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International NGOs and Statebuilding: The Case of Haiti, the Phantom State

Lessard, Danielle LU (2010) SIMT29 20101
Department of Political Science
Master of Science in Development Studies
Graduate School
Abstract
In post-conflict states that are subject to international statebuilding such as in Haiti, the approach is to build a liberal democratic state that institutionalizes stability and peace through the reconstruction of government institutions. Current statebuilding practices focus on the narrow institutional dimensions of strengthening the state ignoring state-society relations. This study will examine international statebuilding through the lens of civil society, using a liberal conception that views the role of civil society as horizontal with the state in holding it accountable and responsiveness to the population’s needs and demands. This study attempts to build a theoretical framework that can connect the impact of international support... (More)
In post-conflict states that are subject to international statebuilding such as in Haiti, the approach is to build a liberal democratic state that institutionalizes stability and peace through the reconstruction of government institutions. Current statebuilding practices focus on the narrow institutional dimensions of strengthening the state ignoring state-society relations. This study will examine international statebuilding through the lens of civil society, using a liberal conception that views the role of civil society as horizontal with the state in holding it accountable and responsiveness to the population’s needs and demands. This study attempts to build a theoretical framework that can connect the impact of international support to civil society to the process of statebuilding. Using this framework to analyse the case of Haiti, the study posits that with many international NGOs supporting civil society in Haiti, they are indirectly weakening its role by blurring accountability channels with the state and creating upward accountability with its foreign donors rather than communities. This has weakened the state by widening the gap between state and society resulting in the “phantom” state; a state that is accountable to international institutions and lacks legitimacy in society. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Lessard, Danielle LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMT29 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Keywords: Haiti, civil society, international NGOs, statebuilding, post-conflict states, aid dependency
language
English
id
1662345
date added to LUP
2010-09-21 17:21:13
date last changed
2014-05-27 15:58:16
@misc{1662345,
  abstract     = {In post-conflict states that are subject to international statebuilding such as in Haiti, the approach is to build a liberal democratic state that institutionalizes stability and peace through the reconstruction of government institutions. Current statebuilding practices focus on the narrow institutional dimensions of strengthening the state ignoring state-society relations. This study will examine international statebuilding through the lens of civil society, using a liberal conception that views the role of civil society as horizontal with the state in holding it accountable and responsiveness to the population’s needs and demands. This study attempts to build a theoretical framework that can connect the impact of international support to civil society to the process of statebuilding. Using this framework to analyse the case of Haiti, the study posits that with many international NGOs supporting civil society in Haiti, they are indirectly weakening its role by blurring accountability channels with the state and creating upward accountability with its foreign donors rather than communities. This has weakened the state by widening the gap between state and society resulting in the “phantom” state; a state that is accountable to international institutions and lacks legitimacy in society.},
  author       = {Lessard, Danielle},
  keyword      = {Keywords: Haiti,civil society,international NGOs,statebuilding,post-conflict states,aid dependency},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {International NGOs and Statebuilding: The Case of Haiti, the Phantom State},
  year         = {2010},
}