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Local ownership and UN peacebuilding: discourse versus operationalization

von Billerbeck, S. B. K. (2015) Local ownership and UN peacebuilding: discourse versus operationalization. Global Governance, 21 (2). pp. 299-315. ISSN 1075-2846

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1163/19426720-02102007


The UN asserts that local ownership boosts the legitimacy and sustainabil- ity of peacebuilding by preserving the principles of self-determination and nonimposition in an activity that can contravene them. At the same time, it also perceives local ownership to imperil the achievement of its operational goals, thus bringing its normative and operational obligations into conflict. This article evaluates the UN’s discourse and operationalization of local ownership, showing that despite the UN’s invocation of ownership dis- course, it operationalizes ownership in restrictive ways that are intended to protect the achievement of operational goals but that consequently limit self-determination and increase imposition. Moreover, because of contra- dictions in the UN’s practices of ownership, it also undercuts its ability to re- alize the very operational goals that it is trying to protect. KEYWORDS: UN peacebuilding, local ownership, discourse vs. practice.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:47470
Publisher:Lynne Rienner Publishers

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