Challenges of Constructing Legitimacy in Peacebuilding: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone, and East Timor, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Challenges of Constructing Legitimacy in Peacebuilding

Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone, and East Timor, 1st Edition

By Daisaku Higashi


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Peacebuilding is a critical issue in world politics. Surprisingly, however, there has not been a full examination of concrete policies and implementation strategies to generate legitimacy in "host states" by either international relations (IR) theorists or practitioners.

The objective of this book is to develop an understanding of the mechanisms for constructing—or eroding—the legitimacy of newly created governments in post-conflict peacebuilding environments. The book argues that although existing accounts in the literature contend that compliance with key political programs, and constructing legitimacy in peacebuilding, largely depend on the levels of force (guns) and resource distribution (money) aimed at people who are governed, there are other significant factors, such as inclusive governments reconciling with old enemies, and the substantial role of international organizations (IOs) as credible third parties to establish fairness and impartiality within the political process. Highashi focuses on an in-depth analysis of the challenges involved in creating a legitimate government in Afghanistan, focusing on disarmament programs with powerful warlords, and the reconciliation efforts with the insurgency, especially the Taliban. In the conclusion the book also examines three complimentary cases—Iraq, East Timor, and Sierra Leone—which consistently support the argument presented earlier

This work will be of interest to students and scholars of peacebuilding and conflict resolution as well as international relations more broadly.


'The book is a valuable resource for IR scholars and students, as well as for international operators in war-torn places. It may be considered a first step in framing a valid argument for mechanisms that can create legitimate government during peacebuilding operations. It does not claim to be exhaustive, and actually calls for further research. Still, its avant-garde analysis and conclusions give it the necessary added value.'

Chiara Marconi, The International Spectator, 2016

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Constructing or eroding legitimacy in peacebuilding 3. Compliance and noncompliance with disbanding illegal armed groups 4. Worsening security conditions and reconciliation efforts: Noncompliance of the insurgency with the government and its rules 5. Conclusion

About the Author

Daisaku Higashi is an associate professor in Human Security Program in the University of Tokyo. He consulted on Afghan policies with top government officials in both Japan and the United States. He also worked in Kabul as a team leader for reconciliation and reintegration in the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2009 to 2010. From 2012 to 2014, he served as a minister-counsellor in the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, directing the Japan’s activities on the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).

About the Series

Global Institutions

The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).

The Series has two "streams" identified by their covers:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General