Ownership in Practice. Lessons from Liberia and Kosovo

TitelOwnership in Practice. Lessons from Liberia and Kosovo
Typ der PublikationBook
Untertitel / SerientitelNew publication by German Foundation for Peace Research
Publikationsjahr2011
AutorInnenPietz, T, von Carlowitz, DL
Anzahl Seiten64pp
VerlagGerman Foundation for Peace Research
StadtOsnabrück
Kurztext

"The term “local ownership” has increasingly appeared in statements, guidelines, and reports of actors involved in peacebuilding. However, no coherent theories on local ownership exist as of yet and considerable unclarity prevails  about what the concept implies in practice. How can a local population actually “own” a process such as peacebuilding which is predominantly driven from the outside? Up to now, the academic discussion on local ownership can be placed into the overarching theoretical discourse on peacebuilding processes which mirrors the wider debate between communitarian and and liberal approaches in normative international relations theory. In the field, most international actors approach local ownership from a liberal stance. Their starting point is an international agenda that should be implemented in the local context. Local ownership on the strategic level is thus not primarily about local autonomy and choosing programs and priorities. It is rather about the search for approaches to adjust pre-defined and predesigned international policies that local structures should carry out eventually. Especially in the two focus areas of the research project, i.e., rule of law and electoral administration, international agencies have produced a variety of blueprints for many programmatic areas. In contrast, communitarian or bottom-up approaches, which emphasize the need to create and nurture space for local actors and traditions to foster ownership, were founded less on the strategic level than on personal approaches to the working level of a mission.(....)The research was designed to generate new insights on this operational level of local ownership in peacebuilding processes. The project examined how the principle of local ownership has been applied in an executive peace operation with full governance powers (UNMIK in Kosovo) and a non-executive mission with mere assistance functions (UNMIL in Liberia). As the already mentioned conceptual amiguity has also been found in the field, it was difficult to operationalize local ownership for the research in Liberia and Kosovo. Often, understandings of the term and conclusions had to be drawn indirectly, e.g. in enquiring how interaction worked."(from the report's executive summary) Download

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