Author: Christian Dennys
Institution: Stability: International Journal of Security & Development
Publication Date: February, 2013
Keywords: Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Peacekeeping, Political Settlement, Stabilisation, Security And Justice
This paper outlines a conception of stabilisation which can provide support and allow transformation in communities affected by conflict. It connects stabilisation efforts to the broader international pursuit of stability and suggests it can provide a pragmatic way to engage in conflict.
It is a rejoinder to Roger Mac Ginty’s polemic (Against Stabilization - see http://www.stabilityjournal.org/article/download/sta.ab/9) arguing, whilst the author is correct in identifying the inconsistencies in the concept and practice of stabilisation, it is a viable concept. This article draws on field research from Afghanistan and Nepal to demonstrate within stabilisation’s philosophical pedigree and practical application are components that can articulate a form of sub-national international intervention that can address political threats. Further this form of intervention is morally defensible and can promote control rather than constrict it. Stabilisation is a new term that has been applied to many old practices, but it has been inconsistently used suggesting that it is both a practice for national level interventions and those directed at a sub-national level. This has been unhelpful as it confuses stabilisation activity with other forms of intervention. The article explores the threats stabilisation can address, the stability being sought after and the manner in which interventions can be approached in order to address the threats. It suggests there is a space in which stabilisation can operate, pragmatically engaging in the complexities of political conflict in states under extreme tension.