On 23 October 2015, the UNU Library is hosting 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). The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the UNU Library in Tokyo.
Peacebuilding is a critical issue in world politics. However, few international relations 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 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.
Dr Higashi provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges involved in creating a legitimate government in Afghanistan, focusing on disarmament programmes that target powerful warlords, and reconciliation efforts with the insurgency, especially the Taliban. The book examines three cases — Iraq, Timor-Leste, and Sierra Leone — to support the arguments presented in the Afghan case study.
Dr Higashi’s talk will be of interest to students and scholars specializing in peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and international relations, but anyone interested in the topic is welcome to attend.
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 p.m. on 22 October). Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.
Daisaku Higashi is an associate professor in the Human Security Programme at the University of Tokyo. He completed his MA and PhD in Political Science at the University of British Columbia in Canada. He consulted for top government officials on Afghan policies in both Japan and the United States. From 2009 to 2010 he worked in Kabul as a team leader for reconciliation and reintegration for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. From 2012 to 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.
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