———. (2001) Fuelling War or Buying Peace : The Role of Corruption in Conflicts. Wider Discussion Paper, 1609-5774. Helsinki: UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research.
———. (2005) Geopolitics of Resource Wars : Resource Dependence, Governance and Violence. Cass Studies in Geopolitics, 1466-7940. London: Frank Cass.
———. (2005) Fuelling War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflict. In Adelphi Papers. London: IISS.
Malaquias, Assis. (2001) Diamonds Are a Guerillas Best Friend: The Impact of Illicit Wealth on Insurgency Strategy. Third World Quarterly 22.
Marten, Kimberly. (2006-7) Warlordism in Comparative Perspective. International Security 31.
Nordstrom, Carolyn. (2004) Shadows of War : Violence, Power, and International Profiteering in the Twenty-First Century. California Series in Public Anthropology. Berkeley: University of California Press.
OECD DAC. (2008) Introduction and Chapter 1 In Resource Flows to Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, edited by OECD DAC. Paris: OECD DAC.
Regan, Patrick M. (2005) Green, Grievance and Mobilization in Civil Wars. Journal of Conflict Resolution 49.
Reno, William. (2000) Shadow States and the Political Economy of Civil Wars. In Greed and Grievance: Economic Agendas in Civil Wars, edited by Mats Berdal and David Malone. Boulder: Lynne Reiner.
Ross, Mark. (2004) How Does Natural Resource Wealth Influence Civil Wars? Evidence from 13 Cases. International Organization.
Ross, Michael L. (2004) What Do We Know About Natural Resources and Civil War. Journal of Peace Research 4.
Selby, Jan. (2003) Water, Power and Politics in the Middle East : The Other Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Library of Modern Middle East Studies. London: I. B. Tauris.
———. (2005) The Geopolitics of Water in the Middle East: Fantasies and Realities. Third World Quarterly 26:329-49.
Sen, Amartya. (2008) Violence, Identity and Poverty. Journal of Peace Research 45.
Stewart, Frances; and E. V. K. Fitzgerald. (2001) War and Underdevelopment. Volume 1, the Economic and Social Consequences of Conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Suhrke, Astri. (1994) Environmental Degradation and Populations Flows. Journal of International Affairs 47.
UNEP. (2007) Sudan: Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment
Vinci, Anthony. (2006) Greed-Grievance Reconsidered: The Role of Power and Survival in the Motivation of Armed Groups. Civil Wars 8.
Walter, Barbara F. (2004) Does Conflict Begat Conflict? Explaining Recurring Civil War. Journal of Peace Research 41.
Walton, John; and Seddon David. Free Markets & Food Riots. OXFORD: BLACKWELL (1994) P. 1-22.
Zack-Williams, Alfred B. (1999) Sierra Leone: The Political Economy of Civil War 1991-98. Third World Quarterly 20.

Week 7: Essay Preparation Workshop
This class will brief you on what is expected from your end of term essay, introduce you to common mistakes and give you peer-to-peer feedback on your essay outline. You will need to bring copies of your outline to class. Please read Annex 2 for details.

Part III: Considering the Solutions

This third part of the course steps back from the contemporary CSD problematique in order to interrogate its underlying assumptions regarding development, war, security, and international relations. It does so through an examination of 3 contemporary approaches to CSD.

Week 8. Who’s responsibility to protect? Defining State Failure and Refining State-building

Problems of violent conflict and insecurity are commonly blamed on the condition of the state in question be it “weak”, “failed” or “fragile”. This week looks at how the discourse of state failure has evolved, and with it, the practice of “statebuilding”. It examines what constitutes a “state” and how this differs from a nation; the ubiquity of “institution building” in international assistance and the associated ideas of “good” and “democratic” governance. It interrogates the emerging benchmarks such as elections and the underlying normative consensus of what constitutes a legitimate state.

Guiding questions:
• When has a state failed? According to whom?
• Should non-democratic governance arrangements be considered as legitimate? Whose responsibility is it to protect?
• Can state building be separated from peace building? From nation building? Can states be built or do they need to evolve?
• Do current theories of state-building underplay the historic role played by violence in the state building process?
• If it’s all about micro-politics, where is the room for the state?

Essential Reading:
Brooks, Rosa Ehrenreich (2005) “Failed States, or the State as Failure” University of Chicago Law Review Vol 72(4): 1159-1196.
Call, Charles T. (2010) “Beyond the ‘failed state’: Toward conceptual alternatives” EJIR Vol 20(10): 1-24.
Jackson, Robert. (1990) Chapter 1 in Quasi-States: Sovereignty, IR and the Third World Cambridge: CUP.
Paris, Roland. (2010) “Saving liberal peacebuilding” Review of International Studies Vol 36:337-365
Tilly, Charles. (1990) Chapter 4 in Coercion, Capital, and European States, A.D.990-1990. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Also have a look at
DFID. (2009) Building the State and Securing the Peace. London: DFID available at (accessed August 11, 2010)
International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect at (accessed August 11, 2010)

Case Study: East Timor
To get you started see chapters in Jennifer Milliken’s State failure, collapse and reconstruction; Dominic Zaum’s The Sovereignty Paradox and Roland Paris’ At War’s End

Additional Readings:
Barnett, Michael. (1997) Bringing in the New World Order: Liberalism, Legitimacy and the United Nations. World Politics 49.
Barnett, Michael N.; and Raymond Duvall. (2005) Power in Global Governance. Cambridge Studies in International Relations: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Beck, Ulrich. Neither Order nor Peace. Common Knowledge 11:1-11.
Call, Charles; and Vanessa Wyeth. (2008) Building States to Build Peace. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner ; London : Eurospan [distributor].
Campbell, David. (1998) Chapters 1 & 7. In National Deconstruction : Violence, Identity, and Justice in Bosnia, edited by David Campbell, pp. xv,304p. Minneapolis, Minn. ; London: University of Minneapolis Press.
Carothers, Thomas. (2007) The Sequencing Fallacy. Journal of Democracy 18.
Chandler, David. (2006) Chapters 2 & 3 In Empire in Denial : The Politics of State-Building, edited by David Chandler, pp. xii, 221 p. London: Pluto.
Chesterman, Simon. (2004) Intro & Chapter 4 In You, the People : The United Nations, Transitional Administration, and State-Building. Simon Chesterman, edited by Simon Chesterman, pp. xx, 296 p. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.
Chetail, Vincent. (2009) Post-Conflict Peacebuilding : A Lexicon. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Collier, Paul. (2009) Wars, Guns, and Votes : Democracy in Dangerous Places. London: Bodley Head.
Debrix, Francois. (1999) Re-Envisioning Peacekeeping : The United Nations and the Mobilization of Ideology. Borderlines. Minneapolis, Minn. ; London: University of Minnesota Press.
Dobbins, James. (2004) The U.N.’S Role in Nation Building: From the Belgium Congo to Iraq. Survival 46:81-102.
Englebert, Pierre; and Denis M. Tull. (2008) Postconflict Reconstruction in Africa: Flawed Ideas About Failed States. International Security 32:106-39.
Finkelstein, Lawrence S. (1995) What Is Global Governance? . Global Governance 1.
Hay, Colin, Michale Lister, David Marsh. (2006) The State: Theories and Issues. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hurd, Ian. (1999) Legitimacy and Authority in International Politics. International Organization 53.
International Crisis Group. 2008. Crisis Group, the Responsibility to Protect (R2p),
and Sri Lanka.
Jackson, Robert. (2004) International Engagement in War-Torn Countries. Global Governance 10:21-36.
Jahn, Beate. (2007) The Tragedy of Liberal Diplomacy: Democratization, Intervention, Statebuilding (Part I). Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 1:87-106.
———. (2007) The Tragedy of Liberal Diplomacy: Democratization, Intervention, Statebuilding (Part Ii). Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 1:211-29.
Jones, Branwen Gruffydd (2008) “The Global Political Economy of Social Crisis: Towards a critique of the ‘failed state’ ideology” Review of International Political Economy Vol. 15(2):180-205l.
Kant, Immanuel. (1990) Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch. In Political Writings, edited by Immanuel Kant and Hans Reiss, p. [288] p. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kaplan, Seth (2010) “Rethinking State-building in a Failed State” The Washington Quarterly Vol 33(1):81-97.
Latour, Bruno. Whose Cosmos, Which Cosmopolitics? Common Knowledge 10:450-62.
Le Billion, Philippe (2008) “Corrupting Peace? Peacebuilding and Post-conflict Corruption” International Peacekeeping Vol 15(3):344-361
Milliken, Jennifer. (2003) State Failure, Collapse and Reconstruction. Development and Change Book Series. Oxford: Blackwell.
OECD DAC. (2007) Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations. Paris: OECD DAC.
———. (2008) Introduction and Chapter 1 In Resource Flows to Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, edited by OECD DAC. Paris: OECD DAC.
———. (2009) Preventing Violence, War and State Collapse: The Future of Conflict Early Warning and Response.
Paris, Roland. (2000) Broadening the Study of Peace Operations. International Studies Review 2:27-44.
———. (2006) At War’s End: Building Peace after Civil Conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Pouligny, Béatrice,Simon Chesterman; and Albrecht Schnabel. (2007) After Mass Crime : Rebuilding States and Communities. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.
Reno, William. (2004) The Privitization of Sovereignty and the Survival of Weak States In Privatizing the States, edited by Beatrice Hibou. London: Hirst.
Richmond, Oliver P. (2008) “Reclaiming Peace in International Relations” Millennium Vol 36:439-470.
Richmond, Oliver P. and Jason Franks (2009) Liberal Peace Transitions: Between Statebuilding and Peacebuilding. Edinburgh: EUP. (good case studies – book is on order)
Roodman, David. (2007) Macro Aid Effectiveness Research: A Guide for the Perplexed. In Working Paper: Center for Global Development.
Rotberg, Robert I. (2002) “The new nature of the nation state discourse” Washington Quarterly Vol. 25(3).
Smillie, Ian. (1997) NGOs and Development Assistance: A Change in Mind-Set? Third World Quarterly 18:563-77.
Trudeau, Dan and Luisa Veronais (2009) “Enacting State Restructuring: NGOs as ‘translation mechanisms’ EPD: Society and Space Vol 27(6):1117-1134.
Vincent, Andrew. (1987) Theories of the State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Walls, Michael (2009) “The Emergence of a Somali State: Building Peace From Civil War in Somaliland” in African Affairs pp. 1-19.
Zizek, Slavoj. (2008) Chapter 5 – Tolerance as an Ideological Category. In Violence, edited by Slavoj Zizek. London: Profile Books

Week 9: Conflict is elsewhere – the construction of the “third world”; and the changing dynamics of aid

This week looks at the construction of geographical and functional categories associated with the practice of “international development assistance”. In particular it draws upon post-colonial critiques of the construction of the “third world” and frameworks and campaigns such as “structural adjustment”, “poverty eradication”, the “Millennium Development Goals” as conditions which are external and “Other” to a developed Global North. It examines how these paradigms are(n)’t being challenging by the rise of so-called ‘emerging donors’

Guiding Questions:
• What is the “third world” and how is it constructed? How has it, in turn constructed the “First World”
• Is CSD a “North-South” issue? How is this changing?
• What does the behaviour of ‘emerging donors’ tell us about the nature of development cooperation?
• What place do conflict and security concerns play in the ‘emerging donors’ agenda.

Essential Readings:
Adelman, Carol (2009) “Global Philanthropy and Remittances: Reinventing Foreign Aid” Brown Journal of World Affairs Vol 15(2):23-33.
Ayoob, Mohammed. (2004) Third World Perspectives on Humanitarian Intervention and International Administration. Global Governance 10:99-118.
Escobar, Arturo. (1994) Chapter 2 in Encountering Development : The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History. Princeton, N.J. ; Chichester: Princeton University Press.
Kapoor, Ilan (2008) Chapter 5 in The Postcolonial Politics of Development Oxon: Routledge.

PLUS two of the following depending on your interest:
Mawsdley, Emma and Gerard McCann (2010) “The Elephant in the Corner? Reviewing India-Africa Relations in the New Millennium” Geography Compass Vol 4(2):81-93
Raposo, Pedro Amakasu and David M. Potter (2010) “Chinese and Japanese development co-operation: South-South, North-South, or what?” Journal of Contemporary African Studies Vol 28(2):177-202.
White, Lyal (2010) “Understanding Brazil’s new drive for Africa” South African Journal of International Affairs Vol 17(2):221-242

Case Study: China in Africa
To get you started read Brautigam, Deborah (2010) China, Africa and the International Aid Architecture ABD Working Paper Series No. 107; Alden, Chris (2005) “China in Africa” Survival Vol. 47(3):147-164.; Brautigam, Deborah (2009) The dragon’s gift the real story of China in Africa Oxford: OUP.

Additional Readings:
Alesina, Alberto; and David Dollar. (2000) Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why? Journal of Economic Growth 5:33-63.
Alden, Chris (2005) “China in Africa” Survival Vol. 47(3):147-164.
Ayoob, Mohammed. (1995) The Third World Security Predicament : State Making, Regional Conflict, and the International System. Emerging Global Issues. Boulder, Colo. ; London: Lynne Rienner.
Bankoff, Gregory. (2001) Rendering the World Unsafe: ‘Vulnerability’ as Western Discourse. Disasters 25:19-35.
Brautigam, Deborah (2010) China, Africa and the International Aid Architecture ABD Working Paper Series No. 107
Brautigam, Deborah (2009) The dragon’s gift the real story of China in Africa Oxford: OUP.
Brenner, N. (1998) Between Fixity and Motion: Accumulation, Territorial Organization, and the Historical Geography of Spatial Scales. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 16:459-81.
Cole, Alyson Manda. (2007) The Cult of True Victimhood : From the War on Welfare to the War on Terror. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
Dahlman, Carl and Gerard Toal. (2005) Broken Bosnia: The Localization of Geopolitics of Displacement and Return in Two Bosnian Places. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 95:644-62.
Doty, Roxanne Lynn. (1996) Imperial Encounters : The Politics of Representation in North-South Relations. Borderlines. Minneapolis ; London: University of Minnesota Press.
Duvall, S. (2007) “Ambassador Mom”: Angelina Jolie, Celebrity Activism, and Institutional Power. In Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association. San Francisco, CA.
Edkins, Jenny. (2000) Sovereign Power, Zones of Indistinction and the Camp. Alternatives 25:3-25.
Elden, Stuart. (2006) Spaces of Humanitarian Exception. Geografiska Annaler, Series B 88:477-85.
Fanon, Frantz; and Constance Farrington. (1969) The Wretched of the Earth. Penguin Books ; No. 2674. Reprinted ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Ferguson, James. (2006) Global Shadows : Africa in the Neoliberal World Order. Durham, N.C. ; London: Duke University Press ;.
Ferguson, James and Akhil Gupta. (2005) Chapter 4 – Spatializing States. In Anthropologies of Modernity edited by Jonathan Xavier Inda. Oxford: Blackwell.
Hinton, Alexander Laban; and Kevin Lewis O’Neill. (2009) Genocide : Truth, Memory, and Representation. Durham [NC] ; London: Duke University Press.
Hodge, Joseph Morgan. (2007) Triumph of the Expert : Agrarian Doctrines of Development and the Legacies of British Colonialism. Ohio University Press Series in Ecology and History. Athens: Ohio University Press.
Hughes, Caroline; and Vanessa Pupavac. (2005) Framing Post-Conflict Societies: International Pathologisation of Cambodia and the Post-Yugoslav States. Third World Quarterly 26:873-89.
Hughes, Rachel. (2007) Through the Looking Blast: Geopolitics and Visual Culture. Geography Compass 1:976-94.
Hyndman, Jennifer. (2000) Managing Displacement : Refugees and the Politics of Humanitarianism. Minneapolis ; London: University of Minnesota Press.
Inayatullah, Naeem and David L. Blaney. (2004) International Relations and the Problem of Difference. New York: Routledge.
Jeffrey, Alex. (2007) The Geopolitical Framing of Localized Struggles: NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Development and Change 38:251-74.
Kothari, U. (2005) Authority and Expertise: The Professionalisation and the Ordering of Dissent. Antipode:425-46.
Kothari, Uma. (2006) Spatial Practices and Imaginaries: Experiences of Colonial Officers and Development Professionals. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 27:235-53.
Lambert, David and Alan Lester. (2004) Geographies of Colonial Philanthropy. Progress in Human Geography 28:320-41.
Landau, Loren B. (2006) Immigration and the State of Exception: Security and Sovereignty in East and Southern Africa. Millennium – Journal of International Studies 34:325-48.
Low, Setha M. (2001) The Edge and the Center: Gated Communities and the Discourse of Urban Fear. American Anthropologist 103:45-58.
Mabee, Bryan. (2009) Chapter 5. In The Globalization of Security : State Power, Security Provision and Legitimacy, edited by Bryan Mabee, pp. viii, 205 p. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Malkki, Liisa H. (1996) Speechless Emissaries: Refugees, Humanitarianism, and Dehistoricization. Cultural Anthropology 11:377-404.
Mamdani, Mahmood. (2007) The Politics of Naming: Genocide, Civil War, Insurgency. In London Review of Books. London.
McKinnon, Katharine. (2007) Postdevelopment, Professionalism, and the Politics of Participation. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 97:772-85.
McQueen, Carol (2005) Humanitarian Intervention and Safety Zones: Iraq, Bosnia, and Rwanda. Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies Palgrave Macmillan.
Mitchell, Timothy. (2002) Rule of Experts : Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity. Berkeley, Calif. ; London: University of California Press.
Moeller, Susan D. (1999) Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease, Famine, War, and Death. New York ; London: Routledge.
Moulin, Carolina, and Peter Nyers. (2007) “We Live in a Country of UNHCR” – Refugee Protests and Global Political Society. International Political Sociology 1:357-72.
Perkins, Richard and; and Eric Neumayer. (2008) Extra-Territorial Interventions in Conflict Spaces: Explaining the Geographies of Post-Cold War Peacekeeping. Political Geography.
Rozario, Kevin. (2003) “Delicious Horrors”: Mass Culture, the Red Cross, and the Appeal of Modern American Humanitarianism. American Quarterly 55:417.
Said, Edward W. (1995)Orientalism. Penguin History. Repr. with a new afterword. ed. London: Penguin.
Scott, David. (2005) Chapter 1 – Colonial Governmentality. In Anthropologies of Modernity edited by Jonathan Xavier Inda. Oxford: Blackwell.
Scott, James C. (1985) Weapons of the Weak : Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven ; London: Yale University Press.
Selby, J. (2002) Dressing up Domination As “Cooperation”: The Case of Israeli-Palestinian Water Relations. Review of International Studies 29:121-38.
Slater, David. (1997) Geopolitical Imaginations across the North-South Divide: Issues of Difference, Development and Power. Political Geography 16:631-53.
Smillie, Ian. (2001) Patronage or Partnership : Local Capacity Building in Humanitarian Crises. Bloomfield, Conn.: Kumarian Dress.
Sylvester, Christine. (2006) Bare Life as a Development/Post-Colonial Problematic. The Geographic Journal 172:66-77.
Wacquant, Loic J. D. (2008) Urban Outcasts : A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality. Cambridge: Polity.
Walker, RBJ. (1997) The Subject of Security. In Critical Security Studies : Concepts and Cases, edited by Keith Krause and Michael C. Williams, pp. xxiv, 379p. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Week 10: Aid as part of the problem?
From humanitarian assistance to peace-keeping to development and financial assistance, international aid is presented as the solution to underdevelopment, conflict and insecurity. However increasingly, aid is seen as problematic for a series of reasons. As we have seen, at the macro level, the structures of international assistance may be seen as both creating and reinforcing power imbalances between the Global North and South. At the micro level, the resource of aid and its various externalities may contribute to changing the societal dynamic in a way which increases the propensity for conflict or protracts existing ones.

This week will review these arguments and look at recent trends in CSD which have seen the introduction and evolution of development to incorporate security concerns. On the one hand, the “human security agenda” has expanded the idea of “security” into traditionally non-securitized aspects of assistance such as poverty reduction and education. Simultaneously, on the other hand, the expansion of military operations into areas such as rural reconstruction in Afghanistan and the increased use of civil-military partnerships has brought military actors into the domain traditionally occupied by aid agencies. This week looks at these trends and asks what is the future of CSD? It brings our discussions full circle by examining the approaches to counter-insurgency currently being used by Western forces in Afghanistan – methods which are strikingly similar to those which have been used by development practitioners over the last two decades.

Guiding Questions:
• What is the Human Security Agenda? Has it changed development assistance?
• Have understandings of security changed over the last century? For whom?
• Can humanitarian and military organizations work together? Does it affect the safety of aid workers?
• Does the provision of aid make conflict/insecurity more or less likely in a given society? How so?
• How does the organizational culture/approaches of humanitarianism frame discussions of CSD and effect outcomes?

Essential Readings:
Anderson, Mary B. (1999) Chapter 5 in Do No Harm : How Aid Can Support Peace–or War, edited by Mary B. Anderson. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Duffield, Mark R. (2007) Chapter 5 – Human Security and Global Danger In Development, Security and Unending War : Governing the World of Peoples, edited by Mark R. Duffield, pp. xii, 266 p. Cambridge: Polity.
Easterly, William. (2002) The Cartel of Good Intentions: The Problem of Bureaucracy in Foreign Aid Policy Reform 5:223-50.
Fast, Larissa A. (2010) “Mind the Gap: Documenting and explaining violence against aid workers” EJIR Vol 20(10):1-25.
Lischer, Sarah Kenyon. (2007) Military Intervention and the Humanitarian “Force Multiplier”. Global Governance 13:99-118.
Marriage, Zoe (2010) “Congo Co: aid and security” Conflict, Security and Development Vol 10(3):353-377

Case Study: Afghanistan in the context of British Development Policy
Have a look at news reports and websites such as The UK’s Stabilisation Unit and statements by DFID and the Ministry of Defense.

Additional Readings (policy documents):
Human Security Center. 2005. Human Security Report 2005: War and Peace in the 21st Century
The UK Approach to Stabilisation (2008) UK Stabilisation Unit (accessed August 11, 2010)
UNDP Human Security Report (1994) (accessed August 12, 2010)
US Army (2006) Counterinsurgency.

Additional Readings (on the problems with aid):
Andreas, Peter (2009) “Symbiosis Between Peace Operations and Illicit Business in Bosnia” International Peacekeeping Vol. 16(1):33-46.
Bebbington, A.; and U. Kothari. (2006) Transnational Development Networks. Environment and Planning A 38:849-66.
Berrios, Ruben. (2000) Contracting for Development : The Role of for-Profit Contractors in U.S. Foreign Development Assistance. Westport, Conn: Praeger.
Brinkley, Joel. April 8, 2006 “Give Rebuilding Lower Priority in Future Wars”. New York Times.
Campbell, David. (1999) Apartheid Cartography: The Political Anthropology and Spatial Effects of International Diplomacy in Bosnia. Political Geography 18:395-435.
Carnahan, Michael,William Durch; and Scott Gilmore. (2006) Economic Impact of Peacekeeping. Peace Dividend Trust.
Cooley, Alexander; and James Ron. (2002) The NGO Scramble: Organizational Insecurity and the Political Economy of Transnational Action. International Security 27:5-39.
Cronin, Bruce; and Ian Hurd. (2008) The UN Security Council and the Politics of International Authority. Security and Governance. London: Routledge.
CSIS, Association of the US Army (2002) Post-Conflict Reconstruction Task Framework. CSIS and Association of the US Army
Drury, A. Cooper,Richard Stuart Olson; and Douglas A. Van Belle. (2005) The Politics of Humanitarian Aid: U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, 1964 – 1995. Journal of Politics 67:454-73.
Easterly, William Russell. (2006) The White Man’s Burden : Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Eide, Espen Barth,Anja Therese Kaspersen,Randolph C. Kent; and Karen von Hippel. (2005) Report on Integrated Missions: Practical Perspectives and Recommendations
Feinstein International Famine Center, and International Alert. (2001) The Politicisation of Humanitarian Action and Staff Security: The Use of Private Security Companies by Humanitarian Agencies. In The Politicisation of Humanitarian Action and Staff Security: The Use of Private Security Companies by Humanitarian Agencies. Tufts University, Boston.
Ghosh, Amitav. (1994) The Global Reservation: Notes toward an Ethnography of International Peacekeeping. Cultural Anthropology 9:412-22.
Harmer, Adele; and Lin Cotterrell. (2005) Diversity in Donorship: The Changing Landscape of Official Humanitarian Aid. London: Overseas Development Institute.
Higate, Paul. (2007) Peacekeepers, Masculinities, and Sexual Exploitation. Men and Masculinities 10:99-119.
Higate, Paul; and Marsha Henry. (2004) Engendering (in)Security in Peace Support Operations. Security Dialogue 35:481-98.
Hoffman, Danny. (2004) The Civilian Target in Sierra Leone and Liberia: Political Power, Military Strategy, and Humanitarian Intervention. Afr Aff (Lond) 103:211-26.
Hoogvelt, Ankie. (2006) Globalization and Post-Modern Imperialism. Globalizations 3:159-74.
Keen, David. (2008) Chapter 6 – Aid In Complex Emergencies, edited by David Keen, pp. viii, 293 p. Cambridge: Polity.
Kennedy, David. (2004) The Dark Sides of Virtue : Reassessing International Humanitarianism. Princeton N.J. ; Oxford : Princeton University Press c2004.
Kenny, Sue. (2005) Reconstruction in Aceh: Building Whose Capacity? . Community Development Journal 42:206-21.
Kilcullen, David. (2009) The Accidental Guerrilla : Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.
Kothari, U. (2005) Authority and Expertise: The Professionalisation and the Ordering of Dissent. Antipode:425-46.
Kothari, Uma. (2006) Spatial Practices and Imaginaries: Experiences of Colonial Officers and Development Professionals. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 27:235-53.
Kuperman, Alan J. (2008) Mitigating the Moral Hazard of Humanitarian Intervention: Lessons from Economics. Global Governance 14:219-40.
Lepard, Brian D. (2002) Rethinking Humanitarian Intervention : A Fresh Approach Based on Fundamental Ethical Principles in International Law and World Religions. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press ; London : Eurospan.
Lewis, I. M. . (2001) Why the Warlords Won. Times Literary Supplement.
Lipson, Michael. (2007) Peacekeeping: Organized Hypocrisy? European Journal of International Relations 13:5-34.
Lischer, Sarah Kenyon. (2003) Collateral Damage: Humanitarian Assistance as a Cause of Conflict. International Security 28:79-109.
Marriage, Zoe. (2006) Not Breaking the Rules, Not Playing the Game, International Assistance to Countries at War. London: Hurst & Co,; Palgrave & Macmillan.
McKinnon, Katharine. (2007) Postdevelopment, Professionalism, and the Politics of Participation. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 97:772-85.
Moyo, Dambisa. (2009) Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is Another Way for Africa. London: Allen Lane.
Noxolo, Patricia. (2006) Claims: A Postcolonial Geographical Critique of ‘Partnership’ in Britain’s Development Discourse. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 27:254-69.
OECD DAC. (2007) Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations. Paris: OECD DAC.
Pandolfi, Mariella. (2003) Contract of Mutual (in)Difference: Governance and the Humanitarian Apparatus in Contemporary Albania and Kosovo. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 10:369-82.
Roodman, David. (2007) Macro Aid Effectiveness Research: A Guide for the Perplexed. In Working Paper: Center for Global Development.
Rozario, Kevin. (2003) “Delicious Horrors”: Mass Culture, the Red Cross, and the Appeal of Modern American Humanitarianism. American Quarterly 55:417.
Rubin, Barnett R. (2006) Peace Building and State-Building in Afghanistan: Constructing Sovereignty for Whose Security? Third World Quarterly 27:175-85.
Rubinstein, Robert A. (2005) Intervention and Culture: An Anthropological Approach to Peace Operations. Security Dialogue 36:527-44.
Slim, Hugo. (2004) How We Look: Hostile Perceptions of Humanitarian Action. In Conference on Humanitarian Coordination. Wilton Park Montreux.
Smirl, Lisa. (2008) Building the Other, Constructing Ourselves: Spatial Dimensions of International Humanitarian Response. International Political Sociology 2:236-53.
Spees, Pam. (2004) Gender, Justice and Accountability in Peace Support Operations London: International Alert.
Stoddard, Abby,Adele Harmer; and Victoria DiDomenico. (2008) The Use of Private Security Providers. London: Humanitarian Policy Group.
———. (2009) Private Security Contracting in Humanitarian Operations. London: Humanitarian Policy Group.
Templeman, Jon. (2008) Humanitarian Aid Politicized. In Policy Innovations: Carnegie Council
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (2003) Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Guidelines for Prevention and Response. Geneva: UNHCR.
Weiss, Thomas George; and Cindy Collins. (2000) Chapter 5 – Main Actors, Humanitarian Challenges and Intervention. Dilemmas in World Politics. 2nd ed. ed. Boulder, Colo. ; Oxford: Westview Press.
Whitworth, Sandra. (2004) Men, Militarism, and UN Peacekeeping : A Gendered Analysis. Critical Security Studies. Boulder, Colo. ; London: Lynne Rienner.

Additional Readings (on human security and the merging of development and military concerns):
Basaran, Tugba. (2008) Security, Law, Borders: Spaces of Exclusion. International Political Sociology 2:339-54.
Bauman, Zygmunt. (2000) Community : Seeking Safety in an Insecure World. Polity.
Bigo, Didier. (2006) Protection: Security, Territory and Population. In The Politics of Protection : Sites of Insecurity and Political Agency, edited by Jef Huysmans, Andrew Dobson and Raia Prokhovnik, pp. 84-100. London: Routledge.
Blakeley, Ruth. (2009) State Terrorism and Neoliberalism : The North in the South. London: Routledge.
Brahimi, Lakhdar. (2008) Towards a Culture of Security and Accountability. New York: United Nations.
Brinkley, Joel. April 8, 2006 “Give Rebuilding Lower Priority in Future Wars”. New York Times.
Burgess, J. Peter; and Taylor Owen. (2004) Security Dialogue: Special Issue on Human Security (Vol. 35; No. 3). pp. Articles 6 – 27.
Chandler, David. (2008) Theorising the Shift from Security to Insecurity – Kaldor, Duffield, Furedi. Conflict, Security & Development 8:265-76.
Duffield, Mark. (2001) Chapters 1, 2 & 5 Global Governance and the New Wars : The Merging of Development and Security. London: Zed.
Füredi, Frank. (2007) Invitation to Terror : The Expanding Empire of the Unknown. London: Continuum.
Hampson, Fen Osler; and Jean Daudelin. (2001) Madness in the Multitude : Human Security and World Disorder. Toronto, Ont. ; Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Harmer, Adele. (2008) Integrated Missions: A Threat to Humanitarian Security? International Peacekeeping 15:528-39.
House of Commons. (2009) Department of International Development: Operating in Insecure Environments. London: House of Commons.
Hyndman, Jennifer. (2007) The Securitization of Fear in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 97:361-72.
International Federal of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. (2007) Stay Safe: The International Federations Guide to a Safer Mission. Geneva: IFRC.
International Peace Institute. (2009) Global Terrorism: Task Forces on Strengthening Multilateral Security Capacity. In IPI Blue Papers: IPI.
Kaldor, Mary. (2007) Chapter 3. In Human Security, edited by Mary Kaldor, pp. ix, 228 p. Cambridge: Polity.
Lischer, Sarah Kenyon. (2007) Military Intervention and the Humanitarian “Force Multiplier”. Global Governance 13:99-118.
Low, Setha M. (2001) The Edge and the Center: Gated Communities and the Discourse of Urban Fear. American Anthropologist 103:45-58.
Nelson, Diane M. (2005) Chapter 9 – Life During Wartime. In Anthropologies of Modernity edited by Jonathan Xavier Inda. Oxford: Blackwell.
Pupuvac, Vanessa. (2005) Human Security and the Rise of Global Therapeutic Governance Conflict, Security & Development 5:161-81.
Report of the Secretary General. (2003) Safety and Security of Humanitarian Personnel and Protection of United Nations Personnel. edited by UN General Assembly. New York: United Nations.
Secretary General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. (2004) Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
. New York: United Nations.
Sheik, Mani,Maria Isabel Gutierrez,Paul Bolton,Paul Speigel,Michel Thieren; and Gilbert Burnham. (2000) Deaths among Humanitarian Workers. British Medical Journal 321.
Slim, Hugo. (2003) Humanitarianism with Borders? NGOs, Belligerent Military Forces and Humanitarian Action. In ICVA Conference on NGOs in a Changing World Order: Dilemmas and Challenges. Geneva.
Smith, General Sir Rupert. (2006) The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World. London: Penguin.
Stoddard, Abby, Adele Harmer, Katherine Haver. (2006) Providing Aid in Insecure Environments: Trends in Policy and Operations. In Humanitarian Policy Group: Overseas Development Institute.
Stoddard, Abby,Adele Harmer; and Katherine Haver. (2009) Providing Aid in Insecure Environments: 2009 Update. In Humanitarian Policy Group: Overseas Development Institute.
Templeman, Jon. (2008) Humanitarian Aid Politicized. In Policy Innovations: Carnegie Council
US Army. (2006) Counterinsurgency.
Van Brabant, Koenraad. (1998) Cool Ground for Aid Providers: Towards Better Security Management in Aid Agencies. Disasters 22:109-25.
———. (2000) Operational Security Management in Violent Environments. In Good Practice Review, edited by ODI. London: HPN.
Vincenzo, Bollettino. (2008) Understanding the Security Management Practices of Humanitarian Organizations. Disasters 32:263-79.
Walker, RBJ. (1997) The Subject of Security. In Critical Security Studies : Concepts and Cases, edited by Keith Krause and Michael C. Williams, pp. xxiv, 379p. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
World Health Organisation. (2002) World Report on Violence and Health. edited by Etienne G Krug and et al. Geneva.
Yamashita, Hikaru. (2004) Humanitarian Space and International Politics : The Creation of Safe Areas. Aldershot ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate.



Groups: Will be announced on Study Direct by Week 2. They will be allocated according to student preferences for specific topics, as much as possible however, the convenor retains the right to make final decisions on group allocation according to international best practice.
Objective & Approach: The objective of the presentation is two fold. First, the group must introduce and familiarize the class to a given case study from within the ‘conflict, development, and security’ literature. Second, the group must critically assess the given case study through the theoretical theme of the given week.
Example: Analyze the recent conflict in South Kyrgyzstan from the perspective of environmental degradation.
This presentation might spend the first 5 minutes giving a brief overview of the conflict, security and development situation in South Kyrgyzstan, focusing on the most pertinent events: in this case, the recent ethnic clashes. It would then move on to demonstrating how theories of environmental degradation would explain these events. For example, climate change has led to a to a reduction of fertile land available for agriculture which has led to an increase in regional migration and demand for land which has broken down along ethnic lines leading to increased inter-ethnic tensions, as recently shown. The last few minutes of the presentation should be used to assess whether the group agrees with this theoretical framework and pointing out any problems or shortcomings that the framework misses. Example: Your team questions whether the ethnic categories used in the mainstream analysis of the conflict are applicable. You feel that they are constructed categories and the violence is the result of conflict over trade routes within the region rather than purely ethnically motivated.
Please note that the presentation should NOT spend time detailing the theoretical positions as these will be discussed in the initial part of the seminar and all students are expected to have done the theoretical readings before coming to class. The focus is on the application of these frameworks.
Format & Supporting Materials:
• Ideally, the group can email handouts and presentation to the convenor at least 24 hours before the presentation. The convenor will then post them on Study Direct and it is the responsibility of individual students to bring a print out to class
• Where this hadn’t been done, the group must provide handouts to the class.
• The content is up to the group, but it should cover the basic points and include a short bibliography of works consulted. It is up to the group to research the topic. There are ample articles available in the library and in the electronic journals on the case studies. Finding and synthesizing this material is part of the task. A ‘notes’ version of the power point presentation is appropriate however, groups may wish to include supplementary material.
• The group is encouraged to use visual aids – either through power point, keynote or overheads. Facilities for power point and overhead are available in most classrooms. Mac users will need to organize the electronic connectivity themselves. In all cases it is up to the group to ensure that they have sufficiently prepared the equipment beforehand so that the presentation runs smoothly.
• The group will have 20 minutes to present followed by 10 minutes of questions. Groups will have a 2 minutes warning. At 20 minutes groups must end their presentations even if they are not done or risk an automatic 10 mark penalty.
• It is up to the group how they divide up the presentation. Each member of the whether they all want to speak. Some people may have a talent for designing presentations, or for doing research rather than public speaking. However at least half the team must present verbally (all may do so if they wish) and those who have not presented must answer at least one question each following the presentation. The presentation must include a final slide which clearly details the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team.
• In the case of problems within the team – for example, one team member not turning up to planning meetings, or failing to do contribute fairly to the groups workload, please send me at email detailing the difficulty, and I will intervene to resolve the problem. Please note that it is not uncommon to have tensions within a group, and dealing with these in a constructive way is part of the task. Particularly in international settings, there will be occasions when you are working with people from very different backgrounds than your own. Being able to constructively negotiate this challenge will be an important part of the skill set that you develop over the course of this MA.

Written Component : To be submitted in class on the day of the presentation
• The class must submit a written portfolio to the convenor composed of:
o a one page description of the teams working method including when they met, who was present, how they decided upon roles, what difficulties they faced and how they resolved them
o All handouts
o A copy of the visual presentation
o A complete bibliography of works consulted, with the most useful works indicated in bold font

Marking Criteria:
1. Substance:
• How well does the presentation identify and present the relevant aspects of the case study?
• How well does the presentation apply the theoretical framework to the case study?
• Has the group identified appropriate literature?
• How have they used this literature? Have they merely described it or have they presented it in a way which demonstrates critical analysis
• Is the team able to answer the questions that are raised in a professional manner?
• Are the materials handed in clear and well written?

2. Presentation
• Is the verbal presentation succinct, clear and easy to understand?
• Is the information included relevant?
• How appropriate are the handouts?
• Are the visual aids and handouts clear and visually appealing? Do they complement or detract from the overall presentation?
• Does the team work together well? Have they fulfilled the criteria that all members contribute?
• Have they stayed within the allocated time?

Marking Criteria for Presentations

Descriptor AlphaScale %                             Criteria
Excellent  A+ 95 This category of marks is given for a flawless presentation both in terms of content and style.  It is of the standard that could be presented in front of a high level professional audience (for example, Chatham House) and should bring to the topic a novel and scintillating approach.  All team members will contribute to the overall presentation. It will stay within the time limit. Questions will be answered in a professional manner.
A    A-   9085 Such marks are given for an excellent or outstanding presentation. A presentation of this standard will exhibit excellent levels of knowledge, understanding and presentation skills comprising all the qualities stated above, with additional elements of originality and flair. It will exhibit a critical engagement with the material presented and include independent argument regarding the theme, issue or topic being presented. It will be excellently presented in a fluent speaking style supported by excellent visual aids and handouts. All team members will contribute to the overall presentation. It will stay within the time limit. Questions will be answered in a professional manner.
Good B+BB- 807570 A mark in this range is indicative of a good or very good presentation. A presentation of this quality will show a good level of knowledge and understanding of the material covered. It will be well focussed, show evidence of very thoughtful preparation and a very clear comprehension of the material delivered. The material will be well structured, accurate, very coherently delivered and exhibit high level presentation and speaking skills well supported by good use of clear visual aids and handouts. All team members will contribute to the overall presentation. It will stay within the time limit. Questions will be answered in a professional manner.
Satisfactory C+CC- 656055 A mark in this range is indicative that the presentation is of a satisfactory to very satisfactory standard. A presentation of this quality will show clear knowledge and understanding of the material covered. It will be focused and show evidence of thoughtful preparation and clear comprehension of the material delivered. The material will be reasonably well structured, coherently presented and exhibit clear speaking skills supported by adequate use of clear visual aids and handouts. There may be some omission of relevant material or limited develop of a topic, theme or argument, it may contain minor factual errors and not all team members may have contributed.  It may be too long or too short.  Team members may have some difficulty dealing with questions from the audience.
Pass D +DD 504540 A mark in this range is indicative that the presentation meets the minimum standard expected. A presentation of this quality will show limited knowledge and understanding of the material covered. It will show evidence of some preparation and comprehension, but the presentation may be weakly organized and/or cover only a limited range of the relevant material. It may exhibit weak presentation or speaking skills, lack appropriate visual aids and/or handouts and may contain some significant factual errors. Some team members may not have contributed and it may be significantly too short or too long.
Fail E +E 3515 A mark in this range is indicative that the presentation is below, but at the upper end of the range is approaching, the minimum standard expected. It indicates a weak presentation below the minimum standard expected. This will be because either the presentation is too short, poorly organized, poorly structured and difficult to comprehend, or is poorly focused on the issue, topic or theme required. It will exhibit minimal knowledge or understanding of the material covered and may display very weak presentation or speaking skills, or contain substantial factual errors. Material may be missing.
F 0 Work not submitted.   Fail.

Annex 2:  Essay Outlines

 You should prepare a one page outline of your essay comprised of a research question (See Annex 2), basic outline and short bibliography for class in Week 7.  On that day, I will be holding an essay writing workshop where you will have the chance to review each others’ outlines, and provide feedback.

You will be asked to assess each others’ outlines according the following criteria.

  • Is the research question well formulated?
  • Is there a clear argument?
  • Is the structure logical and does it work to support the argument?
  • Is the bibliography appropriate?
  • Is the project viable in a 5000 word essay format?
  • What elements/issues need to be included for a well supported argument?
  • What pitfalls do you anticipate?

Based on these criteria you will assign a mark to the outline.  Marking sheets will be distributed in class.  Please bring 4 copies of your outline to class (one for you, one for 2 or your peers and one for me). You are strongly encouraged to organize a follow up meeting to discuss your outline with me before embarking on your final essay.

You should use these criteria when formulating your own outlines.  When submitting your final essay, please include a short paragraph, prior to the essay which describes how the feedback you received influenced your work.

Annex 3:

Sample Essay Topics

(please feel free to develop your own)

1. “Experience shows that helping states to become more responsive and supporting durable peace are both fundamental to making progress toward the MDGs.” Discuss.

2. Critique at least 2 of the OECD DAC “Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations” including a discussion of the emergence of the neologism “fragile states and situations”.

3.  A certain degree of corruption is beneficial to post-conflict peace processes. Discuss.

4. Is it possible for aid to “do no harm”?

5. Does migration challenge the established CSD paradigm?

6.  Does CSD contribute the construction of “the victim” as identity category?

7.  Is aid just a continuation of war by other means?

8.  Is development the new counter insurgency?

9.  Can peace building be seen as separate from nation building?

10.  Has humanitarianism changed the nature of war?

11.  Development is inseparable from conflict.  Discuss.

Annex 4:  Essay Marking Criteria

Descriptor AlphaScale %                             Criteria
Excellent  A+ 95 is awarded for work of exceptional quality based on a comprehensive knowledge of the chosen topic, a sustained high level of critical analysis combined with a genuine originality of approach. The essay or dissertation will be tightly argued, meticulously organised, extremely well documented and will approach, in principle, publishable standard.
A    A-   9085 is awarded when candidates show evidence of extensive relevant reading, a significant grasp of current major issues in the field and offer an original approach to their chosen topic. This knowledge will have been reviewed critically and with sufficient insight to challenge received ideas. The arguments will be clearly and persuasively put.
Good B+BB- 807570 is awarded when candidates show consistency and fluency in discussing and evaluating evidence and theories from a wide range of sources. They will demonstrate an ability to relate this reading to their chosen topic and will clearly have understood and assimilated the relevant literature. The argument will be clear and well structured.
Satisfactory C+CC- 656055 is awarded when there is clear evidence of  knowledge and understanding but where ideas, critical comment or methodology are under-developed or oversimplified. There may be room for significant improvement in the clarity and structure of the argument and although there will be appropriate reference to relevant reading, this may not be sufficiently extensive. Some irrelevancy may be present.
Pass D +DD 504540 This is a pass. It is awarded for work that exhibits some knowledge of the chosen topic, but displays weaknesses of understanding and thoroughness. Arguments will be weakly structured and important information and references may be lacking. There may be a considerable proportion that is irrelevant
Fail E +E 3515 This indicates a fail. It is awarded to work that is seriously flawed, displaying a lack of awareness of essential texts and incoherent arguments. The research involved may be poorly organised and inadequately discussed, offering a fundamentally inadequate response to the chosen topic. Large parts of the answer may be irrelevant
F 0 Work not submitted.   Fail.