Human Security and Sierra Leone’s Post-Conflict Development analyzes the extent to which human security issues have been addressed and subsequently implemented in the post-conflict reconstruction process. While Sierra Leone has made tremendous efforts at implementing reforms in the areas of political sensitization, promotion of civil rights and civil liberties, as well as personal security, the lack on the part of the government to effectively address the unemployment problem has negatively affected security and developmental targets. Thus, the post-conflict management strategies in Sierra Leone fail to secure and promote some aspects of human security, leading to fragile peace and slow progress in achieving sustainable security and development. Human security is an all-encompassing phenomenon and must be addressed to achieve overall wellbeing of the people, especially in post-conflict environments.
It is crucial to assess the relationship between democratic development and the impact of social cleavages, because multiparty politics have increased political competition, participation, transparency, and civic engagement in Africa. However, social divisions have significantly slowed the maturing of democracy, as these social cleavages have become polarizing factors, which are used by political elites for their own self-interest. As a result, politics of identity caused by competition of natural resources have led to increased conflicts and political instability in Africa. The social cleavages have also led to polarized party systems and caused adverse effects on democracy due to the highly polarized societies and political competition.
Despite the many positive impacts, multiparty politics have increased the consciousness of ethnic and religious identities, leading to unhealthy political competition as evidenced by highly fragmented societies prone to conflicts and violence. Kimemia comprehensively examines different governing, electoral, and party systems in order to determine the different incentives and how social divisions shape them. This analysis helps to distinguish more permanent political structures from the merely epiphenomenal within the African political scene.
In this series of remarkable and thought-provoking essays, the contributors shed light on the process of peacebuilding. Collectively, they demonstrate that if efforts to restore peace in war-torn societies are to be successful, such efforts must be wide in scope, involving security and political issues, as well as economic development and socio-psychological reconciliation. Additionally, they must be extended over long periods of time and, above all else, anchored in the local community.
Peacebuilding is a difficult process, subject to frequent setbacks, and sometimes outright failure. Durable Peace concludes that any peacebuilding effort must include at least four building blocks: a secure environment, new political institutions that are broadly representative, a healthy economy, and a mechanism for dealing with injustices of the past and future. How these blocks are put together will vary, but if they are arranged to fit the specific local circumstances, the outcome will likely be self-sustaining peace.
The peace people experience is determined by the processes privileged in peacebuilding. This book is about four things that shape the processes involved. First, it is a critique of orthodox postconflict peacebuilding. It takes the position that the present approach, although seemingly hegemonic, is routinely ignored or manipulated by elites and society and converted into a miasma that to some degree wastes the energies and opportunities involved. Second, it is about alternatives which invoke the kind of peace people might seek in postconflict places if they had more control over the process of peacebuilding, a notion referred to here as ‘popular peace’. It is thus not the kind of critical work that some describe as ‘reflexive anti-liberalism’. Rather, it seeks alternatives that are grounded in the lives of people in postconflict spaces and which also reflect some of the essential values of Liberalism. Third, it is about the role of both informal and formal actors, institutions and practices in the creation of such a peace. For instance, it is concerned with the legitimacy of informal practices that lie beyond Liberal tolerance and which are vital in the pursuit of everyday peace. Fourth, it is about a ‘transversal’ (rather than vertical or hierarchical) relationship of global and local governance in securing a peace that reflects the needs and values of both. In short, this work is a response to the substantial inconsistencies that appear between peacebuilding rhetoric and everyday outcomes in postconflict places.
This book will be of much interest to students of peacebuilding, post-conflict statebuilding, conflict studies, global governance and International Relations in general.