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Local ownership of post-conflict reconstruction in international law : the initiation of international involvement.

Saul, M.W. (2011) 'Local ownership of post-conflict reconstruction in international law : the initiation of international involvement.', Journal of conflict and security law., 16 (1). pp. 165-206.

Abstract

This article seeks to help develop a clearer understanding of the impact of international law on local ownership of post-conflict reconstruction. The particular focus of the article is on popular influence over the decision to initiate international involvement that will at least enable, if not direct, the change and development of state and civil infrastructure. The international legal framework and practice under it are analysed from the perspective of two concurrent, but not entirely co-extensive, rationales for local ownership: a stable situation and self-determination of the people. Attention is given to a number of examples from the past 20 years, specifically, Cambodia, Haiti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Kosovo, East Timor, Afghanistan, Liberia, Iraq and Somalia. A central argument is that the underdeveloped nature of the international legal framework for local ownership is important for the stability of post-conflict situations. In particular, the law of self-determination is argued to be useful because it affords international actors a high level of discretion to determine when a request for their involvement is a sufficient reflection of the will of the people. However, it is also contended that the sustainability of this legal framework rests on international actors exercising their discretion responsibly. This entails refusing to initiate involvement on the basis of a request from a government with little claim to be an embodiment of the will of the people, unless there is strong contextual justification for such a course of action.

Item Type:Article
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (610Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/krq023
Publisher statement:This is a pre-copy-editing author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of conflict and security law following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Saul, M.W. (2011) 'Local ownership of post-conflict reconstruction in international law : the initiation of international involvement.', Journal of conflict and security law., 16 (1). pp. 165-206 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/krq023
Record Created:30 Aug 2011 10:05
Last Modified:10 Apr 2013 10:38

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