Republicanism v. Liberalism in Post-Conflict Settlements (Barnett)


-         How should civil wars and state failures be resolved?


-         What should the goal of political development be?

o      establishment of liberal, representative, capitalist, democratic state?

o      national self-determination of political rules and arrangements?

§       How can it be determined except democratically?

-         Moral or Causal Critique?

o      Does liberal peace-building cause poor post-conflict outcomes?

o      Are liberal peace-building advocates blameworthy for advocating poor policies?


Liberalism v. Republicanism


-         liberalism focused on protecting autonomy of individual from state or societal interference

o      autonomy permit actions that do not interfere with autonomy of others

o      state is legitimate if it protects (and advances) autonomy

§       market and civil society should function in ways that enhance autonomy

o      bargaining among individuals (and groups)  with fixed identities and interests

-         republicanism focused on protecting individuals from arbitrary power of state and factions (society)

o      collectively accepted goals are not arbitrary ones

o      state is legitimate if it non-arbitrarily achieves collective goals

§       minimizes factional conflict

o      deliberation among individuals (and factions) to achieve public good

§       identities or interest might change


Alleged Flaws of “Liberal Peace-Building” Approach


-         insufficiently republican

-         favor bargaining over deliberation

o      collective goals are not a strong focus

o      institutions designed to increase bargaining rather than impede arbitrary power (constitutional critique)

-         non-state actors and institutions favored over state ones

o      democratic representative elections privileged over building legitimate state

o      state capacity under-developed

-         international peace-builders are not accountable to population

-         de facto blackmail (conditionality)?

o      economic policies determined externally

o      linked to aid budgets



 Alternative, Republican Approach

-         encourage participation in governance

o      representation over formal elections

o      power-sharing w/ international authorities

o      aim is a state with popular legitimacy

-         publicity and deliberation over close-door bargaining

o      factions forced to justify positions

o      collective aims set

-         create strong state

o      checks & balances to limit arbitrary rule by state

o      state autonomy to achieve collective ends