On 23 October 2015, the UNU Library will host a presentation of the book Challenges of constructing legitimacy in peacebuilding: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone, and East Timor by Dr. Daisaku Higashi (Routledge, March 2015).
Peacebuilding is a critical issue in world politics. Surprisingly, however, few international relations (IR) theorists or practitioners have conducted a full examination of concrete policies and implementation strategies that new leadership needs to adopt in order to mobilize legitimacy in “host states”.
The objective of this book is to develop an understanding of the mechanisms at play in the construction — or erosion — of the legitimacy of newly created governments in post-conflict peacebuilding environments. The book argues that although existing literature contends that compliance with key political programmes and constructing legitimacy in peacebuilding largely depend on the levels of force and resource distribution aimed at people who are governed, there are other significant elements to consider. Inclusive governments reconciling with old enemies, and international organizations as credible third parties helping to establish fairness and impartiality within the political process also play a critical role in building legitimacy. Higashi offers an in-depth analysis of the challenges involved in creating a legitimate government in Afghanistan, focusing on disarmament programmes targeting powerful warlords, and reconciliation efforts with the insurgency, especially the Taliban. The book examines three cases — Iraq, East Timor, and Sierra Leone — to support the arguments presented in the Afghan case study.
This presentation will be of interest to students and scholars specializing in peacebuilding and conflict resolution, as well as international relations more broadly.
This Library Talk is open to the public and will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advanced registration is required (by 4:00 PM on Thursday, 22 October 2015). Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.
Daisaku Higashi is an associate professor in Human Security Program at the University of Tokyo. He completed M.A and Ph.D in Political Science at the University of British Columbia in Canada. He consulted top government officials in both Japan and the United States on Afghan policies. From 2009 to 2010 he also worked in Kabul as a team leader for reconciliation and reintegration for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Between 2012 and 2014, he served as a minister-counsellor in the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, directing Japan’s activities on the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).
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