Peace building and the depoliticisation of civil society: Sierra Leone 2002-13

Simone Datzberger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Over the past two decades there has been a rapid increase in funds for local civil society actors in fragile states. Current peace-building and development efforts strive for the recreation of a vibrant, active and ‘liberal’ civil society. In the case of Sierra Leone, paradoxically, this growing support has not strengthened civil society actors based on that liberal idea(l). Instead of experiencing enhanced proactive participation stemming from the civil sphere, Sierra Leone’s civil society appears to be largely depoliticised. Drawing on empirical data gathered over the past four years, this article offers three interrelated causal explanations of why this phenomenon occurred during the country’s peace-building phase from 2002 to 2013. First, Sierra Leone’s civil society landscape has become instrumentalised to serve a broader liberal peace-building and development agenda in several ways. Second, Western idea(l)s of participatory approaches and democracy are repeatedly challenged by the legacies of colonial rule and socially entrenched forms of neo-patrimonialism. Third, abject poverty and the lack of education affect activism and agency from below.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages1592-1609
    JournalThird World Quarterly
    Volume36
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2015

    Fingerprint

    Sierra Leone
    civil society
    peace
    patrimonialism
    failed state
    participatory approach
    recreation
    democracy
    poverty
    education
    participation
    lack

    Keywords

    • civil society
    • peace building
    • development
    • depoliticisation
    • Sierra Leone

    Cite this

    Datzberger, Simone. / Peace building and the depoliticisation of civil society: Sierra Leone 2002-13. In: Third World Quarterly. 2015 ; Vol. 36, No. 8. pp. 1592-1609.
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    note = "Reference text: 1. Almond, Gabriel A., and Sidney Verba. The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations. London: Sage Publications, 1963. 2. Barkawi, Tarak, and Mark Laffey. Democracy, Liberalism, and War: Rethinking the Democratic Peace Debate. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2010. 3. Chabal, Patrick, and Jean-Pascal Daloz. Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument. Woodbridge, UK: James Currey, 1999. 4. Chatterjee, Partha. The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. 5. Comaroff, John L., and Jean Comaroff. Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa: Critical Perspectives. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1999. 6. Cormack-Hale Fredline, M. “Partners or Adversaries? NGOs and the State in Sierra Leone.” In African Democracy and Development – Challenges for Post-conflict African Nations, edited by Cassandra R. Veney and Dick Simpson, 137–154. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013. 7. Cubitt, Christine. “Constructing Civil Society: An Intervention for Building Peace?” Peacebuilding, no. 1 (2013): 91–108. doi:10.1080/21647259.2013.756274. [Taylor & Francis Online] 8. Datzberger, Simone. “Civil Society in sub-Saharan African Post-conflict States: A Western induced Idea(l)?” Journal f{\"u}r Entwicklungspolitik (JEP)/Austrian Journal of Development Studies 36, no. 1 (2015): 13–29. 9. Debiel, Tobias, and Monica Sticht. Towards a New Profile? Development, Humanitarian and Conflict Resolution NGOs in the Age of Globalization. Duisburg: Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), 2005. 10. Ekeh, Peter P. “Colonialism and the Two Publics in Africa: A Theoretical Statement.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 17, no. 1 (1975): 91–112. 11. Ferguson, James. Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006. [CrossRef] 12. Goetschel, Laurent, and Tobias Hagmann. “Civilian Peacebuilding: Peace by Bureaucratic Means?” Conflict, Security and Development 9, no. 1 (2009): 55–73. doi:10.1080/14678800802704911. [Taylor & Francis Online] 13. G{\"u}neş-Ayata, Ayşe, and Luis Roniger. Democracy, Clientelism and Civil Society. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1994. 14. Harbeson, John W., Naomi Chazan, and Donald Rothchild. Civil Society and the State in Africa. London: Lynne Rienner, 1994. 15. Harris, David. Sierra Leone: A Political History. London: Hurst & Co. 2013. 16. Holm{\'e}n, Hans. Snakes in Paradise: NGOs and the Aid Industry in Africa. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, 2010. 17. Howell, Jude, and Jenny Pearce. Civil Society and Development: A Critical Exploration. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2002. 18. Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI). DFID’s Support for Civil Society Organisations through Programme Partnership Arrangements. Report 22. London: ICAI, 2013. 19. Jaeger, Hans-Martin. “Global Civil Society and the Political Depoliticization of Global Governance.” International Political Sociology 1, no. 3 (2007): 257–277. doi:10.1111/j.1749-5687.2007.00017.x. [CrossRef], [Web of Science {\circledR}] 20. Jantzi, Terrence L., and Vernon E. Jantzi. “Development Paradigms and Peacebuilding Theories of Change: Analysing Embedded Assumptions in Development and Peacebuilding.” Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 5, no. 1 (2009): 65–80. doi:10.1080/15423166.2009.128586577324. [Taylor & Francis Online] 21. Kaviraj, Sudipta, and Sunil Khilnani. Civil Society: History and Possibilities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 22. Lewis, David. Civil Society in Non-Western Contexts: Reflections on the ‘Usefulness’ of a Concept. Civil Society Working Paper Series 13. London: Centre for Civil Society, London School of Economics, 2001. 23. Lid{\'e}n, Kristopher. “Building Peace between Global and Local Politics: The Cosmopolitical Ethics of Liberal Peacebuilding.” International Peacekeeping 16, no. 5 (2009): 616–634. doi: 10.1080/13533310903303255. 24. Lumumba-Kasongo, Tukumbi. Liberal Democracy and its Critics in Africa: Political Dysfunction and the Struggle for Progress. London: Zed Books, 2005. 25. Mac Ginty, Roger. “Gilding the Lily? International Support for Indigenous and Traditional Peacebuilding.” In Advances in Peacebuilding: Critical Developments and Approaches, edited by Oliver P. Richmond, 347–366. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 26. Mac Ginty, Roger. International Peacebuilding and Local Resistance: Hybrid Forms of Peace. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. [CrossRef] 27. Mac Ginty, Roger, and Oliver P. Richmond. “The Local Turn in Peace Building: A Critical Agenda for Peace.” Third World Quarterly 34, no. 5 (2013): 763–783. doi:10.1080/01436597.2013.800750. [Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science {\circledR}] 28. Mamdani, Mahmood. Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. 29. Maslow, Abraham H. “Theory of Human Motivation.” Psycholgoical Review 50 (1943): 370–396. [CrossRef] 30. Nadarajah, Suthaharan, and David Rampton. “The Limits of Hybridity and the Crisis of Liberal Peace.” Review of International Studies 41, no. 1 (2015): 49–72. doi:10.1017/S0260210514000060. [CrossRef], [Web of Science {\circledR}] 31. Narten, Jens. “Dilemmas of Promoting Local Ownership: The Case of Postwar Kosovo.” In The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations, edited by Roland Paris, 252–283. London: Routledge, 2009. 32. OECD. Civil Society and International Development. Paris: OECD, 1998. 33. Oxfam. Civil Society Engagement with Political Parties during Elections: Lessons from Ghana and Sierra Leone. Oxford: Oxfam, 2013. 34. Paffenholz, Tania, ed. Civil Society & Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2010. 35. Paris, Roland. “Saving Liberal Peacebuilding.” Review of International Studies 36, no. 2 (2010): 337–365. doi:10.1017/S0260210510000057. [CrossRef], [Web of Science {\circledR}] 36. Piot, Charles. Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1999. 37. Richmond, Oliver P. “A Post-liberal Peace: Eirenism and the Everyday.” Review of International Studies 35, no. 3 (2009): 557–580. doi:10.1017/S0260210509008651. [CrossRef], [Web of Science {\circledR}] 38. Verkoren, Willemjin, and Mathijs van Leeuwen. “Complexities and Challenges for Civil Society Building in Post-conflict Settings.” Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 7, no. 1 (2012): 81–94. doi:10.1080/15423166.2012.719353. [Taylor & Francis Online] 39. Wennman, Achim. Aid Effectiveness between ‘Top-down’ and ‘Bottom-up’ Statebuilding. CCDP Working Paper 6. Geneva: Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, 2010. 40. Williams, David, and Tom Young. “Civil Society and the Liberal Project in Ghana and Sierra Leone.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 6, no. 1 (2012): 7–22. doi:10.1080/17502977.2012.655565. [Taylor & Francis Online]",
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    Peace building and the depoliticisation of civil society: Sierra Leone 2002-13. / Datzberger, Simone.

    In: Third World Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 8, 18.08.2015, p. 1592-1609.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    T1 - Peace building and the depoliticisation of civil society: Sierra Leone 2002-13

    AU - Datzberger, Simone

    N1 - Reference text: 1. Almond, Gabriel A., and Sidney Verba. The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations. London: Sage Publications, 1963. 2. Barkawi, Tarak, and Mark Laffey. Democracy, Liberalism, and War: Rethinking the Democratic Peace Debate. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2010. 3. Chabal, Patrick, and Jean-Pascal Daloz. Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument. Woodbridge, UK: James Currey, 1999. 4. Chatterjee, Partha. The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. 5. Comaroff, John L., and Jean Comaroff. Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa: Critical Perspectives. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1999. 6. Cormack-Hale Fredline, M. “Partners or Adversaries? NGOs and the State in Sierra Leone.” In African Democracy and Development – Challenges for Post-conflict African Nations, edited by Cassandra R. Veney and Dick Simpson, 137–154. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013. 7. Cubitt, Christine. “Constructing Civil Society: An Intervention for Building Peace?” Peacebuilding, no. 1 (2013): 91–108. doi:10.1080/21647259.2013.756274. [Taylor & Francis Online] 8. Datzberger, Simone. “Civil Society in sub-Saharan African Post-conflict States: A Western induced Idea(l)?” Journal für Entwicklungspolitik (JEP)/Austrian Journal of Development Studies 36, no. 1 (2015): 13–29. 9. Debiel, Tobias, and Monica Sticht. Towards a New Profile? Development, Humanitarian and Conflict Resolution NGOs in the Age of Globalization. Duisburg: Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), 2005. 10. Ekeh, Peter P. “Colonialism and the Two Publics in Africa: A Theoretical Statement.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 17, no. 1 (1975): 91–112. 11. Ferguson, James. Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006. [CrossRef] 12. Goetschel, Laurent, and Tobias Hagmann. “Civilian Peacebuilding: Peace by Bureaucratic Means?” Conflict, Security and Development 9, no. 1 (2009): 55–73. doi:10.1080/14678800802704911. [Taylor & Francis Online] 13. Güneş-Ayata, Ayşe, and Luis Roniger. Democracy, Clientelism and Civil Society. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1994. 14. Harbeson, John W., Naomi Chazan, and Donald Rothchild. Civil Society and the State in Africa. London: Lynne Rienner, 1994. 15. Harris, David. Sierra Leone: A Political History. London: Hurst & Co. 2013. 16. Holmén, Hans. Snakes in Paradise: NGOs and the Aid Industry in Africa. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, 2010. 17. Howell, Jude, and Jenny Pearce. Civil Society and Development: A Critical Exploration. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2002. 18. Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI). DFID’s Support for Civil Society Organisations through Programme Partnership Arrangements. Report 22. London: ICAI, 2013. 19. Jaeger, Hans-Martin. “Global Civil Society and the Political Depoliticization of Global Governance.” International Political Sociology 1, no. 3 (2007): 257–277. doi:10.1111/j.1749-5687.2007.00017.x. [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®] 20. Jantzi, Terrence L., and Vernon E. Jantzi. “Development Paradigms and Peacebuilding Theories of Change: Analysing Embedded Assumptions in Development and Peacebuilding.” Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 5, no. 1 (2009): 65–80. doi:10.1080/15423166.2009.128586577324. [Taylor & Francis Online] 21. Kaviraj, Sudipta, and Sunil Khilnani. Civil Society: History and Possibilities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 22. Lewis, David. Civil Society in Non-Western Contexts: Reflections on the ‘Usefulness’ of a Concept. Civil Society Working Paper Series 13. London: Centre for Civil Society, London School of Economics, 2001. 23. Lidén, Kristopher. “Building Peace between Global and Local Politics: The Cosmopolitical Ethics of Liberal Peacebuilding.” International Peacekeeping 16, no. 5 (2009): 616–634. doi: 10.1080/13533310903303255. 24. Lumumba-Kasongo, Tukumbi. Liberal Democracy and its Critics in Africa: Political Dysfunction and the Struggle for Progress. London: Zed Books, 2005. 25. Mac Ginty, Roger. “Gilding the Lily? International Support for Indigenous and Traditional Peacebuilding.” In Advances in Peacebuilding: Critical Developments and Approaches, edited by Oliver P. Richmond, 347–366. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 26. Mac Ginty, Roger. International Peacebuilding and Local Resistance: Hybrid Forms of Peace. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. [CrossRef] 27. Mac Ginty, Roger, and Oliver P. Richmond. “The Local Turn in Peace Building: A Critical Agenda for Peace.” Third World Quarterly 34, no. 5 (2013): 763–783. doi:10.1080/01436597.2013.800750. [Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®] 28. Mamdani, Mahmood. Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. 29. Maslow, Abraham H. “Theory of Human Motivation.” Psycholgoical Review 50 (1943): 370–396. [CrossRef] 30. Nadarajah, Suthaharan, and David Rampton. “The Limits of Hybridity and the Crisis of Liberal Peace.” Review of International Studies 41, no. 1 (2015): 49–72. doi:10.1017/S0260210514000060. [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®] 31. Narten, Jens. “Dilemmas of Promoting Local Ownership: The Case of Postwar Kosovo.” In The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations, edited by Roland Paris, 252–283. London: Routledge, 2009. 32. OECD. Civil Society and International Development. Paris: OECD, 1998. 33. Oxfam. Civil Society Engagement with Political Parties during Elections: Lessons from Ghana and Sierra Leone. Oxford: Oxfam, 2013. 34. Paffenholz, Tania, ed. Civil Society & Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2010. 35. Paris, Roland. “Saving Liberal Peacebuilding.” Review of International Studies 36, no. 2 (2010): 337–365. doi:10.1017/S0260210510000057. [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®] 36. Piot, Charles. Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1999. 37. Richmond, Oliver P. “A Post-liberal Peace: Eirenism and the Everyday.” Review of International Studies 35, no. 3 (2009): 557–580. doi:10.1017/S0260210509008651. [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®] 38. Verkoren, Willemjin, and Mathijs van Leeuwen. “Complexities and Challenges for Civil Society Building in Post-conflict Settings.” Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 7, no. 1 (2012): 81–94. doi:10.1080/15423166.2012.719353. [Taylor & Francis Online] 39. Wennman, Achim. Aid Effectiveness between ‘Top-down’ and ‘Bottom-up’ Statebuilding. CCDP Working Paper 6. Geneva: Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, 2010. 40. Williams, David, and Tom Young. “Civil Society and the Liberal Project in Ghana and Sierra Leone.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 6, no. 1 (2012): 7–22. doi:10.1080/17502977.2012.655565. [Taylor & Francis Online]

    PY - 2015/8/18

    Y1 - 2015/8/18

    N2 - Over the past two decades there has been a rapid increase in funds for local civil society actors in fragile states. Current peace-building and development efforts strive for the recreation of a vibrant, active and ‘liberal’ civil society. In the case of Sierra Leone, paradoxically, this growing support has not strengthened civil society actors based on that liberal idea(l). Instead of experiencing enhanced proactive participation stemming from the civil sphere, Sierra Leone’s civil society appears to be largely depoliticised. Drawing on empirical data gathered over the past four years, this article offers three interrelated causal explanations of why this phenomenon occurred during the country’s peace-building phase from 2002 to 2013. First, Sierra Leone’s civil society landscape has become instrumentalised to serve a broader liberal peace-building and development agenda in several ways. Second, Western idea(l)s of participatory approaches and democracy are repeatedly challenged by the legacies of colonial rule and socially entrenched forms of neo-patrimonialism. Third, abject poverty and the lack of education affect activism and agency from below.

    AB - Over the past two decades there has been a rapid increase in funds for local civil society actors in fragile states. Current peace-building and development efforts strive for the recreation of a vibrant, active and ‘liberal’ civil society. In the case of Sierra Leone, paradoxically, this growing support has not strengthened civil society actors based on that liberal idea(l). Instead of experiencing enhanced proactive participation stemming from the civil sphere, Sierra Leone’s civil society appears to be largely depoliticised. Drawing on empirical data gathered over the past four years, this article offers three interrelated causal explanations of why this phenomenon occurred during the country’s peace-building phase from 2002 to 2013. First, Sierra Leone’s civil society landscape has become instrumentalised to serve a broader liberal peace-building and development agenda in several ways. Second, Western idea(l)s of participatory approaches and democracy are repeatedly challenged by the legacies of colonial rule and socially entrenched forms of neo-patrimonialism. Third, abject poverty and the lack of education affect activism and agency from below.

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    KW - Sierra Leone

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