Peacebuilding and Human Security in Postwar Sierra Leone

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Book Chapter

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The political economy of peacebuilding in this era of extensive globalization is often characterized by a preoccupation with maintaining the integrity of the Westphalian state and the international system on which it is built. Accordingly, there is often a discrepancy between the procedural aspects of peacebuilding and its substantive aspects. The former is mainly emphasized with a focus on state sovereignty and defense of the existing international order, with its neglect of salient issues of human security. In other words, peacebuilding is viewed as synonymous with merely putting the “state” back together, while at the same time relegating to a secondary level the substantive and salient issues of existential insecurity: unemployment, lack of adequate food, healthcare, education, and the like. The consequence is that postconflict peacebuilding ends up failing to alleviate or enhance individual, group, or nationwide insecurities that were largely responsible for the outbreak of war.

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Sierra Leone Beyond the Lomé Peace Accord, p. 133-144