Advanced

From Idea to Norm - Promoting Conflict Prevention

Björkdahl, Annika LU (2002)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Istället för fred gav det kalla krigets slut upphov till nya säkerhetspolitiska utmaningar i form av inomstatliga konflikter. Under perioden 1989-2000 utkämpades 111 väpnade konflikter runt om i världen varav de flesta kan karakteriseras som inomstatliga, såsom inbördeskriget i Somalia, det våldsamma sammanbrottet i Jugoslavien, och folkmordet i Rwanda. Trots att både historiska och samtida erfarenheter visat att ansträngningar att förhindra och avvärja krig ofta misslyckats, har den visionära idén om att förebygga väpnade konflikter vunnit gehör. FNs generalsekreterare har uppmanat det internationella samfundet att skapa en global kultur för konfliktförebyggande. Denna uppmaning har hörsammats... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Istället för fred gav det kalla krigets slut upphov till nya säkerhetspolitiska utmaningar i form av inomstatliga konflikter. Under perioden 1989-2000 utkämpades 111 väpnade konflikter runt om i världen varav de flesta kan karakteriseras som inomstatliga, såsom inbördeskriget i Somalia, det våldsamma sammanbrottet i Jugoslavien, och folkmordet i Rwanda. Trots att både historiska och samtida erfarenheter visat att ansträngningar att förhindra och avvärja krig ofta misslyckats, har den visionära idén om att förebygga väpnade konflikter vunnit gehör. FNs generalsekreterare har uppmanat det internationella samfundet att skapa en global kultur för konfliktförebyggande. Denna uppmaning har hörsammats av FNs generalförsamling och säkerhetsråd samt av EU som har antagit ett program för konfliktförebyggande verksamhet och avser prioritera denna aspekt bl a i den gemensamma utrikes- och säkerhetspolitiken. Vidare har ett antal stater, mellanstatliga samarbetsorganisationer, frivilligorganisationer och enskilda personer bidragit till att sprida idén om konfliktförebyggande verksamhet. En samsyn har vuxit fram och få ifrågasätter det underliggande humanitära, politiska och moraliska imperativet att motverka uppkomsten av väpnade konflikter. Det förefaller som om tiden är mogen för att försöka omsätta denna visionära idé till internationell praxis. Avhandlingens huvudsakliga syfte är att undersöka huruvida det tilltagande internationella intresset för konfliktförebyggande verksamhet antyder framväxten av en internationell norm med kapacitet att vägleda internationella insatser för att förhindra uppkomst och eskalering av väpnade konflikter. Utifrån ett socialkonstruktivistiskt perspektiv analyseras relationen mellan idé, norm, intresse och praktik. Det teoretiska syftet är att presentera ett ramverk för att analysera normutvecklingsprocessen från idé till praktik samt uppmärksamma normentreprenörens roll i normers utveckling. Empiriskt avser avhandlingen belysa hur idén om konfliktförebyggande verksamhet utvecklats från det kalla krigets slut fram tills idag, och granska hur Sverige agerat som internationell normentreprenör i FN och EU. Undersökningen illustrerar hur utvecklingen av en framväxande norm kring förebyggande av väpnade konflikter underlättas om den begynnande normen är konstruerad så att den inte bara stämmer överens med normentreprenörens existerande uppfattning, utan också med potentiella normefterföljares övertygelse, samt att den passar in i kontexten av redan accepterade och väletablerade normer. Studien visar på betydelsen av en drivande normentreprenör som konstruerar, sprider och institutionaliserar den framväxande normen. Undersökningen av Sverige som internationell normentreprenör belyser en liten stats möjlighet att utöva idémakt. Av analysen framgår att normdiffusion och socialisering är en ömsesidig inlärningsprocess för både normentreprenören och den s k normefterföljaren och i denna interaktiva process tolkas och omformuleras den framväxande normen. Slutligen visar analysen hur den förebyggande fredsbevarande FN-missionen till Makedonien stärkte idén om konfliktförebyggande verksamhet. Även om denna unika konfliktförebyggande insats inte skapat en etablerad praktik för att förhindra konflikter på andra håll i världen så påvisar denna studie att UNPREDEP-missionen fungerat som en drivkraft för framväxten av en konfliktförebyggande norm genom att överbrygga klyftan mellan idé och praktik. (Less)
Abstract
This study is concerned with tracing the process of how conflict prevention is moving from the realm of ideas to the field of action. Why is it that, despite historical as well as recent evidence of the infeasibility to prevent wars, the idea of conflict prevention has resurfaced to meet the challenge of the new wars of the post-Cold War era? The study investigates whether the growing interest in preventing the outbreak of violent conflicts marks the coming of age of conflict prevention as an international norm able to induce preventive practices. Adopting a social constructivist perspective, it analyzes the links between ideas, interests, norms and practices. Regarding actors and structures as mutually constitutive, this study advances an... (More)
This study is concerned with tracing the process of how conflict prevention is moving from the realm of ideas to the field of action. Why is it that, despite historical as well as recent evidence of the infeasibility to prevent wars, the idea of conflict prevention has resurfaced to meet the challenge of the new wars of the post-Cold War era? The study investigates whether the growing interest in preventing the outbreak of violent conflicts marks the coming of age of conflict prevention as an international norm able to induce preventive practices. Adopting a social constructivist perspective, it analyzes the links between ideas, interests, norms and practices. Regarding actors and structures as mutually constitutive, this study advances an analytical framework that draws attention to the pivotal role of the norm entrepreneur in the dynamics of norm evolution. The evolution of a norm pertaining to conflict prevention is traced in the post-Cold War era, and Sweden’s activities as an international norm entrepreneur in the EU and the UN are analyzed. It depicts the Swedish efforts to construct, diffuse and institutionalize a norm pertaining to conflict prevention as well as to translate conflict prevention into practice by participating in the preventive UN peacekeeping mission (UNPREDEP) in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The analysis reveals that a social constructivist perspective can assist us in investigating the links between ideas, norms, interests and practices. It shows that interests are defined in the context of internationally held norms, and that the growing interest in preventing violent conflicts may be derived from the emergent norm pertaining to conflict prevention. Norms emerge through the efforts of norm entrepreneurs. Through an analysis of Swedish norm entrepreneurship, this study finds that a small state’s ability to advocate norms relies on the powers associated with compelling ideas, on presentation of “good” ideas when the time is ripe, and on the use of persuasive rhetoric to convince potential norm followers. Norm diffusion and socialization are found to be interactive processes involving the norm entrepreneur and the norm followers in a mutual learning process that may, as this study demonstrates, shape and reshape the evolving norm. The analysis illustrates how the evolution of the emergent norm pertaining to conflict prevention is facilitated by the construction of a normative fit with the frame of mind of the norm entrepreneur, the normative convictions of the potential norm followers and the existing normative context. Finally, the study demonstrates the interactiveness of norms and practices by analyzing the preventive UN peacekeeping operation in Macedonia. Although that unique preventive peacekeeping mission has not been replicated, and conflict prevention has clearly not become a regular practice, this study suggests that the mission contributed to spur the process of norm evolution by bridging the gap between idea and practice of conflict prevention. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Barth Eide, Espen
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Polemology, international relations, social constructivism, norm entrepreneur, norm evolution, international norms, Swedish foreign policy, the European Union, conflict prevention, the United Nations, Freds- och konfliktforskning
pages
244 pages
publisher
Department of Political Science, Lund University
defense location
Edens hörsal, statsvetenskapliga institutionen
defense date
2002-05-24 10:15
ISSN
0460-0037
ISBN
91-88306-38-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8f28ddbb-6524-4f8d-956c-6419c3cb5f3a (old id 20760)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 11:54:13
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:57
@phdthesis{8f28ddbb-6524-4f8d-956c-6419c3cb5f3a,
  abstract     = {This study is concerned with tracing the process of how conflict prevention is moving from the realm of ideas to the field of action. Why is it that, despite historical as well as recent evidence of the infeasibility to prevent wars, the idea of conflict prevention has resurfaced to meet the challenge of the new wars of the post-Cold War era? The study investigates whether the growing interest in preventing the outbreak of violent conflicts marks the coming of age of conflict prevention as an international norm able to induce preventive practices. Adopting a social constructivist perspective, it analyzes the links between ideas, interests, norms and practices. Regarding actors and structures as mutually constitutive, this study advances an analytical framework that draws attention to the pivotal role of the norm entrepreneur in the dynamics of norm evolution. The evolution of a norm pertaining to conflict prevention is traced in the post-Cold War era, and Sweden’s activities as an international norm entrepreneur in the EU and the UN are analyzed. It depicts the Swedish efforts to construct, diffuse and institutionalize a norm pertaining to conflict prevention as well as to translate conflict prevention into practice by participating in the preventive UN peacekeeping mission (UNPREDEP) in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The analysis reveals that a social constructivist perspective can assist us in investigating the links between ideas, norms, interests and practices. It shows that interests are defined in the context of internationally held norms, and that the growing interest in preventing violent conflicts may be derived from the emergent norm pertaining to conflict prevention. Norms emerge through the efforts of norm entrepreneurs. Through an analysis of Swedish norm entrepreneurship, this study finds that a small state’s ability to advocate norms relies on the powers associated with compelling ideas, on presentation of “good” ideas when the time is ripe, and on the use of persuasive rhetoric to convince potential norm followers. Norm diffusion and socialization are found to be interactive processes involving the norm entrepreneur and the norm followers in a mutual learning process that may, as this study demonstrates, shape and reshape the evolving norm. The analysis illustrates how the evolution of the emergent norm pertaining to conflict prevention is facilitated by the construction of a normative fit with the frame of mind of the norm entrepreneur, the normative convictions of the potential norm followers and the existing normative context. Finally, the study demonstrates the interactiveness of norms and practices by analyzing the preventive UN peacekeeping operation in Macedonia. Although that unique preventive peacekeeping mission has not been replicated, and conflict prevention has clearly not become a regular practice, this study suggests that the mission contributed to spur the process of norm evolution by bridging the gap between idea and practice of conflict prevention.},
  author       = {Björkdahl, Annika},
  isbn         = {91-88306-38-0},
  issn         = {0460-0037},
  keyword      = {Polemology,international relations,social constructivism,norm entrepreneur,norm evolution,international norms,Swedish foreign policy,the European Union,conflict prevention,the United Nations,Freds- och konfliktforskning},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {244},
  publisher    = {Department of Political Science, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {From Idea to Norm - Promoting Conflict Prevention},
  year         = {2002},
}