Statebuilding, legal pluralism, and irregular warfare: assessing the Dutch mission in Kunduz province, Afghanistan

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Abstract

This article focuses on external statebuilding through judicial reform. It contributes to the existing literature on state- and peacebuilding with an analysis of two local realities that affect judicial reform during external statebuilding interventions: legal pluralism and irregular warfare. Using the Dutch Integrated Police-training Mission (IPM) as a case study, it analyses how judicial reform was understood in the Dutch mission in contrast with the perceptions and conduct of Afghan civilians in Kunduz province, Afghanistan. The article shows that the Dutch IPM did not sufficiently consider the decentral and political nature of the dispensation of justice. Furthermore, the IPM's attempts to increase the capacity of the formal justice sector did not change the conduct of commanders and other local actors that resolve disputes in the society at large. The IPM case therefore demonstrates important limitations of an institutionalist approach to statebuilding in environments of legal pluralism and irregular warfare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300
Number of pages320
JournalPeacebuilding
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Statebuilding
  • judicial reform
  • legal pluralism
  • irregular warfare
  • Afghanistan

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