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Journal of

International Organizations Studies

VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, SPRING 2014


Journal of International Organizations Studies (JIOS)

The Journal of International Organizations Studies is the peer-reviewed journal of the United Nations Studies Association (UNSA), published in cooperation with the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University. JIOS provides a forum for scholars who work on international organizations in a variety of disciplines. The journal aims to provide a window into the state of the art of research on international governmental organizations, supporting innovative approaches and interdisciplinary dialogue. The journal’s mission is to explore new grounds and transcend the traditional perspective of international organizations as merely the sum of its members and their policies.

Details on Submission and Review

JIOS is published twice annually, in March and September, online and print-on-demand. Submission deadline for the fall issue is 1 May each year and for the spring issue is 1 November of the previous year. JIOS publishes three types of articles: • Research papers (8,000–10,000 words, including footnotes and references)

• Insider’s View (3,000–7,000 words, including footnotes and references): contributions from practitioners illuminating the inner workings of international organizations.

• Reviews of literature, disciplinary approaches or panels/workshops/conferences (single book reviews, panel or workshop reviews: 800–1,200 words, multiple book or subject reviews: 2,000–3,000 words, including footnotes and references)

Please send submissions to editors@journal-iostudies.org. For submissions and formatting guidelines, please see http://www.journal-iostudies.org/how-submit-your-paper. All papers will be reviewed by two or three external reviewers and then either accepted, rejected, or returned to the author(s) with the invitation to make minor corrections or revise and resubmit (medium to major changes). The final decision on acceptance of submissions rests solely with the editors.

Contact Information

UN Studies Association, c/o coconets, Hannoversche Str. 2, 10115 Berlin, Germany David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA E-mail: editors@journal-iostudies.org Web: http://www.journal-iostudies.org ISSN 2191-2556 (print)

ISSN 2191-2564 (online)

©2014 All rights reserved. EDITORS

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF

Kirsten Haack, Northumbria University; John Mathiason, Cornell University REVIEW EDITOR

Klaas Dykmann, Roskilde University INSIDER’S VIEW EDITOR

Nicola Contessi, McGill University MANAGING EDITOR

Cory Leonard, Brigham Young University EDITORIAL BOARD Christopher Ankersen, Royal Military College of Canada

Jonathan Koppell, Yale University

Roger Coate, Georgia College and State University

Craig Murphy, Wellesley College

Malte Brosig, University of the Witwatersrand Donald C.F. Daniel, Georgetown University Martin S. Edwards, Seton Hall University

Dirk Growe, Global Policy Forum Europe Julia Harfensteller, University of Bremen

Darren Hawkins, Brigham Young University

Henrike Landré, DIAS/UN Studies Association Slawomir Redo, UN Office on Drugs and Crime Bob Reinalda, Radboud University Nijmegen

Manuela Scheuermann, University of Würzburg Tamara Shockley, Independent Researcher

Ian Hurd, Northwestern University

Courtney Smith, Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Adam Kamradt-Scott, University of Sydney

Jonathan R. Strand, University of Nevada

Ina Klein, University of Osnabrück

Andrew Williams, University of St. Andrews

Christer Jonsson, Lund University

Kendall Stiles, Brigham Young University

Kent Kille, The College of Wooster

Markus Thiel, Florida International University


Journal of

International Organizations Studies

VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, SPRING 2014


Table of Contents Contributors ...................................................................................................................... 3 EDITORIAL Looking Inward: The Politics of Administering the International Public Sector John Mathiason and Kirsten Haack.................................................................................... 5 MICROPOLITICS MEETS GEOPOLITICS: INTERNAL DYNAMICS AND DYSFUNCTIONS OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS Internal Dynamics and Dysfunctions of International Organizations— An Introduction to the Special Issue Julian Junk and Frederik Trettin.......................................................................................... 8 Spoilers from Within: Bureaucratic Spoiling in United Nations Peace Operations Frederik Trettin and Julian Junk ....................................................................................... 13 How to Deal with Spoilers: Dissent-Shirking, Obstruction, and Coping Strategies with the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor Elisabeth Schöndorf........................................................................................................... 29 Proselytizing as Spoiling from Within? Comparing Proselytizing by UN Peacekeepers in the Sudan and the DR Congo Dennis Dijkzeul and Claude Iguma Wakenge ................................................................... 39 The Morality of Bureaucratic Politics: Allegations of “Spoiling” in a UN Inter-Agency War Sebastian Schindler ............................................................................................................59 Protectionism within the Organization of United Nations Peacekeeping: Assessing the Disconnection between Headquarters and Mission Perspectives Joel Gwyn Winckler .......................................................................................................... 71 Multiple Actors and Centers of Agency? Examining the UN as a Competitive Arena for Norm Change John Karlsrud.................................................................................................................... 85 REVIEW Whither the Future of the International Labour Organization? Stephanie MacLeod ........................................................................................................... 99


Contributors Dennis Dijkzeul is a professor of conflict and organization research at the Social Science School and the executive director of the Institute of International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. Dijkzeul’s research interests concern the management of international organizations and their interaction with local populations, especially during humanitarian crises. He has conducted various research projects on international and local organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has worked with UN organizations and NGOs in the U.S., Africa, Europe, Central Asia, and Latin America. His books include Handbuch Humanitäre Hilfe (Handbook Humanitarian Action, with Jürgen Lieser, Springer Verlag, 2013) and Humanitaire Ruimte: Tussen Onpartijdigheid en Politiek (Humanitarian Space: Between Impartiality and Politics, with Joost Herman, Academia Press, 2010). Julian Junk is a research fellow at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt and at the working group International Organizations and the Cluster of Excellence Normative Orders at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. Junk currently works on the following research projects: Global Norm Evolution and the Responsibility to Protect (with Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin), Transformation of Security Culture, Rule and Resistance in Global Politics, Coping with Spoilers from Within (with Konstanz University), and The Management of Peace Operations (with International Peace Institute, New York). John Karlsrud is a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs. Karlsrud previously served as special assistant to the UN Special Representative to Chad. He has conducted field work in Chad, Haiti, and South Sudan and lived and worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, and Palestine, focusing on humanitarian, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding issues. His peer-reviewed articles have been published in Conflict, Security and Development; Global Governance; and Global Responsibility to Protect. Stephanie MacLeod is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant (international political economy) at the University of Hull in England. MacLeod’s research focuses on international organizations and global governance, particularly what Turkey’s EU membership question reveals about the OECD’s role in world politics. Sebastian Schindler is a research associate at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. Schindler has conducted research on the world food organizations since 2008, when he worked as a World Food Programme Fellow in Mbabane, Swaziland. Since then, he has traveled numerous times to the organizations’ headquarters in Rome, first to work as an intern at the German Permanent Mission, and later to study archival documents and to conduct interviews with staff and diplomats. Elisabeth Schöndorf is an associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP) in Berlin. Schöndorf’s research interests include UN peace operations, conflict management, and German security policy. She received a PhD from Konstanz University in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Frederik Trettin is a research fellow and a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, as well as a nonresident associate at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University. Trettin has conducted field research in Liberia, Sudan, and South Sudan, and he specialized in the management problems of bureaucratic organizations, particularly UN-led peace operations. He received master’s degrees from Rutgers and Konstanz University. Claude Iguma Wakenge is a PhD student of disaster studies at Wageningen University in the


Netherlands. Wakenge studied and worked as an assistant lecturer at the Institut Supérieur de Développement Rural in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). From 2009 to 2011, he was the program director at the Life and Peace Institute (LPI) in Bukavu, where he worked on research projects with local partners on conflicts and peace processes in the eastern DRC. He previously published “Doing good but looking bad? Local perceptions of two humanitarian organizations in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo” (Disasters, 2010, with Dennis Dijkzeul). Joel Gwyn Winckler is a researcher based at the Research Unit Peace and Conflict Studies of the Free University of Berlin. Winckler’s work focuses on micro and meso analysis of international interventions in (post-)conflict settings, and he has carried out extensive field research in Liberia and New York during 2010–11. He is a member of the Cultures of Intervention research network and leads the United Nations Peace Operations as Organisational Action research project.


EDITORIAL Looking Inward: The Politics of Administering the International Public Sector by John Mathiason, Cornell University, and Kirsten Haack, Northumbria University The current issue is the last we will edit, as we transition to a new editorial team headed by Kendall W. Stiles at Brigham Young University. We have enjoyed this start-up phase for the journal, have learned from the exercise, and we are sure the new team will continue making this journal an essential part of research and discussion on international organizations. This issue is an important one, since it focuses on the inner workings of the international public sector. It is the second time JIOS has had a special issue dealing with management of the international public sector. The recent special issue on Sociological Perspectives on International Organizations and the Construction of Global Order looked at international organizations from a perspective pioneered some twenty years ago by Gayl Ness and Steven Brechin. The current issue looks at the organizations from a public administration perspective. We find this approach promising, because international organizations are public administrations in that their secretariats and other international civil servants work to implement what nations agree on. Whether they are public administrations in the same sense that national and local governments are is one of the questions being explored. This issue, edited by Julian Junk and Frederik Trettin, seeks to find commonalities. Noting that public administration theory frequently suggests the actions of civil servants can undercut or change outcomes in a way that works against the objectives for which programs were established, they examine a number of cases in international organizations where this seems to be the case. The title of this issue, “Micropolitics Meets Geopolitics: Internal Dynamics and Dysfunctions of International Organizations,” expresses the thesis well. The introductory article sets the stage, noting that research on international organizations often neglects the internal functioning of secretariats. There are many reasons for this, including the general opacity of international secretariats, but another reason is that scholars in the United States do not show much interest in the inner workings of international organizations. This is confirmed by the authors in this issue, who primarily work or study in Europe, especially Germany, where the role played by international organizations as active entities dealing with global problems is much more visible. In contrast, the focus in the United States has been on interstate aspects of international relations. A recent example of this is an article in the journal Foreign Affairs entitled “Unruled World: The Case for Good Enough Global Governance” (Patrick, 2014), which focuses almost exclusively on states and assumes governance is only possible when states agree on principles, norms, rules, and procedures. This process is slow and flawed. It mentions the international public sector only in passing by stating: The dysfunction of the UN extends well beyond the Security Council, of course. Despite modest management reforms, the UN Secretariat and many UN agencies remain opaque, and their budgeting and operations are hamstrung by outdated personnel policies that encourage cronyism (p. 61). JIOS, VOL. 5, ISSUE 1, 2014


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And yet, if the international public sector cannot function effectively, even “good enough governance” will not happen. The authors in this issue clearly demonstrate why it is important to look at the inner workings of international organizations, beyond formal management reform, to see how public administration concepts, such as “bureaucratic spoiling,” can help elucidate why international operations may not achieve their expected results. The empirical focus of most of the analysis presented is on peace operations, clearly one of the largest aspects of international public management. It is also among the most public of international actions and, as the authors note, one where standard job security that is usually found in international organizations is less likely to be assured. The analysis by Schöndorf of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor shows how important this was in completing the mission. One reason peace operations are complex is that the military contingents involved are not international officials but rather national contingents provided to the United Nations. Dijkzeul and Wakenge’s analysis of religious proselytizing by Bangladesh and Zambian contingents in two peacekeeping operations demonstrates some of the difficulties involved. Interestingly, this type of problem goes back historically to the first complex peace operation in the Congo, where some national contingents refused to accept orders from the civilian peacekeeping officials, because their governments (in one case, Ghana) instructed them not to. This is also analyzed in Winkler’s study of the disconnection between headquarters and mission perspectives in Liberia. A connection with the state system is shown in Karlsrud’s analysis of how an integrated approach to peace operations was developed at least in part through an initiative of the Norwegian government. There are many more, including the “Four Nations Initiative in Towards a Compact: Proposals for Improved Governance and Management of the United Nations Secretariat” (International Peace Institute, 2007) that helped expand results-based management in the United Nations. One factor that could help further develop this line of analysis is the connection between secretariats and governmental initiatives, such as those described by Karlsrud. It is another way in which secretariats seek to change the context in which they are expected to work. Historical analysis may be helpful in understanding internal bureaucratic functioning. Schindler’s analysis of “bureaucratic spoiling” in a dispute between FAO and the World Food Programme, during the administration at FAO of Eduard Saoma, shows the importance of how a chief executive’s style and approach can affect results. One of us, Mathiason, can testify to this personally. In the late 1980s, I was a short-listed applicant for a division directorship at FAO and was interviewed by Saoma. He asked me two questions to determine my suitability for the position. First, he asked, “What is your astrological sign?” I knew that and replied. Then he asked, “What is your Chinese astrological sign?” I did not know and told him so. I did not get the position. Time moves on, and the scholars in this issue and in future issues will undoubtedly help develop international organizations through their analysis. We wish our successors at JIOS success as the discipline evolves. REFERENCES International Peace Institute (2007), “Toward a Compact: Proposals for Improved Governance and Management of the UN Secretariat,” http://www.ipinst.org/events/conferences/details/57-towardsa-compact-proposals-for-improved-governance-and-management-of-the-united-nations-secretari. html. Patrick, Stewart (2014), “Unruled World: The Case for Good Enough Global Governance,” Foreign Affairs, January-February, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140343/stewart-patrick/theunruled-world.


Internal Dynamics and Dysfunctions of International Organizations—An Introduction to the Special Issue by Julian Junk, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, and Frederik Trettin, University of Konstanz1 There can be no doubt that international organizations (IOs) have become increasingly important actors in international relations and, as such, are important research objects in international relations. Organizations such as the United Nations and related organizations perform critical functions not only in the area of international peace and security but also in areas such as development or international trade. Despite an emerging research agenda devoted to the analysis of international organizations as organizations and thereby highlighting both the agency as well as the administrative side of IOs, there are still two major interrelated shortcomings. First, there is little understanding about the intra-organizational dynamics and patterns. Second, the consequences of these dynamics for the agency and performance of IOs have not been analyzed yet. By and large, IO studies fall into the trap of starting with the premise that the bureaucratic agency is flawed, without investigating into the sources of dysfunctions and into the permanence of these dynamics and patterns. By contrast, the articles in this special issue start with the assumption that it is precisely an understanding of the micropolitics among administrative substructures that helps to explain important elements of the effectiveness and performance of IOs. Consequently, all contributions analyze different aspects of the internal dimension of international organizations and the consequences for the activities and agency of IOs. They highlight, for instance, the existence and the effects of bureaucratic spoiling and the various levels of agency within IOs. This special issue contributes to two main issue areas: first, to the study of international organizations as organizational actors and, second, to an understanding of the dynamics among administrative elements within those organizations. To varying degrees, these two issues have been a concern in the academic literature in recent years. First, despite the increasing importance of IOs and their respective administrative bodies, especially in the field of peace and security, a recurring theme over decades is the very assessment that still too little is known about the actual inside and inner workings of these organizations. Although some landmark publications highlighting the bureaucratic and organizational characteristics of IOs were published many years ago and have been “rediscovered” recently (e.g., Weiss 1975; Pitt and Weiss 1986), starting with—among others—the seminal studies by Barnett and Finnemore (1999; 2004), one may identify a serious new research agenda conceptualizing international organizations as organizations with their own authority and relevant inner patterns. In this agenda, there has been progress to acknowledge that substructures of intergovernmental organizations share common characteristics of bureaucratic organizations, such as a clear system of super- and subordination, creating a hierarchical formal organizational structure, and a division of labor between experts based on rules and standard operating procedures. However, it remains an acknowledgement, and there is still a lack of conceptual and 1. The guest editors of this special issue are grateful for the helpful comments by the three anonymous reviewers and for the support of the editorial team of JIOS. They acknowledge the financial support of the German Foundation for Peace Research for this research.

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empirical advances in the details, despite some promising transfers from public administration and organization theory (see, for instance, Dijkzeul and Beigbeder 2003, Knill and Bauer 2007, Dingwerth et al. 2009, Benner et al. 2011, Junk and Blume 2012, Junk et al. forthcoming). Although one may observe a “considerable convergence between organizational sociology and IOs” (Brechin and Ness 2013: 32), the previous blind spot of international relations research that “for several decades, states have taken IOs more seriously than have scholars” (Abbott and Snidal 1998: 29) is not sufficiently covered yet. It still holds true that “the number of studies that shed light on their inner workings is still relatively small” (Dijkzeul and Beigbeder 2003:1), and we “know very little about the actual workings of these bureaucracies” (Benner et al. 2007:2). Second, while for a long time the preferences of the member states had been viewed as the most important factor for the design of its output (often referred to as politicization of IOs),2 more recent studies highlight the influence of individual civil servants within IOs bureaucracy on policy outcomes (Liese and Weinlich 2006, Mathiason 2007, Weller and Xu 2010) and, thus, of internal politicization. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of politicization within the bureaucratic core, by the bureaucratic core, or at the nexus between the inner and outer environment is rarely addressed. For instance and by contrast, the administration and management of peace operations is neither apolitical nor purely externally influenced. Not only are questions of peace and war per se much politicized issues but so are the political dynamics between the “First UN”—composed of the member states—and the “Second UN”— composed of the secretariats (cf. Claude 1996). Thus, the interplay of politics and administration are especially relevant: The UN Secretariat in New York as well as the administration of UN peace operations in the field are situated between the conflicting poles of politics and administration. Cooperation and coordination, recruitment, or learning from previous peace operations—all these administrative tasks are not only superimposed by the particular interest of the UN member states (geopolitics) but also by the internal politics of the various administrative units (micropolitics). Most articles in this special issue elaborate on these patterns of implementing UN peace operations and use this empirical focus to illustrate the consequences of micropolitical dynamics for the performance of IOs in general. The article by Trettin and Junk sets the conceptual stage for some of the following contributions by scrutinizing the notion of bureaucratic spoiling. Based on studies from the field of organizational behavior and public administration, it combines two strands of literature that both investigate the dark side behavior of and in organizations: organizational behavior studies and public administration failures. This contribution proposes that a closer look at the phenomenon of bureaucratic spoiling and its three basic forms (dissent shirking, obstruction, and sabotage) might set the stage for an expansion of the research agenda on international organizations and inform organizational behavior literature, too. Throughout the article, empirical illustrations from UN peace operations are used to develop the concept of bureaucratic spoiling and to weigh its plausibility. The article by Schöndorf builds on the concept of bureaucratic spoilers and contributes empirical evidence for the phenomenon of “spoiling from within” a UN peace operation. In detail, she demonstrates that the planning and the implementation of the mandate of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) was considerably hampered by individual and structural obstructions—by UN employees and from within the UN bureaucratic structure. Providing advice for policy makers, Schöndorf identifies able leadership of the mis2. There are two major strands of politicization literature with regard to IOs. One recent strand is focusing on the societal politicization of international institutions (Zürn et al. 2012; Ecker-Ehrhardt and Zürn 2013). This agenda focuses on the growing development of an international political system with increasing authority and resulting questions of legitimacy. It revitalized the research agenda of politicization. However, in the UN-related literature, there has been a very a different conceptual use of the term since the 1980s: Politicization refers here to the intrusion of by and large unrelated external political debates and conflicts into a seemingly apolitical or merely technical organization. The empirical analysis has focused on specialized UN agencies and programmes (see, for instance, Ghebali 1985 and Imber 1989; see for a longer discussion on the politicization literature Trettin/Junk/Lange forthcoming in 2014).


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sion as the most promising path of coping with these obstructions. Dijkzeul and Wakenge compare two other cases (Sudan and Congo) of potential spoiling by focusing on a hitherto largely neglected and challenging empirical phenomenon: proselytizing peacekeepers. It examines whether and to what extent proselytization occurs, whether it can be considered a form of spoiling from within the UN mission, and how it can be addressed. The authors expand the definition of bureaucratic spoiling as developed by Trettin and Junk by identifying a fourth form of spoiling from within: pushing particularized universalisms. The contribution by Schindler broadens the analytical perspective of the special issue by analyzing the politicization of micropolitics. Bureaucratic spoiling, agency slack, and bureaucratic politics have been used as moral allegations against political opponents in a conflict between the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). On each side of the FAO-WFP conflict regarding institutional autonomy, the other was depicted negatively with allegations to provide justification for the ongoing turf battles. The following two articles go beyond the focus of bureaucratic spoiling and investigate into less intentional patterns of bureaucratic performance. Winckler analyzes the links between the headquarters and the field. He finds that communication processes and behavior lead to internal protectionism between the two levels of peace operations, to a dysfunctional diffusion of responsibilities among them, and to undermining the development and acceptance of common organizational goals. Karlsrud’s contribution analyzes a strategy to cope with the obstacles to normative change in the UN. These obstacles include political bargaining and horse-trading, turf battles between UN entities, and bureaucratic resistance to implement change. The article looks at the UN as a competitive arena where states, think tanks, academia, and NGOs form informal policy alliances to further norm goals. By doing so, these actors circumvent patterns of spoiling and turf battles between UN entities. Through strengthened informal consultations they avoid political horse trading on difficult issues. All contributions in this special issue enter empirically unchartered waters and all manage to cope with the problem of data access in these politically sensitive environments. No organization is happy to acknowledge the existence of internal dynamics that have negative consequences for its performance. However, IOs are definitely shaped by the inevitabilities of bureaucratic organization—even more so as the governance structures are less able to exercise control and to mitigate dysfunctions than in the national realm. They are governed by more than one government and consequently have to respond to multifaceted demands that are not necessarily compatible. The possibilities for internal actors to pit various outside actors against each other makes IOs even more prone to internal turf wars. All of this made the endeavor of these contributions worthwhile and the future analysis of internal dynamics and micropolitical behavior even more critical. REFERENCES Abbott, Kenneth and Duncan Snidal (1998). “Why States Act through Formal International Organizations,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 42 (1):332. Barnett, Michael and Martha Finnemore (1999). “The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations,” International Organization 53 (4):699–732. Barnett, Michael and Martha Finnemore (2004). “Bureaucratizing World Politics,” in M. Barnett and M. Finnemore (eds.). Rules For The World; International Organizations in Global Politics, Cornell: University Press. Benner, Thorsten, Andrea Binder, and Philipp Rotmann (2007). “Learning to Build Peace? United Nations Peacebuilding and Organizational Learning: Developing a Research Framework,” GPPi Research Paper Series 7.


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Benner, Thorsten, Stephan Mergenthaler, and Philipp Rotmann (2011). The New World of UN Peace Operations Learning to Build Peace? Oxford: Oxford University Press. Brechin, Steven R. and Gayl D. Ness (2013). “Looking Back at the Gap: International Organizations as Organizations Twenty-Five Years Later,” Journal of International Organizations Studies 4 (special issue “Sociological Perspectives on International Organizations and the Construction of Global Order”).14–39. Claude, Inis L. (1996): “Peace and Security: Prospective Roles for the Two United Nations,” Global Governance 2 (3).289–98. Dijkzeul, Dennis and Yves Beigbeder (2003). “Introduction: Rethinking International Organizations,” in D. Dijkzeul and Y. Beigbeder (eds.) Rethinking International Organizations. New York, NY: Berghahn books. Dijkzeul, Dennis and Yves Beigbeder (eds.) (2003). Rethinking International Organisations—Pathology and Promise. New York: Berghan. Dingwerth, Klaus, Dieter Kerwer, and Andreas Nölke (eds.) (2009). Die Organisierte Welt: Internationale Beziehungen und Organisationsforschung, Baden-Baden: Nomos. Ecker-Ehrhardt, Matthias and Micheal Zürn (2013). Die Politisierung der Weltpolitik: Umkämpfte internationale Institutionen. Berlin: Suhrkamp. Ghebali, Victor-Yves (1985). “The Politicisation of UN Specialised Agencies: A Preliminary Analysis,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 14:317–34. Imber, Mark F. (1989). The USA, ILO, UNESCO and IAEA: Politicization and Withdrawal in the Specialized Agencies, New York: St. Martin’s Press. Junk, Julian and Till Blume (2012). “Organizing Peace: Organization Theory and International Peace Operations,” (Editors of the Special Issue) Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 6 (3). Junk, Julian, Francesco Mancini, Till Blume, and Wolfgang Seibel (eds.) (forthcoming). The Management of Peace Operations: Coordination, Learning, Leadership, Boulder: Lynne Rienner. Knill, Christoph and Michael W. Bauer (2007). Management Reforms in International Organizations, Baden-Baden: Nomos. Liese, Andrea and Silke Weinlich (2006). “Die Rolle von Verwaltungsstäben internationaler Organisationen: Lücken, Tücken und Konturen eines (neuen) Forschungsgebiets,” in J. Bogumil, W. Jann, and F. Nullmeier (eds.) Politik und Verwaltung, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Mathiason, John (2007). Invisible Governance: International Secretariats in Global Politics, Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press. Pitt, David and Thomas G. Weiss (1986). The Nature of United Nations Bureaucracies, London: Croom Helm. Trettin, Frederik, Julian Junk, and Anne Lange (2014 forthcoming). “The Politics of Planning for Peace: Boundary Spanning, Politicization and the Planning Process of Peace Operations,” Journal of Statebuilding and Intervention. Weiss, Thomas G. (1975). International Bureaucracy: An Analysis of the Operation of Functional and Global International Secretariats, Lexington: Lexington Books. Xu, Yi-Chong and Patrick Weller (2004). The Governance of World Trade: International Civil Servants and GATT/WTO, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. Zürn, Michael, Martin Binder, and Matthias Ecker-Ehrhardt (2012). “International Authority and Its Politicization,” International Theory: A Journal of International Politics, Law, and Philosophy 4 (1): 69–106.


Spoilers from Within: Bureaucratic Spoiling in United Nations Peace Operations by Frederik Trettin, University of Konstanz, and Julian Junk, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt1 Taking the organizational characteristic of international organizations seriously, this article draws attention to the internal bureaucratic dimension of United Nations Peace Operations. It focuses on the obstructing behavior of individual members of this international bureaucracy and its potential impact on an operation’s overall performance. It does so by extending Stedman’s spoiler concept to include actors within the peace operations bureaucracy. Subsequently, based on findings from public administration research, a working definition of “bureaucratic spoilers” is developed. In order to demonstrate the empirical relevance of the theoretical concept “spoilers from within,” empirical examples are presented to illustrate the main forms of bureaucratic spoiling in UN peace operations: dissent-shirking, obstruction, and sabotage. “Sometimes I have the feeling that there are more spoilers inside the UN than outside.” —Francesc Vendrell, long-time UN civil servant

Introduction Since the end of the Cold War, the world has witnessed a massive increase in the number and scope of peace operations authorized by the United Nations (UN) Security Council and administered by an international bureaucracy in the form of the UN Secretariat. According to the figures of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)—the key organizational unit administering peace operations within the UN Secretariat—a total of 115,582 personnel is currently serving in fifteen peacekeeping operations.2 While UN peace operations started as mere military observer missions monitoring ceasefires or controlling buffer zones, UN peace operations have evolved into so-called multidimensional peacekeeping operations. Over the last several decades, these operations have become highly complex organizational entities composed not only of military components but also of a variety of civilian components, addressing various issues like rule of law, human rights, or the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants. In order to identify patterns and factors contributing to the success and failure of these missions, scholars have dealt extensively with the local conditions on the ground, the international community’s will to invest its capabilities, structural design issues of the international presence, or single strategies in policy areas like security sector reform. As we will show, the role the international bureaucracy administering these organizations plays in this regard has by and large been neglected. Building on a recent but growing research agenda, which takes international organizations 1. The authors kindly acknowledge the support from the German Foundation for Peace Research and are grateful for the helpful comments by the anonymous reviewers. 2. Figures according to the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations Fact Sheet, 31 August 2013.

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as organizational entities seriously (cf. Barnett and Finnemore 1999, 2004), this article sheds light on the internal bureaucratic dimension of peacekeeping operations. We argue that internal factors, such as the obstructing behavior of individuals in these international bureaucracies, may have a significant influence on the organization’s overall performance. By emphasizing the internal administrative perspective, we aim at sketching a new research agenda analyzing the fine-grained processes, administrative micropolitics, and individual bureaucratic behavior within peace operations. By focusing on internal actors obstructing peace operations, we expand Stephen Stedman’s landmark definition by which spoilers are often referred to as those local actors who deliberately undermine peace agreements.3 There are also “spoilers from within” the peace operation that make successful mandate implementation more difficult. This article develops a conceptual definition of bureaucratic spoilers (or “spoilers from within”) and identifies three corresponding mechanisms of spoiling by transferring insights from public administration research and organization theories. We begin with a brief review of the current scholarly contributions focusing on managerial aspects of international organizations in general, and peace operations in specific, as well as a review of literature on success and failure of peace operations. In the main part, we briefly describe the hitherto applied concept of spoilers in the context of peace operations and go on to expand the scope of this concept to include actors within the peace operation’s bureaucracy. We further develop a working definition of bureaucratic spoilers and supplement it by findings from the field of administrative science and organizational studies. Finally, examples of UN peace operations illustrate the main forms of bureaucratic spoiling, which are dissentshirking, obstruction, and sabotage, demonstrating the empirical existence and relevance of the theoretical concept of “spoilers from within.” International Organizations as Bureaucratic Organizations Despite the doubtlessly increasing importance of international organizations (IOs) and their respective administrative bodies and substructures, especially in the field of peace and security, there is still a deficit in the research on the internal working procedures of international organizations and their respective secretariats in the international relations (IR) literature. As we elaborated briefly in the introduction to this special issue, although there has been quite a dynamic in (re)discovering these organizational dimensions recently, it still holds true that “for several decades, states have taken IOs more seriously than have scholars” (Abbott and Snidal 1998:29). Classical organizational theory provides various opportunities of theory transfer and even though there are many scholars “familiar with principal-agent problems and the ways in which bureaucratic politics can compromise organizational effectiveness, [. . .] these approaches have rarely been applied to IOs” (Barnett and Finnemore 1999:107). Hence, despite the fact that these international public administrations have received much public criticism for their mismanagement, their internal working procedures, and specifically those factors leading to dysfunctionalities, are rarely examined. More frequently, one finds accounts written by former members of the UN secretariat (Urquhart 1991; Sanjuan 2005), diplomats to the UN or journalists (e.g., Traub 2006; Shawn 2006), but they are either anecdotal or have a tendency to expose the organization, portraying the UN secretariat accusatory (and not analytical) as a byzantine administrative apparatus with ineffective civil servants and a high degree of corruption. However, the neglect has been identified and lamented upon for quite some time. A recurring theme for decades is the assessment that still too little is known about international public administration (cf. Weiss 1975; Pitt and Weiss 1986; Dijkzeul and Beigbeder 2003). The notable exceptions in the literature (Sebo 1973; Pitt and Weiss 1986) specifically looking into the UN and its administrative machinery do not establish a systematic link between the internal workings and the performance of the bureaucratic machinery 3. Stedman’s definition of spoilers is “leaders and parties who believe that peace emerging from negotiations threatens their power, worldview, and interests, and use violence to undermine attempts to achieve it” (Stedman 1997:5).


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and remain rather descriptive. The reason for this is subject to speculation that range from difficulties in accessing data and the object of research itself, the complexity of the empirical task, and the division of two camps—one doing theoretical and conceptual work, the other digging deep into the empirics and practical knowledge on organizational processes. Peace Operations as Bureaucratic Organizations The above-mentioned scholarly omission of the internal dimension of international organizations also applies to peace operations, which constitute a special type of international public administration and can well be viewed as bureaucratic entities. “Bureaucracy” is a frequently used term and concept, but to date, there is no commonly accepted definition and meaning of “bureaucracy” (Beetham 1996). Usually the term “bureaucracy” is linked to Max Weber’s bureaucratic theory. There are several organizational characteristics frequently associated with bureaucratic organizations such as clear jurisdictional areas of competency, office hierarchy, management based on documents, specialization and professionalization of staff, full working capacity of the official, as well as administration governed by impersonal rules and standard operating procedures (see Weber 1978 (1915):956 et seq.). Weber’s description of bureaucracy is not a prescription of how bureaucracies have to be designed but rather the description of an ideal type. Consequently, it is empirically useful to talk about degrees of bureaucratization instead of establishing a dichotomous understanding of bureaucracies and non-bureaucracies based on Weber’s ideal type criteria. While UN peace operations had been managed on an ad hoc basis during the Cold War, an institutionalized administrative structure has existed within the UN Secretariat since the creation of the DPKO in 1992 and the establishment of an additional Department of Field Support (DFS) in 2007. Just by looking at the organizational charts of DPKO, DFS, and UN peace operations themselves, one can identify a strict organizational hierarchy with a clear system of super- and subordination as well as different spheres of competence and division of labor between the various departments, divisions, branches, sections, or units. Furthermore, the UN system is governed by various sets of rules and standard operating procedures that often regulate in detail areas such as procurement or human resource management. From this perspective, UN peace operations and their related administrative structures at field and headquarters level can be regarded as a bureaucratic organization. However, what differentiates peace operations from the ideal type of bureaucracy is the fact that they are not designed to be of permanent nature, and are to a great extent influenced by the political interests of the member states. Their provisional and precarious character is already highlighted in the name of some missions such as the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) or the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). Their constituting mandate is subject to renewal by the UN Security Council, normally for a period of twelve months, sometimes shorter. As a further difference to Max Weber’s ideal type concept of a public bureaucracy, most of the multinational personnel are recruited under contracts of limited duration, and permanent appointments—or tenure for life (Ibid:1962)—are the exception rather than the rule. According to the latest report of the Secretary-General on the ‘Composition of the Secretariat’, out of the 921 total staff working in DFS and DPKO only 247 (26.82%) hold permanent/continuing appointments whereas 674 (73.18%) hold fixedterm or temporary appointments. Of all 21,157 staff in field operations 97.21% hold fixedterm or temporary appointments whereas only 346 hold permanent appointments (see General Assembly document A/68/356). Nevertheless, in practice most of the fixed-term contracts are constantly renewed creating sometimes tenure-like careers which again is in line with Weber’s claim that “as a factual rule, tenure for life is presupposed even where notice can be or periodic reappointment occurs” (see Weber 1978 (1915):962). Not surprisingly but contrary to the traditional conception of bureaucracy as apolitical, the UN “Secretariat is, in many ways, a political institution, a place where UN member states


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compete for power and influence of others” (Myint-U and Scott 2007:x). Cooperation and coordination problems, selection of managerial staff, the need to learn from previous missions, as well as the organizational design of peace operations4—all this is superimposed not only by the particular interests of the member states but also by the micropolitics of various organizational units within the system of the UN. In sum, the UN Secretariat as well as UN peace operations may be treated as bureaucratic organizations in the form of an international bureaucracy (see, amongst others, Bauer and Weinlich 2011) or international public administration that is run by professional international civil servants, hierarchically organized, based on specialization and the division of labor, as well as governed by written formal rules and standard operating procedures. The Neglected Internal Dimension Since the late 1980s, the world has witnessed a surge in the number and scope of peace operations the members of the UN Security Council authorized. Concerning the success and failure of these endeavors scholars dealt extensively with a variety of factors (Bratt 1997; Šimunović 1999; Puskhina 2006; van der Lijn 2009). The role the international bureaucracy itself plays in this regard has been largely neglected though. Besides the general debate on how to assess or measure the performance of these endeavors (Bratt 1996a, 1996b; Druckman et al. 1997), most studies pay attention to “external” factors outside of the core of the peacekeeping system. The most prominent approach conceptualizing the conditions for successful peace operations is the so-called peace-building triangle by Michael Doyle and Nicholas Sambanis (2006). According to this model, the chances of success are determined by the hostility level in the territory, the local capacities, and the international will committed to the operation. Contrary to our article’s focus, Doyle and Sambanis’ comprehensive approach focuses on macro-level factors. Another widely cited approach for the analysis of performance conditions is the one presented by Roland Paris (2004), whose general thesis is that the chances for success are better if the international community first focuses on putting a rudimentary network of domestic institutions in place before the liberalizing processes of democratization and marketization are tackled. Summarizing, Pushkina (2006) and van der Lijn (2009) identify several factors for success mentioned in the scholarly literature, but they all refer to conditions at the international level or general characteristics of the mission, such as the robustness of the mandate or the involvement of a major power. Furthermore, there exists a range of studies that examine the relationship between the success of a mission and the local conditions, thus bringing factors at the field level, such as the influence of spoilers (Stedman 1997) or the supportive role local ownership plays (Pouligny 2006), into focus. The classic peace and conflict research also focuses on the determinants for success and failure in the context of post-conflict reconstruction efforts of the international community, partially with explicit reference to peace operations (cf. Fortna 2004; Gilligan and Stedman 2003; Cooper 2001, Diehl 1993; Small and David 1982). Nevertheless, the “internal” dynamics and factors of peace operations as well as the fact that peace operations and the UN Secretariat constitute complex administrative entities have been largely neglected—despite abundant theoretical arguments for the assumption that bureaucracies under certain circumstances undermine the policies they actually have to implement, such as the economic theory of bureaucracy or theories of bureaucratic politics.5 Policy outcomes might rather be the result of turf-battles and compromises than of a rational macro-level process that tries to serve the public interest in the most efficient and effective way. Furthermore, there exist clear hints from practitioners such as our first quote 4. On organizational learning see Benner et al (2011), Berthoin Antal et al (forthcoming) and on design Junk (2012). 5. On economic theories see Downs (1967) and Niskanen (1971); on bureaucratic politics see Allison (1971) and Brewer (2008).


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in this article or written accounts from the field (Eide 2012:30 et seq.) that internal matters from within the UN system undermine the successful implementation of peace operations. Overall, a closer look at the internal dynamics of peace operations, conceptualizing them as bureaucratic organizations, offers scholars and practitioners alike the opportunity to refine their understanding of endogenous factors contributing to or constraining organizational performance. Mixed Blessings of Bureaucratic Organizations The inefficiencies or dysfunctionalities of bureaucratic organizations have not only been subject to public criticism but also the subject of scholarly interest. While Weber praises the rational and efficient characteristic of his ideal concept of bureaucracy, he highlights the flipside too. In a rare critique to modernism, he argues that further rationalization may lead to an “iron cage” in which a rigid set of rules depersonalize and overly specialize an organization. Along the same thoughts, Merton (1940) emphasizes the reverse side of the bureaucratic model by pointing to the effects of rigidity in the form of red tape and inefficiency. He highlights that certain features of bureaucratic organizations that make them more effective, like the dominance of rules guaranteeing predictability and reliability, may have dysfunctional or adverse effects, too, such as rigidity and the inability to adjust. This is the case when through a “process of displacement of goals” (Ibid:563) the civil servant internalizes the strict observation of rules and consequently an initial means, intended to ensure the organization’s effectiveness, becomes an end in itself. As a consequence, this “over conformity” gives rise to rigidity as illustrated by Merton’s study of polar pioneer Bernt Balchen. The authorities in the U.S. denied Balchen American citizenship, arguing that he had failed to comply with the five-year residency rule in the United States. Indeed, he once had left the country for an Antarctic voyage on an American vessel to a territory that was claimed by the United States. This formed the basis for the authority’s rigid application and orientation on rules and led to the inadequate rejection. Merton argues that such inadequacies derive their origin from structural sources. Many scholars point in the same direction, namely to the fact that deficiencies of the bureaucratic organization are not the degeneration of the bureaucratic model itself but originate from the same structural characteristics that make it an efficient organization—what Mayntz (1985) metaphorically described as the Janus-faced character of the bureaucratic organization. So the origin of dysfunctionalities of the bureaucratic organization does not lie necessarily within the individual bureaucrat, but within the organizational characteristics of the bureaucracy itself as well. The Myth of the Loyal Bureaucrat Closely related to Weber’s ideal type of bureaucracy as the most rational-legal form of authority is the conceptualization of the civil servant or bureaucrat as an impartial actor and willing servant implementing the policies and laws of its political master. But like Weber’s description of bureaucracy, this is an ideal type that can rarely be found in reality. Scholars of public administration have again and again pointed out that civil servants are not only loyal servants to the common interest but also have their own interests and often have a surprisingly high degree of autonomy and discretionary authority in implementing policies (Lipsky 1980). Therefore, one can argue that not only the structural and organizational characteristics, but the individual civil servant can be one origin of a decrease in efficiency in bureaucratic organizations. Consequently, the activities of international organizations are shaped by the inevitabilities of bureaucracy, as well as individual behavior. Already in 1937, a leading government official and political scientist of the Weimar Republic, Arnold Brecht, who opposed Hitler and later emigrated to the U.S. (Krohn and Unger 2006) introduced the term “bureaucratic sabotage.” Thereby, he shifted the focus of


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the origin of undesirable outcomes of bureaucracy to the individual bureaucrat. According to Brecht, the concept of bureaucracy refers to “any kind of political domination exercised consciously or unconsciously by civil servants as distinct, and eventually in contrast to, the political exponents of the government” (1937:48). He describes four stages of such domination by the civil service. The first two stages are the command of red tape and domination through expert knowledge, which he describes as unconscious forms of political influence by civil servants. Through case routine and red tape all initiatives of the political leadership will be slowed down and eventually the initial plan impaired, whereas expert knowledge refers to the domination over political newcomers by old civil servants who have more detailed and substantial knowledge in their field of expertise. The two other forms are the application of conscious political will by individuals and groups and are characterized by their malicious nature. According to Brecht, there have always been cases when an embittered civil servant has counteracted his superior and red tape, as well as expert knowledge, has served as a tool to obstruct the disliked order. The most serious form of bureaucratic sabotage is reached when not only individuals counteract the orders and policies of the government, but large portions of the civil service collectively undermine the efforts of the government, because legislation involves their personal interests like salary or pensions. Brecht points to the fact that the phenomenon of sabotage by individuals in bad faith is especially more frequent than it is understood. Sixty years later, analyzing the behavior of civil servants, Brehm and Gates (1997) reach the same conclusion that sabotage of policies by bureaucrats is a significant but often overlooked phenomenon, rarely included into analyses. Even though some scholarly attention has been devoted to shirking, they content that in particular “the politically motivated act of attempting to wreck a policy or to prevent policy reform has been ignored” (Ibid.:31). In their analysis of who, or what, determines what bureaucrats do, Brehm and Gates came to the conclusion that the individual bureaucrats’ preferences determine their policy choices rather than pecuniary rewards or supervision. In their work, they present four choices bureaucrats have with respect to the production of policy outputs: work, leisure-shirking, dissent-shirking, and sabotage. According to their enhanced principal-agent model, the bureaucrat decides across a set of different policies how to allocate the time he devotes to the four choices. Only the first behavior produces a positive output, both forms of shirking reduce the bureaucrats output toward zero, while sabotage is defined as a negative output of the individual that must be absorbed by the other bureaucrats. One of the most recent approaches from the field of public administration that describes this kind of dark side behavior is the concept of “guerilla government” presented by O’Leary (2006). This refers to “the actions of career public servants who work against the wishes— either implicitly or explicitly communicated—of their superiors” (Ibid.:xi). Similar to Brecht (1937), as well as Brehm and Gates (1997), a central assertion of O’Leary’s work is that guerilla government represents a routine problem within bureaucracies that happens all the time. Moreover, it is the “manifestation of inevitable tensions between bureaucracy and democracy that will never go away” (O’Leary 2006:3). Thus, it is mainly of the power of the career bureaucrats and the tension between them and political appointees that persistently challenges a functioning bureaucracy. As a form of dissent, the behavior of guerilla government is displayed by public servants who are dissatisfied, for instance, by their organization and due to strategic reasons refrain from going public. In order to achieve their objectives, they may use many techniques ranging from less obvious behavior, such as simply forgetting orders or leaking information to outsiders, to direct disobedience. All of the above presented studies suggest that, in general, individual bureaucrats not only have administrative discretion when implementing the given policies of their political masters but also the possibility to actually undermine or work against them. Based on the


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conceptualization of UN peace operations as bureaucratic organizations and at the same time highlighting the often neglected potential of the individual civil servant to actually undermine policies, “spoilers from within” must be viewed as a potentially important but largely neglected internal explanatory factor for the (mis-) performance of UN peace operations. The Spoiler Concept Extended By including actors that spoil the performance of their organization from within, we expand the landmark “spoiler” definition by Stedman (1997). According to this debate, local actors who deliberately undermine peace agreements are often referred to as spoilers. As Stedman points out, in civil war termination “the greatest source of risk comes from spoilers—leaders and parties who believe that peace emerging from negotiations threatens their power, worldview, and interests, and use violence to undermine attempts to achieve it” (Ibid.:5). In his much cited article “Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes,” Stedman initiated the debate on spoilers while introducing a typology to analyze and address this problem in the context of a given peace agreement. He describes three types of spoilers—limited, greedy, and total—and argues that spoilers differ on two dimensions: “The goals they seek and their commitment to achieving these goals” (Ibid.:6). A review of the literature shows that during recent years the debate on spoilers has evolved, and some aspects of Stedman’s initial concept have been criticized or refined. First of all, some scholars contest that it is not possible to identify spoiler types ex ante, questioning the predictive power of the concept (Zahar 2003). Second, the inconsistency and ambiguity of the typology were criticized because different types of spoilers share the same characteristics in terms of their goals and level of commitment (Ibid.). Third, the immutability of a total spoiler has been refuted by empirical evidence (Darby 2001). Fourth, it is argued that the focus on actors who use violence is to narrow and consequently scholars have extended the original spoiler definition. For instance, Schneckener presents a wider definition of spoilers and describes them as “all actors that avoid, block or sabotage a peace process, because they fear either to lose something or are not considered in an appropriate manner” (2003:4). In the same vein, Newman and Richmond propose to define spoiling as “activities of any actors that are opposed to a peaceful settlement for whatever reason, from within, or (usually) outside the peace process, and who use violence or other means to disrupt the peace process in pursuit of their aims” (2006:4). Whereas the previous two definitions still relate to actors who are against a given peace process, Cockayne and Pfister (2008) apply the concept of spoiler to organized crime, and Boucher and Holt (2009) include all actors undermining sanction regimes, thus broadening the perspective on spoiling. Although the initial spoiler concept has been refined and the initial definition extended to include a wide range of actors, all concepts have in common that their point of reference for spoiling behavior is the resistance of actors against a given peace agreement and its successful implementation. Furthermore, and despite the extension of the definition, the outlined approaches still focus on external elements of peace operations. Consequently, to this day no attention is paid to spoiling behavior amongst the “custodians of peace,” or in Stedman’s words, among those “international actors whose task is to oversee the implementation of peace agreements” (1997:12). These can be international organizations, concerned third parties or states, or individuals such as the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General (Trettin forthcoming). In the subsequent section, we expand the scope of the spoiler term to include actors within the peace operations’ administration. Toward a Working Definition of Bureaucratic Spoilers In order to analytically grasp the phenomenon of bureaucratic spoiling one might describe it as some kind of deviation from the organization’s standards, rules and norms, but this


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conception comes along with substantial difficulties to determine the “abnormal” or “normal” in bureaucratic organizations as Ellwein (1992) highlights. For instance, to work overtime or not leave the office on Friday after lunchtime—to make use of typical bureaucratic stereotypes—might be considered a deviation from the norm. Furthermore, despite having a negative connotation, the deviance from organizational norms and rules can be positive and constructive too according to Spreitzer and Sonenshein (2003). Therefore, they extend the focus of deviant behavior to positive deviance and define it as “intentional behaviors that depart from the norms of a referent group in honorable ways” (Ibid.:209). Complex organizations like UN peace operations are usually established under very fragile and difficult circumstances in which improvisation and pragmatism are important, and, consequently, consciously bending or working against the rules and standards in an honorable way might become a necessity. Such an honorable deviation from the norm can be, for instance, working overtime during the phase of mission set up to get the peace operation running. Even extreme deviations from the norm like issuing faux UN contracts, encouraging other staff members to resign and refusing to take orders from the top of the bureaucratic hierarchy can become an honorable deviation. Samantha Power (2008:288 et seq.) describes forms of such deviant behavior, which were displayed by the staff of the UN mission in East Timor (UNAMET). After the result of the Timorese vote for independence from Indonesia was announced on 4 September 1999, and 78.5 percent of Timorese had voted for independence, pro-Indonesian militia unleashed a bloody scorched earth campaign against the Timorese population. In the following days, fifteen hundred civilians poured into the UN compound in Dili to seek refuge. Given the drastically deteriorating security situation, on recommendation by the Head of Mission Ian Martin, the secretary-general declared a Phase V emergency ordering the withdrawal of all UN staff members. But as many of the UN staff members were sure that a massacre would commence if they abandoned the Dili compound and leave the refugees behind, they tried to find ways to undermine and ignore the evacuation order. Some prepared falsified UN contracts for the civilians so they could claim to be UN staff and have to be evacuated; others encouraged staff members to resign so they did not have to follow the order. Overall, many UN bureaucrats refused to leave Dili, and, finally, more than seventy of them stayed at the compound until a few days later all refugees had been evacuated by Australian forces. As this illustration demonstrates, describing this positive deviance and saving of human lives as spoiling behavior would not make sense or would at least be counterintuitive. Moreover, using deviation from norms as the baseline and indicator for spoiling behavior in peace operations is unsuitable because there are various norms or broader organizational goals that are sometimes in conflict with each other. How do you deal with the fact that it often becomes a necessity in order to successfully implement the mission’s mandate to negotiate with members of conflict parties who have committed serious war crimes or are indicted by the International Criminal Court? Handing over those persons might harm the operation’s efforts to build peace, while ignoring the indictment violates important norms the UN embodies, such as justice. Therefore, we view bureaucratic spoiling more broadly as a harmful behavior that undermines or counteracts the successful implementation of peace similar to the concept of counterproductive behavior presented by Sackett and DeVore (2001). According to them, counterproductive behavior “refers to any intentional behavior on the part of an organization member viewed by the organization as contrary to its legitimate interests” (Ibid.:145). So any work against the interests of the organization is considered spoiling behavior. The above-mentioned notion that the behavior is intentional is another important building block for the definition of bureaucratic spoiling. Adapting the idea that the deviant behavior is voluntary, we argue that one has to analytically distinguish bureaucratic spoiling from other forms of unintended or subconscious acts that undermine the efficiency of the bureaucratic organization. These acts can be phenomena such as mistakes, social-loafing, or


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the above-mentioned leisure-shirking, meaning you are “not working because you do not feel like working” (Brehm and Gates 1997:30). Although empirically it will be very difficult to prove a person’s intention, it is of conceptual merit to postulate that bureaucratic spoiling is a conscious and intentional act, or, in simple terms, the person is aware of the consequences of his or her own spoiling behavior. Based on the above-discussed elements, we propose the following working definition of bureaucratic spoilers: Bureaucratic spoilers in peace operations (or spoilers from within) are individuals or a small group of actors that, as staff members of the peace operation’s organizational structures, consciously counteract the successful implementation of a peace operation by undermining the efficiency and effectiveness of the mission, consequently working against the interests of the organization. Forms of Bureaucratic Spoiling and Empirical Relevance in Peace Operations Following Brehm and Gate’s criticism of the simplified “work or shirk” dichotomy of most principal-agent models (1997:29 et seq.), we expand their proposed set of alternative action to three basic forms of bureaucratic spoiling: dissent-shirking, obstruction, and sabotage. Dissent-shirking is the weakest form of bureaucratic spoiling, as this behavior is not necessarily deviant from the established organizational norms and principles. It is difficult to identify as such, because working according to the rules, deliberately withholding effort, or remaining passive is an indirect form of spoiling behavior. In contrast, obstruction is easier to detect as it presents an active and direct form of bureaucratic spoiling as illustrated above. Nevertheless, there is a blurry line between dissent-shirking and obstruction, and often it might not be possible to empirically distinguish between both forms, as obstruction can be both deviant and nondeviant from norms. Sabotage is the strongest form of bureaucratic spoiling as it represents a deliberate form of destruction with the intention to damage the organization, and the negative output has to be compensated for by the other individuals in the organization. In terms of consequences, we differentiate between forms of bureaucratic spoiling that differ in the degree of seriousness or harmfulness. The behavior of bureaucratic spoilers varies on a continuum ranging from dissent-shirking to sabotage. Dissent-shirking may be considered a form of silent protest, and it is the weakest form of bureaucratic spoiling (Ibid.). The bureaucrat deliberately withholds effort, because he or she is opposed to a certain policy or order. The distinctive characteristic is that it does not constitute an active form of spoiling behavior, the bureaucratic spoiler just works according to the rules and does not show any extra effort, including no overtime. Heclo (1977) described absolutely passive compliance, the “yes boss” approach, as the easiest means for bureaucrats to undermine political leadership. An illustration would be, for instance, a bureaucrat who purposely does not take advantage of his edge on information or experience for the benefit of the organization. If someone embarks on the road to ruin because he or she is new to the organization, the spoiler intentionally does not provide advice or service, although he easily could. Albeit indirectly undermining the performance of the organization, the bureaucrat’s behavior does not deviate from the organizational norms. Another illustration is a chief of staff of a UN peace operation having had a long career within the organization and consequently knowing very well how the administrative machinery functions to work around problems, such as lengthy recruitment processes. This chief of staff could easily act as a bureaucratic spoiler by not providing his expert knowledge on the UN bureaucracy to his superior, the head of mission, who likely might not have worked for the UN before and does not know how the organization functions. In general, the field-level leadership has both considerable authority and leeway to change the path of a mission or to interpret the mandate. In the case of Sudan, it was the mission leadership that decided to thwart the best practice section, the supposed focal point


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for learning in peace operations, to a simple UN volunteer position, as well as not foster the training and career development plans set by the mandate and UN rules (Berthoin Antal et al. forthcoming). The mission leadership is critical, for instance, in generating knowledge and enabling its translation into actual learning. If the leadership deliberately wants to maintain a low profile and to avoid constructive conflict with headquarters, member states, or the host country altogether, it may easily act as a spoiler in the form of dissent-shirking. Between the poles of bureaucratic spoiling, obstruction constitutes a more direct form of spoiling behavior to the effect that the spoiler actively undermines the efficiency and effectiveness of the mission. This behavior can be both deviant and nondeviant from organizational norms. A bureaucrat who deliberately wants to slow down a new initiative or to thwart an ambitious colleague might insist everything goes through the proper official channels. The bureaucratic spoiler’s behavior still does not deviate from the norm, but the dysfunctional aspects of bureaucracy, like red tape, are exploited in a malicious way. Obstructing behavior that deviates from the organizational norms and significantly reduces the output of the individual is illustrated by Schöndorf (2011)6 in her analysis of alternative explanations for the success and failure of UN transitional administrations. She describes how during the termination phase of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, the international staff became “glued to their seats” (Ibid.:365). An important element of the transitional administration was to build up local administrative capacities through training local staff, meaning the ultimate objective was that the Timorese counterparts eventually would take over. But instead of this capacity building for local administrative structures and training the local staff, it is reported that the international staff deliberately obstructed the capacity-building process. The perceived precarious employment situation of the international staff is cited as the reason behind the low performance of the capacity-building program, which delayed the whole transition process. In this case, the civil servants actively undermined the effective and efficient implementation of a program they were intended to implement, thus deviating from expected behavior. A similar example of obstructing behavior is described by Dijkstra (2010) relating to the period when the EU took over parts of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and was supposed to take over personnel and infrastructure. As the UN mission was slowly terminating, many UNMIK staff members had to give up their jobs, and one of Dijkstra’s interviewees notes that “people were trying to hold on to their unit. We asked all units which tasks they could hand over to the local authorities in terms of the transition. A number of the units came with good overviews, but many units simply refused to hand over any tasks” (Ibid.: 9) Furthermore, Dijkstra describes the Russian staff members of UNMIK at the lower levels tried to undermine the handover on orders of the Russian government, which did not support the handover in the first place. Their bureaucratic spoiling included sabotaging the cars that were supposed to be handed over or not delivering the mail. The most serious form of spoiling behavior is sabotage: The underhanded effort to harm the organization in a way that your negative output has to be absorbed by the extra efforts of your colleagues. In contrast to the previous forms of spoiling, not only the effectiveness and efficiency of the mission is significantly reduced but also the organization as a whole is harmed. Forms of bureaucratic sabotage are actions that discredit the whole organization and damage its reputation, such as corruption. A prime example might be the oil-for-food scandal or public disputes that severely undermine the working relationship with the host government as illustrated by the quarrels of the leadership of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). After the presidential elections in Afghanistan in 2009, Peter Galbraith, deputy head of UNAMA, had a public dispute with Head of Mission Kai Eide about the role of the UN in preventing and monitoring the massive fraud in the election. Eide had urged his staff 6. See her article in this issue.


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to not comment on the widespread fraud during the elections, because he feared it would destabilize the UN’s efforts to build a democracy. Galbraith had a different point of view and publicly accused his own organization of failure to probe fraud charges. After SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon removed him from his office as deputy special representative, Galbraith published a much-noticed and highly critical op-ed in the Washington Post. The public debate heated up in December 2009 when a New York Times article reported that, according to senior UN officials, Galbraith had proposed to enlist the U.S. government in a plan to replace Afghan President Karzai with former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani or former Minister of Interior Ali A. Jalali (Glanz and Oppel 2009). This allegation was leaked by Eide, who meanwhile had resigned from his position as head of UNAMA. Not only did this public debate severely undermine the reputation of the mission and its relationship with the host government, but reports also describe that the dispute almost sparked a mutiny within the mission as some of the senior staff backed Galbraith in the quarrel with his boss, Eide (Bone et al. 2009). It is precisely the above-described complexity of the organizational set-up of peace operations, their temporary nature (in particular, vulnerabilities in the start-up and termination phase), and their politicization that makes them prone to bureaucratic spoiling, with negative consequences for their implementation performance. Having illustrated that bureaucratic spoilers are not only a theoretical construct but actually exist and matter in terms of the organization’s overall performance, the question arises as to what motivates these individuals to exhibit spoiling behavior. In accordance with the existing literature, we can identify individual motives as well as contextual factors providing incentives for individuals within UN peace operations to consciously counteract and undermine the organization’s mandate. The above-described thwarting of the best practice section in the Sudan mission, and the deliberate decision not to foster training and career development in order to avoid conflict with headquarters, illustrates that bureaucratic spoilers might be motivated by political reasons. Furthermore, the phenomenon that some individuals refuse to hand over tasks to their successors or local staff, especially during the termination phase of a peace operation, clearly indicates economic motives. These economic interests tied to job security are certainly fueled by contextual factors, such as the marginal career opportunities and the lack of comprehensive and functional career development systems within the UN system that could mitigate the disadvantages of temporary organizations. Finally, the public dispute among the mission leadership in Afghanistan reveals the political aspect of these organizations and how handling ambiguous political questions or responding to political divisions might serve as an antecedent for bureaucratic spoiling. Although Kai Eide and Peter Galbraith insisted they were old friends, it seems plausible that personal quarrels or antipathies might induce spoiling behavior. Conclusion The demanding conditions of peace operations, which include solving problems that require flexibility and heavily bureaucratic rules of organizing its labor force or managing procurement, inevitably leads to a proclivity for working against the rules—with either honorable or rather destructive intentions. As this article discussed, this is certainly a contributing factor to understanding the performance of peace operations. Research should not shy away from analyzing it. Understanding the internal dynamics of peace operations offers scholars and practitioners alike the opportunity to refine their understanding of endogenous factors contributing or constraining organizational performance. While research of peace operations by and large has omitted this important field, this article demonstrated that public administration and organization studies have accumulated plenty of insights on these organizational patterns. Based on this, we developed a conceptualization of bureaucratic spoilers as individuals or a small group of actors who, as staff members of the peace operation’s organizational structures, consciously counteract the successful implementation of a peace operation by undermining the efficiency and effectiveness of the mission, consequently working against the interests of


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the organization. Hence, by extending the spoiler concept from peace and conflict research to bureaucratic spoilers, we propose to analyze UN peace operations as bureaucratic organizations and to take the individual civil servant—the human factor—seriously as he or she could be an important factor undermining the efficient and effective implementation of the mission and its mandate. While most mission staff is certainly very much dedicated to the mission’s mandate and bureaucratic spoiling is not the dominant behavior of the UN’s civil servant, the analytical importance of spoiling behavior cannot be emphasized enough: Bureaucratic spoiling is targeted against the organizations ultimate interests. Although our illustrations show that extreme forms of spoiling (obstruction and sabotage as the second and third spoiling mechanism this article discusses) behavior do exist, it is more likely the less dramatic forms, such as dissent-shirking, occur more frequently, as they are difficult to identify and consequently carry less risk to be recognized. This is not only of analytical but of practical importance: “Spoilers from within” work against the very interests of the organization and thereby increase the workload for all other staff members within the mission and bind a lot of time and energy. Given the fact that the staff of peacekeeping operations very often works in challenging environments, it is imperative that any additional burden in terms of bureaucratic spoiling should be mitigated. Transparent communication of an organization’s visions and goals, as well as proper coordination and efficient oversight mechanism (based on project management techniques), can counteract these dysfunctionalities. REFERENCES Allison, Graham T. (1971) The Essence of Decision: Explaning the Cuban Missile Crisis, Boston: Little Brown. Berthoin Antal, Ariane, Julian Junk, and Peter Schumann (forthcoming) “Organizational Learning in Peace Operations,” in J. Junk, F. Mancini, T. Blume & W. Seibel (eds.) The Management of Peace Operations—Coordination, Learning, Leadership, Boulder: Lynne Rienner. Abbott, Kenneth and Duncan Snidal (1998) “Why States Act through Formal International Organizations,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 42 (1):3–32. Barnett, Michael N. and Martha Finnemore (1999) “The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations,” International Organization 53 (4):699–32. Barnett, Michael N. and Martha Finnemore (2004) Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Bauer, Steffen and Silke Weinlich (2011) “International Bureaucracies: Organizing World Politics,” in B. Reinalda (ed.) The Ashgate Research Companion to Non-State Actors, Ashgate: Aldershot. Beetham, David (1996) Bureaucracy, Buckingham: Open Univ. Press. Benner, Thorsten, Stephan Mergenthaler, and Philipp Rotmann (2011) The New World of UN Peace Operations Learning to Build Peace? Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bone, James, Jerome Starkey, and Tom Coghlan (2009 September 15) “U.N. Chief Peter Galbraith is Removed in Afghanistan Poll Clash,” The Sunday Times. Bratt, Duane (1996a) “Assessing the Success of UN Peacekeeping Operations,” International Peacekeeping 3 (4):64–81. Bratt, Duane (1996b) “Defining Peacekeeping Success: The Experience of UNTAC,” Peacekeeping and International Relations 25 (4):3. Bratt, Duane (1997) “Explaining Peacekeeping Performance: The UN in Internal Conflicts,” International Peacekeeping 4 (3):45–70. Brecht, Arnold (1937) “Bureaucratic Sabotage,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and


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Social Science, Improved Personnel in Government Service 189:48–57. Brehm, John and Scott Gates (1997) Working, Shirking, and Sabotage: Bureaucratic Response to a Democratic Public, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Brewer, Gene A. (2008) “Bureaucratic Politics,” in J. Rabin and E.M. Berman (eds.) Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, Boca Raton: CRC Press. Cockayne, James Daniel Pfister (2008) “Peace Operations and Organised Crime,” Geneva Papers. Cooper, Neil (2001) “Conflict Goods: The Challenges for Peacekeeping and Conflict Prevention,” International Peacekeeping 8 (3):21–38. Darby, John (2001) The Effects of Violence on Peace Processes, Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace. Diehl, Paul F. (1993) International Peacekeeping, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Dijkstra, Hylke (2010) The Planning and Implementation of the Rule of Law Mission of the European Union in Kosovo (unpublished). Dijkzeul, Dennis and Yves Beigbeder (2003) “Introduction: Rethinking International Organizations,” in D. Dijkzeul and Y. Beigbeder (eds.) Rethinking International Organizations, New York, NY: Berghahn books. Downs, Anthony (1967) Inside Bureaucracy, Boston: Little Brown. Doyle, Michael W. and Nicholas Sambanis (2006) Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Druckman, Daniel, Paul C. Stern, Paul C. Diehl, A. Betts Fetherston, Robert Johansen, Durch William, and Steven Ratner (1997) “Evaluating Peacekeeping Missions,” Mershon International Studies Review 41 (1):151–65. Eide, Kai (2012) Power Struggle Over Afghanistan: An Inside Look at What Went Wrong—and What We Can Do to Repair the Damage, New York: Skyhorse Publishing. Ellwein, Thomas (1992) “Norm, Normalität und das Anormale. Entwurf einer Problem- und Forschungsskizze,” in A. Benz and W. Seibel (eds.) Zwischen Kooperation und Korruption: Abweichendes Verhalten in der Verwaltung, Baden-Baden: Nomos. Fortna, Virginia Page (2004) “Does Peacekeeping Keep Peace? International Intervention and the Duration of Peace After Civil War,” International Studies Quarterly 48 269–92. Gilligan, Michael and Stephen John Stedman (2003) “Where Do the Peacekeepers Go?” International Studies Review 5 (4):37–54. Glanz, James and Richard A. Jr. Oppel (2009 December 16) “U.N. Officials Say American Offered Plan to Replace Karzai,” New York Times Junk, Julian (2012) “Function Follows Form: The Organizational Design of Peace Operations,” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 6 (3):299–324. Knill, Christoph and Michael W. Bauer (2007) Management Reforms in International Organizations, Baden-Baden: Nomos. Krohn, Claus-Dieter and Corinna R. Unger (Eds.) (2006) Arnold Brecht, 1884–1977 demokratischer Beamter und politischer Wissenschaftler in Berlin und New York. Stuttgart: Steiner. Lipsky, Michael (1980) Street-Level Bureaucracy Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services, New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Mayntz, Renate (1985) Soziologie der öffentlichen Verwaltung, Heidelberg: Müller Jurist. Verl. Merton, Robert K. (1940) “Bureaucratic Structure and Personality,” Social Forces 18 (4):560–68.


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Myint-U Thant and Scott Amy (2007) The UN Secretariat a Brief History (1945–2006), New York: International Peace Academy. Newman, Edward and Oliver P. Richmond (2006) Challenges to Peacebuilding: Managing Spoilers During Conflict Resolution, Tokyo: United Nations Univ. Press. Niskanen, William A. (1971) Bureaucracy and Representative Government, Chicago: Aldine. O’Leary, Rosemary (2006) The Ethics of Dissent: Managing Guerilla Government, Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. Paris, Roland (2004) At War’s End: Building Peace after Civil Conflicts, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pitt, David and Thomas G. Weiss (1986) The Nature of United Nations Bureaucracies, London: Croom Helm. Pouligny, Béatrice (2006) Peacekeeping Seen from Below: UN Missions and Local People, London: Hurst. Power, Samantha (2008) Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira De Mello and the Fight to Save the World, New York, NY: Penguin Press. Pushkina, Darya (2006) “A Recipe for Success? Ingredients of a Successful Peacekeeping Mission,” International Peacekeeping 13 (2):133–49. Sackett, Paul R. and Cynthia J. DeVore (2001) “Counterproductive behaviors at work,” in N. Anderson, D.S. Ones, H.K. Sinangil, and C. Viswesvaranm (eds.) Handbook of Industrial, Work, and Organizational Psychology, London: Sage. Sanjuan, Pedro (2005) The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, AntiSemitism, and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat, New York, NY: Doubleday. Schneckener, Ulrich (2003) Warum manche den Frieden nicht wollen: Eine Soziologie der Störenfriede—SWP, Discussion Paper, Berlin: SWP. Sebo, Katherine A. (1973) Bureaucratization at the International Level: A Case Study of the United Nations Secretariat, Washington, D.C.: American University. Shawn, Eric (2006) The U.N. Exposed: How the United Nations Sabotages America’s Security And Fails the World, New York, NY: Sentinel Trade. Šimunović, Pjerxs (1999) “A Framework for Success: Contextual Factors in the UNTAES Operation in Eastern Slavonia,” International Peacekeeping 6 (1):126–42. Small, Melvin and David Singer (1982) Resort to Arms, Beverly Hills: Sage. Spreitzer, Gretchen M. and Scott Sonenshein (2003) “Positive Deviance and Extraordinary Organizing,” in K.S. Cameron, J.E. Dutton, and R.E. Quinn (eds.) Positive Organizational Scholarship: Foundations of a New Discipline, San Francisco: Berret-Koehler Publishers. Stedman, Stephen J. (1997) “Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes,” International Security 22 (2):5–53. Traub, James (2006) The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power, London: Bloomsbury. Trettin, Frederik (forthcoming) “Role Models of Leadership in Peace Operations: SRSGs in Kosovo,” in J. Junk, F. Mancini, T. Blume, and W. Seibel (eds.) The Management of Peace Operations— Coordination, Learning, Leadership, Boulder: Lynne Rienner. Urquhart, Brian (1991) A Life in Peace and War, New York , NY: Norton. van der Lijn, Jan (2009) “If Only There Were a Blueprint! Factors for Success and Failure of UN PeaceBuilding Operations,” Journal of International Peacekeeping 13 (1–2):45–71. Weber, Max (1978 [1915]) Economy and Society, Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.


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Weiss, Thomas G. (1975) International Bureaucracy: An Analysis of the Operation of Functional and Global International Secretariats, Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books. Zahar, Marie-Joelle (2003) “Reframing the Spoiler Debate in Peace Processes,” in J. Darby and R. Mac Ginty (eds.) Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Violence, and Peace Processes, New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.


How to Deal with Spoilers: DissentShirking, Obstruction, and Coping Strategies Within the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor by Elisabeth Schöndorf, German Institute for International and Security Affairs The performance of UN peace operations is usually explained with macro-variables, such as international will, local hostility, or local capacity. This article explores an alternative explanation. Building on organizational theoretical literature, it argues obstructions from within account for deficits in the implementation of a mission’s mandate. Empirically, the article focuses on the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). It shows how the mission struggled with bureaucratic spoilers. As Junk/Trettin outline, this represents a typical principal-agent-problem occurring in bureaucratic organizations. The article traces three empirical cases of spoiling: Dissent-shirking in the form of pathological underperformance, obstruction in the form of pathological overperformance, and obstruction in form of an “adhesive tendency” of international staff. Based on the experiences made in East Timor, the author concludes with recommendations on potential coping strategies that may prevent, contain, or reduce internal spoiling. Introduction There are at least three reasons for doing more research on “spoiling from within” international peace operations: The phenomenon is real; it is not well researched yet, let alone theorized; and it is a critical point for practical improvement and reform. As an important instrument for conflict management, UN peace operations play a critical role for global peace and stability. Their success, however, depends on a variety of external factors, such as the level of hostility (e.g., Doyle and Sambanis 2006), an often neglected set of factors related to internal actors and processes. The article will provide empirical evidence that the UN peace operation in East Timor suffered notoriously from the “organizational pathology” of obstruction from within, defined as spoiling by individuals and groups of employees of the mission itself (Schöndorf 2011). It does so by analyzing the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET, 1999–2002). Time and again, internal spoiling threatened the successful implementation of the mission. As the introduction to the special issue argues, the phenomenon of internal or bureaucratic spoiling in international organizational settings is still under-researched and the appropriate theoretical instruments still need to be explored or constructed. The field of peace operations research is dominated by macro-level approaches on the one side and idiosyncratic case studies on the other. There continues to be a lack of theory-guided analysis at the micro-level that accounts for performance variance.1 Transferring organizational theory and administrative science from their original turf of public administrations and firms, their theoretical concepts yield suitable descriptive, explanatory, and prescriptive potential for the study of the success and failure of international organizations. In particular, the concept of principal-agent relations and its specifications (see Trettin and Junk in this issue) promises to be beneficial for empirical analysis. 1. For an overview, see Schöndorf 2011.

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Peace operations are based on a division of labor and employ a variety of military, civilian, and police personnel with diverse cultural, professional, and personal backgrounds. In the words of a former senior mission officer, “People make it or they break it.”2 As in any organizational entity, the goals, ambitions, and working methods of mission staff may not in every case correspond to the overall objectives of the operation and may prevent it from achieving these objectives. This article reconstructs how and why such actions occur. Equally important as accounting for obstructing is tracing if and how these obstructions were coped with. A successful “coping strategy” prevents, reduces, or contains problems and defective action. The term “strategy,” however, does not have the technical meaning it has in theoretical game applications, but following Janis and Mann (1977), as well as Lazarus et al., George (1974), and Etzioni (1968), rather denotes “basic types of search and choice procedures” (Janis and Mann 1977:415). The last part of the article discusses if and how the leadership of the mission in East Timor could cope with internal spoilers, to what extent they proved successful, and what would be theoretically recommended coping strategies. Of Principals and Agents: Organizational Theory and the Study of UN Peace Operations A multidimensional peace operation is a complex organizational entity, with various units and subunits to perform a variety of tasks as set out in the mandate, ranging from restoration of security to the establishment of viable governmental and societal structures. Examples include the UN administration in Kosovo, the UN missions in Sudan, or the UN operation in East Timor, to name just a few. A basic principle of complex organizations is the division of work: one part or actor of the organization (the “agent”) performs services for the good of another part or actor within the organization (the “principal”). The principal is conceptualized as the one who orders actions, the agent the one executing them. The classic organizationaltheoretical concept of the principal-agent problem holds that agents, such as the international field staff working in a mission, may behave dysfunctionally vis-à-vis the organization’s goals as they try to free ride. The principal-agent approach to the analysis of organizational frictions was originally developed within the research tradition of microeconomic organization analysis. The theorem explains the success and failure of organizations in terms of problematic information asymmetries between those who are in charge of running the organization, i.e., the principals, and those who execute the principals’ orders, i.e., the agents (Eisenhardt 1989; Rauchhaus 2006). An agent may hide information on its actions and intentions, commit moral hazard, and he or she may be prone to adverse selection, and to the behavior of holding up the mechanisms of causal processes as proposed by the theorem consistent in the trajectories of opportunism, purposeful misinformation, or defective action. If the agent does not care (any longer) for the successful performance of the organization and instead acts strategically in his or her private interests, a critical mass of spoiling actions may result in organizational failure. The following part elaborates on how spoiling behavior by the agents, i.e., the personnel of the mission, vis-à-vis principals, i.e., the mission leadership and the mandating and supervising UN Security Council and the Secretariat, influenced the performance of the mission—and if and how these obstructions were coped with in the case of UNTAET. Empirical Observations on UNTAET Since the end of the Cold War, UN peace operations have developed from traditional “buffer missions” by a handful of Blue Helmets to the assumption of a temporary government role by transitional administrations. The latter are the most “complex, costly, and risky” (United Nations 2000:para. 77) missions. Defined as “a transitional authority established by the Security 2. Interview with a senior staff member of Civil Affairs, UNTAET, New York, 18 September 2006.


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Council to assist a country during a government regime change or passage to independence,” (United Nations 2008:99) transitional administrations pursue peacekeeping and peacebuilding tasks with a strong political component. While being noncoercive in nature, they usually have a robust mandate and engage in a multitude of cooperative relations to achieve their mandate. The creation of this most encompassing mission type represented the apogee within the UN “fallback system for peace” (Wesley 1997).3 One prominent example of this kind of mission was the UN administration in East Timor, UNTAET. UNTAET has been one of the most comprehensive missions of the United Nations ever. The international administration was supposed to build a state from scratch. The goal was to prepare the longtime colonized and suppressed people of East Timor for independence and for running their newly created state. Governing the former Portuguese and, subsequently, Indonesian colony for an interim period of almost three years, the mission exercised executive and legislative authority and engaged heavily in institution-building. UNTAET has been widely hailed as one of the more successful stories of UN peacekeeping. However, the mission also had substantial flaws, some of them possibly contributing to the relapse into violent conflict in 2006 (OHCHR 2006). The most crucial shortcoming related to the lack of local ownership of the transition was that given the difficult local capacity situation in East Timor, training local Timorese and having them participate in the transitional structures would have been essential but was regularly obstructed by the mission. I have selected three narratives that illustrate this point. The narratives are being reconstructed by applying the method of process tracing. Process tracing is a method that calls for the systematic collection and analysis of nonquantitative data on the basis of a preliminary analytical roster (cf. George et al. 2005). As the term suggests, the method is about the identification and theoretical interpretation of causal processes. I attempt a reconstruction and an analysis of the processes that connect the explanatory factors of different kinds of pathologies and link it to the dependent variable, i.e., performance. A mapping of virulent trajectories should allow me to explore the extent to which the observations coincide with prior, theoretically derived expectations about driving factors and mechanisms. The case of UNTAET has been selected for two reasons: First, there has been evidence that pertinent pathologies were becoming virulent within this mission. Second, UNTAET has by and large been rated a success story. However, time has shown that in terms of sustainable results, the performance of UNTAET has been mixed at best. It is plausible to assume this shortcoming is a consequence of the poor capacity-building performance of the mission, resulting from notorious spoiling by international staff. Looking at these actions of spoiling and how they were, in part at least, coped with is an important starting point for future structural reforms, policy improvements, and leadership considerations. The Situation in East Timor When UNTAET started in 1999, East Timor had the lowest GDP across Asia and was one of the poorest countries in the world. The country struggled with a hardly existing logistical, economic, financial, and administrative infrastructure (see also Garrison 2005:11), and a devastating situation in terms of human capacity. First of all, the East Timorese were a colonized society—traumatized with decades of oppression and incapacitation, loss of family members, rape, and exploitation. The formal educational qualification and skills of the East Timorese were low, as the Indonesians had systematically prohibited them from white- and blue-collar positions, and they had hardly invested anything into local education. There was a lack of skilled, trained people in nearly any (non-agricultural) profession. Timorese, 80 percent of whom were living the traditional life in the rural areas of the island, did not 3. Wesley, Michael (1997): Casualties of the New World Order: The Causes of Failure of UN Missions to Civil Wars, Basingstoke: Macmillan: 1–15. See also Barnett, Michael and Martha Finnemore (1999): “The Power, Politics, and Pathologies of International Organizations,” International Organization 53 (4): 699–732.


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dispose over the required capacities to build and run a new state.4 There were no local East Timor capacities, at least from what would be required from a Western perspective, to run the civil service, the judiciary, the police, or the health system in the independent state-to-come.5 The same holds true for economic and commercial expertise, which are likewise important for quick economic reconstruction. Furthermore, East Timorese had no experience running a state, not to mention running a state democratically, from which the UN could have benefited. In addition, the refugee and IDP situation was devastating—about three quarters of the population were displaced. “This country did not have very many people available who were competent. Nothing you can do about that. It was not, in government terms, a viable territory at that time.”6 Making matters worse, institutional and corporate memory had been lost: 95 percent of the previous administrative structure had been wiped out. Not just the buildings which you didn’t have, you didn’t have any manual at all. The only manual people had, was the memory of the Indonesian structures. Memory! You didn’t even have papers! You didn’t even have an organigram, an organizational chart of how the Indonesians used to do it. They didn’t leave it and they didn’t hand us over anything. They destroyed all the documents. All of the basic administrative papers were burnt. (Ibid.) UNTAET was to build a state from scratch. In fact, there was not much to build on. Making matters worse, the mission was given high time pressure to set up a viable administrative structure, as the secretary-general had set out a two-year time frame for implementing the very ambitious state-building objectives of the mandate. Thus, the scope conditions of the mission were mixed at best. Process Tracing of Internal Spoiling Given the situation on the ground, qualified and motivated international training personnel would have been essential in order to compensate for the many deficits. The money for this would, in principle, have been there. However, getting the right people to do the right things was the very Achilles heel of the mission. Much of its civilian personnel did not engage in training, capacity-building, and involving the East Timorese in managing the transition. Staff was adhering to their respective private interests, such as clinging to their jobs—and luscious salaries. This obviously ran counter to the overarching goal of the mission, which was to prepare the new state for its independence as quickly as possible—and to dispose itself. The resulting frictions between the mission leadership and large parts of its staff eventually turned virulent. UNTAET struggled with many defective employees who were there “just to collect a salary”7 or who misbehaved toward their local counterparts to protect themselves from being replaced. During the liquidation phase of the mission, international personnel actively stalled the process of hand-over to their local counterparts as they wanted to hold on to their positions as long as possible. On the other hand, a diametrically opposed phenomenon was also observable, namely overly motivated staff doing too much, and thus keeping local counterparts from owning the transition. In the following, three pathological spoiling patterns are described. “Dead Wood”: A Pattern of Dissent-Shirking While UNTAET was high in staff numbers—almost eight hundred international staff plus 4. This being said, the evaluation is relative to the standards applied: the international community strived to impose role-model Western institutions in East Timor. Interview with Dr. Tanja Hohe, former team member of UN Volunteers in East Timor, 30 September 2006 5. Cf. Garrison (2005) “Timor-Leste found itself a society [. . .] that lacked indigenous skills and training in all areas essential to democracy and development. It faced independence as a nation bereft of entrepreneurial, technical, medical, educational, and administrative skills and experience” (6). 6. Interview with a senior staff member of Civil Affairs, UNTAET, New York, 18 September 2006. 7. Ibid.


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more than 7,600 uniformed personnel—not all of them brought adequate quality.8 In fact, as Head of Mission Sergio Vieira de Mello admitted, “The mission was effectively run by about 10 percent of the people.”9 That means that 90 percent of the staff can be considered as bureaucratic spoilers, “simply trying to collect their next salary and who had no contact with the locals at all.”10As a consequence, there was not only an overload of work for these 10 percent, but it also meant an enormous waste of resources. The “strategy” that soon developed at UNTAET headquarters to cope with this “dead wood,”11 as a senior UNTAET official called these people, was to place them in far-away districts, removing them from headquarters positions. Since it is very difficult to fire people within the UN system, a continuous shuffling of—very well paid—personnel set in. “Staff was being moved around who no one wanted in the mission. [. . .] There was a game of musical chairs.”12 The result was the staff situation in the districts, i.e., the offices in the rural areas of Timor, was even more unfavorable than at the central level. At the same time, it was the rural areas where the vast majority of Timorese lived and where good work was needed most. The managerial challenge of dealing with this staff had a political dimension as well. Under considerations of sovereignty and resource obligations alike, member states did not want the UN to routinely engage in state-building and, particularly, in state-running missions. “They say that Kosovo and Timor and Eastern Slavonia were sort of exceptions, and that we should not develop a dedicated capacity in that area” (Schöndorf 2011:297–98). For the recruitment system at DPKO, this meant there was not a suitable roster that could identify human capacities to maintain post-conflict administrations. Specifically, the roster did not identify civilian and, especially, administrative skills; it did not select according to cultural or country knowledge; and it did not identify training capabilities. Staffing proceeds according to the necessities of the UN system, e.g., country quotas and their willingness to contribute, and only in second place according to functions. Trying to amend the recruitment process, DPKO made specific requests to member states that they send administration specialists. But UNTAET had trouble finding people with expertise, particularly in government. A senior DPKO official and then mission officer stated: The task of setting up a government is not something we do all the time, and what you want here is people who have been in government and in the civil service. However, the good ones usually are needed at home. So you don’t always get the best ones when you ask governments anyway. Point one. Point two is that there is a difference between being, let’s say, a very good finance ministry director in the governments of the UK or Switzerland, and being able to set up a finance ministry out of the burnt building in Dili that you find yourself in. We needed expertise that can organize and work in a development and post-conflict context where infrastructure has really been destroyed. In fact, however, we had some very bad people who I think made decisions that set Timor back.13 States were reluctant to delegate their good people. “Except for the peacekeeping element, the UN does not have experience in running a country as such. Therefore, it is not surprising that the UNTAET personnel recruit did not fit the job qualification for public administration or economic reconstruction” (Saldanha 2003:161). The result was a hit or miss of people. Unfortunately, the system produced a lot of “dead wood,” i.e., staff that was neither qualified 8. In early 2002, the mission comprised 7,687 total unifomed personnel, including 6,281 troops, 1,288 civilian police, and 118 military observers; UNTAET also includes 737 international civilian personnel and 1,745 local civilian staff. United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (2002), UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, Facts and Figures, available at http://www.un.org/en/ peacekeeping/missions/past/etimor/UntaetF.htm, accessed 3 March 2011. 9. Interview with a senior staff member of Civil Affairs, UNTAET, New York, 18 September 2006, remembering a remark by de Mello. 10. Telephone interview with a staff member of UNTAET, 9 October 2006. 11. Interview with a senior staff member of Civil Affairs, UNTAET, New York, 18 September 2006. 12. Ibid. 13. Interview with a senior staff member of UNTAET, New York, 23 November 2006.


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nor motivated to do the job.14 Accordingly, there was a high degree of uncertainty in the mission’s performance. “Over-Performers”: Obstructing by Omitting Local Ownership In UNTAET, there was staff also that over-performed—on the wrong thing. In order to have the mandate implemented—at least those parts they considered to be prevailing—international personnel started to massively “state-build” on their own. Omitting local ownership, they obstructed the long-term success of UNTAET. For nearly two years, the mission was almost exclusively staffed by international personnel. And many of those staff would not invest time in training the East Timorese, for example in financial administration or judicial issues. Rather, they would do as much as they could themselves. This not only triggered frustration among local Timorese15 but also created a precarious situation where time was running out to build up the capacities needed for running the new democratic state. Different reasons account for the tendency of UNTAET staff to “do it alone.” The first and most fundamental reason for their obstructing behavior was that UN staff was not used to local capacity-building. UNTAET was one of the first missions that had a capacity-building mandate. While today learning how to support and train local capacity is an integral part of UN training and education, in the late 1990s it was not. The second reason was the high time pressure that came with the comprehensive mandate. From day one, the transitional administration was under extreme time pressure to succeed. At the same time, it had the power, the resources, and the capacities to do the transition alone. Warranting visible results as quickly as possible, the rationale for the staff of the interim administration was to “get things done.” And doing it alone was the most controllable and quickest way to implement the mandate, especially when taking in to account the difficulties that came with hiring East Timorese. And, third, the proper hiring of locals was in fact very time-consuming, especially at the mid- and lower-levels, where it “took forever.”16 That sort of working levels were the hardest to deal with. I mean: where are you going to get them? I mean there is certainly that tier of people that were a part of the bureaucratic structures during the Indonesian time, right. So, some of those people were still around, many of them had fled, but some were still around, so we would try to find them because they had some basic skills. Everyone knew who they were, everyone knew where they were. It wasn’t a secret. But there weren’t so many of them either. So, we would also look to universities, people connected somehow to universities; you know, people who were just graduating or people we knew who graduated at least the last five or ten years, and people with at least some basic skills, some basic writing skills and communicating skills. But they were usually very basic. They weren’t so specialized in all these different areas of government.17 Furthermore, language obstacles as well as the immense gap between the demands and the availability of local capacities contributed to the omission of ownership. “The fact that the UN official language was English was really devastating, because no Timorese could read or write English”;18 they speak Bahasa Indonesian, Tetum, or Portuguese. In addition, Asian culture and the Timorese experience under Indonesian rule took its toll. There was no attitude of asking, insisting, or taking initiative at the work place. “They were very quiet” and possibly 14. “Peacekeeping can’t be another job, it needs people that are highly motivated, with a burning desire to do good,” interview with Dr. Christine Coleiro, UNITAR POCI, Washington, D.C., 1 December 2006. 15. “People who had been involved in an independence struggle do not like the idea that when they finish that struggle they do not get to take over control,” interview with a senior staff member of UNTAET, New York, 23 November 2006. 16. Telephone interview with a senior staff member of UNTAET, 9 October 2006. 17. Ibid. The remainder of this subchapter is part of the author’s PhD thesis, cf. Schöndorf Against the Odd: 246–247. 18. Telephone interview with a program officer of the Donor Coordination Unit, UNTAET, 7 October 2006.


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“intimidated by this work they’ve never done before.”19 Vice versa, “in the minds of a lot of the UN staff, there was never really a competent, capable Timorese counterpart with who to work to transfer those skills.”20 The local ownership-omission only changed with a fundamental decision by SRSG Vieira de Mello to introduce a co-government approach.21 Against resistance from headquarters as well as from many of his staff who did not want to “serve under” East Timorese, he decided to radically redesign the transition approach. He installed a co-government where international ministers acted together with East Timorese cabinet members. “Vieira de Mello [. . .] came to see that he would need to bend the UN rules in order to save the mission. The most effective way for him to exercise power in East Timor would be to surrender it.”22 The speed and scope of re-adjustment was considered almost revolutionary by UN standards, and ties with the East Timorese improved. On the other hand, however, some staff on the ground heavily confronted the SRSG, as they were not willing to serve under the Timorese. The SRSG decided to talk to the uneasy international staff up front, letting them decide to stay or to leave. “He assembled the entire UN staff—some seven hundred people—ailing with the four new Timorese cabinet ministers, in the auditorium of the parliament building. He spoke from the dais and, pointing to the Timorese sitting in the front row, said, ‘These are your new bosses.’ When one UN official objected that there was no provision in the UN Security Council resolution for what UNTAET was doing, he was defiant. ‘I assume full responsibility,’ he said. ‘You either obey, or you can leave.’” (Power 2008: 329–30). At the end of the day, this decisive move against internal obstruction saved the mission from becoming a failure. “Glued to Their Seats”: Between Obstruction and Sabotage The final episode of UNTAET spoiling relates to obstruction by international staff during the liquidation phase of the mission. In a transitional administration, the goal that ideally everyone should work toward is handing jobs over to the locals and letting them take over. When the time of withdrawal approached, many internationals did not want to leave though, thus risking sabotaging the mission. UNTAET’s exit plan included a table with milestones and timelines, as well as a detailed and rigid cutback matrix. That meant that each week, the team responsible for phasing out planning made “key decisions, and it came down to getting rid of people, like, ‘OK, by the end of September, we’re gonna have to get rid of five more UN staff’,’”23 and in October five more, etc. This team, the “axe men”24 as they came to be called, decreased the mission size by about 10 percent within a period of six to seven months. At the same time, the very idea of downsizing, withdrawal, and post-mission planning was difficult to get through, as staff had to live up to their own challenging daily schedules. Some complained, “We have our daily s*** to do here and you’re talking about six months or even two years from now—we don’t have time for that.”25 Besides, many staff would cling desperately to their jobs. When detailed withdrawal schedules with name lists were published,26 many international personnel began to engage in heavy protests. A UNTAET staff member stated, “that was a nightmare. Our office 19. Telephone interview with a senior staff member of UNTAET, 9 October 2006. 20. Ibid. 21. The rest of this subchapter is taken from Schöndorf 2011. 22. Ibid. Also, he merged the Transitional Cabinet with UNTAET’s GPA pillar to form the East Timorese Transitional Administration. In an exceptional and unprecedented move, the Administration was even granted its own, unearmarked budget. 23. Interview with a UNTAET staff member, Washington, D.C., 10 September 200 24. “That’s why we were essentially there: we’re axe people, we were referred to as the axe men,” telephone interview with a staff member of the Post-UNTAET Planning Team, UNTAET, 15 October 2006. 25. Ibid. 26. “What we had to do was to collect names from line officers, and then they would say, ‘OK, in this first couple of points: these people should be cut, in the next couple of points: these people.’ So that slowly, we were drawing down. So, we would collect these names and then eventually pass it on to the administration.” Ibid.


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was like a psychiatrist’s office. How many people came crying into my office yelling, ‘My family . . . I don’t understand. . . .’”27 The reason behind this is that for many international staff, a UN field job is a very lucrative assignment, and they do not want to give this up any time soon. Eventually, the bleak outlook of withdrawal reportedly caused some international staff to obstruct the implementation of their duties, and they would stop training their Timorese counterparts. The purpose was to prolong the transitional process, and thus, their tenure. At the end of the day, however, they could not influence the mission’s schedule at all. At the end of the day, the only thing they did influence was the low performance on capacity-building, which they had not fostered. Given the very low level of education and training of the Timorese—whom the Indonesians had denied formal or even higher education—an emphasis on capacity-building would have been more important in Timor than anything else. Conclusion In the East Timor case, the effects of bureaucratic spoiling became particularly virulent, because they related to the most critical local factor, namely local capacities. The inability and/ or unwillingness of many international staff to build up local capacity exacerbated this most critical deficit. On the one side, UNTAET struggled with international staff that did too much on their own instead of involving the Timorese. On the other side, the quality of much of its staff was low and the mission struggled with underperforming, and, at times, destructive staff behavior. There is good reason to assume that UNTAET is no exception in the landscape of peace operations, as the intense debates on local ownership and international civilian capacities indicate (Kühne et al. 2008). UNTAET’s leadership could only deal successfully with the obstructions in parts. For instance, the strategy to cope with “dead wood” staff28 was to place these personnel in far-away districts. International over-performance and foreclosure of local ownership was fenced in when the mission leadership determined to redesign UNTAET’s transitional approach and decided on an international-local, co-government arrangement. This decision, however, came late. At the UN, the management of peace operations has become more professionalized since 1999–2000. But the fundamental problem of finding the right people to do the right job is still a great issue for peace operations, as is the sound management of the mission (cf. De Coning 2010). Approaching the practical problem from a theoretical angle, further recommendations on coping are being found. Literature suggestions for reducing, containing, or preventing the pathologies, resulting from agent opportunism, point to supervision and control. Thus using a hierarchical approach, extending the organizational information system, threats of sanctions, especially threats of losing one’s reputation, the creation of positive incentives for agents, and generally for an organizational culture that emphasizes the commonness of goals and values (cf. Schöndorf 2001:40). The narrower the span of control in a given entity, the more likely the principal discloses deviant agent behavior. Control may consist of the supervision of behavior and control of outputs. For both forms of control, the fundamental structure of the relationship between the principals and agents in consideration defines the opportunities for such control (cf. Hall 1972). A helpful supplement to a control structure is the extension of the information system— the more information the principal can receive via additional information channels, the less he or she is vulnerable to agent defection. Another strategy for coping with deviant agent behavior rests on setting incentives. Incentives may consist of threats of sanctions—the graver the sanction for deviant behavior, the higher the opportunity cost for an agent to hazard the required course. In addition, sanctioning an agent who has been caught has a preventative 27. Telephone interview with a staff member of the Post-UNTAET Planning Team, UNTAET, 15 October 2006. 28. Interview with a senior staff member of Civil Affairs, UNTAET, New York, 18 September 2006.


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impact vis-à-vis other spoilers. Sanctions may also be positive in that agents are rewarded for complying and productive behavior, be it in monetary or nonmonetary terms.29 As the classic writing of Chester Barnard holds: “An organization can secure the efforts necessary to its existence [. . .] either by the objective inducements it provides or by changing states of mind. [. . .] We shall call the process of offering objective incentives ‘the method of incentives;’ and the process of changing subjective attitudes ‘the method of persuasion.’”(1938:142).30 The most obvious way to avoid agent defection is to prevent it by making the organization’s goals and wishes the goals and wishes of the agent. Ceteris paribus, an actor who identifies with the overall purpose of the entity he belongs to will not act against it. The disadvantage of all of these potential coping strategies is that they are expensive and add to the complexity of the organization. The crucial elements that remain to be built up within the organization or the respective groups are trust and solidarity (cf. Kramer and Tylor 1995). Findings like these may be relevant for practitioners and decision-makers who design and lead such operations, and raising systematic awareness of commitment-related pitfalls can help in coping with them. Hence, theoretical concepts may contribute to a practical “toolbox” of how to cope with (often unavoidable) internal obstruction. On the other hand, further empirical research is needed in order to elaborate best-practices that may supplement and specify this toolbox. In conclusion, there is preliminary, yet substantial evidence on the phenomenon of spoiling from within a peace operation. The processes traced for the UN mission in East Timor show that principal-agent-defection can have tremendous effects not only on mission performance but on the sustainability of transitional processes and institutions, and, eventually, on the sustainability of peace. Further comparative research can then ask more nuanced questions, for instance, what are the conditions that favor spoiling behavior? Answering this question will certainly involve an analysis of the organizational structures at UN headquarters and the decisions on UN peacekeeping reform taken by member states. Preliminary hypotheses on these conditions may point to the role of micromanagement and personnel recruitment systems. If principals will not allow, for instance, for a recruitment system capable of identifying and deploying qualified staff, one must not expect qualified mandate implementation either (cf. UN SG 2011). Furthermore, another critical future research question would be which factors enhance the ability to cope with such obstructions. The evidence from the East Timor case points to the importance of a proactive and decisive mission leadership. Future studies on peace operations are well advised to embrace interdisciplinary research and make use of the large body of management literature on leadership that offers helpful advice on how leaders could and should come to terms with obstruction from within. There is good reason to assume that tackling the problems of internal spoiling must be a baseline in the improvement of peace operations. When a mission is living up to its mandate and duties, this will certainly enhance the effectiveness of the operation but also the legitimacy of the international presence and of the UN peacekeeping system as a whole. REFERENCES Barnard, Chester I. (1938) The Functions of the Executive, New York: Wiley. De Coning, Cedric (2010) Civilian Capacity in United Nations Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Missions, NUPI. 29. For a formal justification of the argument, see Laffont, Jean-Jacques and David Martimort (2002): The Theory of Incentives. The Principal-Agent Model, Princeton: Princeton University Press. The first to define a theory of incentives was the seminal Functions of the Executive. Chester I. Barnard. The Functions of the Executive, (New York: Wiley, 1938). 30. Barnard (1938) further elaborates, “The specific inducements that may be offered are of several classes, for example: a) material inducements; b) personal nonmaterial opportunities; c) desirable physical conditions; d) ideal benefactions. General incentives afforded are, for example: e) associational attractiveness; f) adaptation of conditions to habitual methods and attitudes; g) opportunity of enlarged participation; h) the condition of communion” (142).


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Doyle, Michael W. and Nicholas Sambanis (2006) Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations, Princeton. Princeton University Press. Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. (1989) “Agency Theory: An Assessment and Review,” Academy of Management Review 14 (1):57–74. Etzioni, Amitai (1968) The Active Society: A Theory of Societal and Political Processes, New York. The Free Press. Garrison, Randall (2005) “The Role of Constitution-Building Processes in Democratization.” Paper prepared for IDEA’s Democracy and Conflict Management Programme, Stockholm. International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). George, Alexander (1974) “Adaptation to Stress in Political Decision Making: The Individual, Small Group, and Organizational Contexts,” in G. V. Coelho & et al. (eds.): Coping and Adaptation, New York: Basic Books George, Alexander L. and Andrew Bennett (2005) Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences, Cambridge: MIT Press. Hall, Richard. (1972) Organizations: Structure and Process, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. Janis, Irving L. and Leon Mann (1977) Decision Making: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice, and Commitment, New York. The Free Press. King, Gary, Sidney Verba and Robert O. Keohane (1994) Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Kramer, Roderick M. and Tom R. Tylor (1995) Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research, Thousand Oak: Sage. Kühne, Winrich, Tobias Pietz, Leopold von Carlowitz and Tobias von Gienanth (2008) “Peacebuilding Processes in Failed States—How to Improve Local Ownership?” Paper presented at the International Studies Association, San Francisco. Laffont, Jean-Jacques and David Martimort (2002) The Theory of Incentives: The Principal-Agent Model, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2 October 2006) Report of the United Nations Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste. Rauchhaus, Robert (2006) “Principal-Agent Problems in Conflict Management: Moral Hazards, Adverse Selection, and the Commitment Dilemma.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia. Saldanha, Joao M. (2003) “Mission Implementation: Developing Institutional Capacities,” in N. Azimi & L. L. Chang (eds.): The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET): Debriefing and Lessons, Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Schöndorf, Elisabeth (2011) Against the Odds: Successful UN Peace Operations—A Theoretical Argument and Two Cases, Baden-Baden: Nomos. United Nations (21 August 2000) Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations [Brahimi Report], UN doc. A/55/305-S/2000/809. UN Secretary-General (19 August 2011) Review of International Civilian Capacities, UN doc. A/66/311S-2011/527.


Proselytizing as Spoiling from Within? Comparing Proselytizing by UN Peacekeepers in the Sudan and the DR Congo by Dennis Dijkzeul, Ruhr University Bochum, and Claude Iguma Wakenge, Wageningen University1 This article studies comparatively two cases of proselytizing peacekeepers. It examines whether and to which extent proselytization occurs, if it can be considered a form of spoiling from within the UN mission, what it means for the peace process, and how it can be addressed. The first case study deals with the UNMIS peacekeeping force in Abyei, Sudan, between 2006 and 2007. The second concerns MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 2005 to 2012. Both peacekeeping forces have been unable to ensure overall protection and establish peace. This has reinforced local dissatisfaction with (perceived) proselytizing by some Blue Helmets, and contributed to the contentious micro-politics of peacekeeping. The latter is closely linked to the divisive issue of which types of social and political change peacekeepers can promote to foster peace, which types they cannot, and how to distinguish them. Testing the “intention assumption” of Trettin and Junk in this special issue, this article analyzes the intentions of proselytizing peacekeepers to identify a fourth form of spoiling from within: “pushing particularized universalisms.” Introduction After the Cold War, peacekeeping operations generally became more ambitious. They shifted from traditional peacekeeping, which focused on creating security and political space for the conflict parties so that diplomats could hammer out a political settlement, to new forms of peacekeeping that explicitly attempt to achieve political and social change to sustainably end armed conflict and promote development. These forms follow international standards and norms, ranging from protection of civilians to democratization and good governance, and pay attention to such cross-cutting issues as the environment and gender. Hence, several UN peacekeeping operations attempt to promote, or even impose, social and political change. This brings up the questions of what types of social and political change a UN mission can promote and whether it does so legitimately and effectively by contributing to either peace or conflict. In this context, this article examines a rarely studied peacekeeping phenomenon: proselytizing Blue Helmets. To proselytize simply means to convert or attempt to convert someone from one religion to another.2 This article examines two African cases where soldiers tried to convert local people from one creed to another. In Abyei, Sudan, Zambian Blue Helmets promoted their evangelical church. In South Kivu, in the eastern DRC, some Pakistani soldiers promoted Islam. This proselytization is part of a broader trend. According to the U.S. National Intelligence Council, 1. We would like to thank Wilhelm Damberg, Bill DeMars, Leon Gordenker, Peter Schumann, Julian Junk, and Frederik Trettin, as well as the anonymous reviewers, for their suggestions and comments on earlier versions of this article. 2. Cf. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/proselytize.

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Africa is at the center of many proselytizing efforts worldwide: the Catholic Church has made Africa a priority while Pentecostal and Evangelical Christian movements spend millions of dollars on recruiting [. . .] Africans. Iran has also devoted substantial efforts to fostering its religious and political views in Africa. Finally, Saudi Arabia has spent large amounts of money to export its exclusionary Wahhabi tradition (National Intelligence Council 2005:14). This article explores empirically if and how peacekeepers proselytize, how this is perceived locally, and what reactions it elicits. The question arises whether or not such proselytizing can be seen as internal spoiling as studied in this special issue. Proselytization by Blue Helmets can negate UN policy and harm the organization’s legitimacy and effectiveness by either undermining or blurring their official mandate to protect civilians and promote peace. Proselytization implies selective protection to specific population groups, in particular converts and other co-religionists, which hampers peacekeeping impartiality and independence. In conflicts, where religious identities already play a role or where new religious cleavages and conflicts are created over time, proselytization also violates neutrality. The article consists of six parts. First, we briefly assess UN policies relevant to proselytization in peacekeeping. The second part discusses the main methodological issues in this research. Third, we present the case studies on Sudan and eastern DRC. Each case begins with background information on the protracted conflict and peacekeeping. Next, we discuss whether—and if so, to what extent—peacekeepers were involved in proselytizing and how this influenced the micro-politics of peacekeeping and the concomitant peace process. The fourth section examines to what extent proselytizing can be seen as a form of internal spoiling. The penultimate section asks whether and how this can be addressed. In the conclusion, we reflect upon the methodological, theoretical, and practical aspects of the study of the micropolitics of internal spoiling. UN Policies and Proselytization Early debates in the UN about its charter and human rights drew attention to the questions of value systems and beliefs. Over time, several debates, for example on the role of the Vatican in population policies (Dijkzeul 1997:166) or “Eastern Confucian” versus “Western” political systems and values proved contentious (Mahbubani 1993), because they touched on not just religious beliefs but also on fraught issues of political and social change and the division of power within the UN System. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is no formal UN policy on proselytization, although several official documents suggest proselytization is not condoned. Article 100 of the UN Charter states: In the performance of their duties the Secretary-General and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any government or from any other authority external to the Organization. They shall refrain from any action, which might reflect on their position as international officials responsible only to the Organization. Somewhat similarly, the Code of Conduct for Blue Helmets (Art. 2) urges: “Respect the law of the land of the host country, the local culture, traditions, customs and practices.” Most explicitly, the Staff Regulations (Art. 1.2, ST/SGB/2012/) state: While staff members’ personal views and convictions, including their political and religious convictions, remain inviolable, staff members shall ensure that those views and convictions do not adversely affect their official duties or the interests of the United Nations. They shall conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting their status as international civil servants and shall not engage in any activity that is incompatible with the proper discharge of their duties with the United Nations. They shall avoid any action and, in particular, any kind of public pronouncement that may adversely reflect on their status, or on the integrity, independence and impartiality that are required by that status.


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In other words, the charter, code, and staff regulations call for a professional commitment to the general mission of UN peacekeeping, as well as to the specific UN mission. In principle, this means both on and off duty avoiding any affiliation or activity that might compromise or overshadow the mission itself. Although the spirit of these UN rules prohibits proselytization, they still leave wiggle room for staff to argue their proselytization does not adversely reflect on their work. Hence, current policy is incomplete and unclear.3 Moreover, it is bound up with controversy over which political and social change UN peacekeepers should and can promote. This raises questions about whether proselytization may be seen as spoiling from within and what its impact is on the armed conflict the peacekeepers are supposed to stem. The Challenge of Studying Proselytizing Collecting empirical data on various phenomena of spoiling poses a methodological challenge. On the one hand, spoiling is often hidden. On the other hand, attempts to define behavior as spoiling bring up questions of legitimacy and effectiveness, because the accompanying normative judgments are subjective. One person’s spoiler may be another’s hero. Due to different interests and normative judgments, the degree to which individuals are prepared to volunteer information may vary. In a similar vein, people may not always talk openly about proselytization. Normative judgments on proselytization also differ among religions. Zoroastrianism, for example, does not accept converts; its adherents will not proselytize. Christianity makes a strong distinction between society and church, and proselytization is mainly considered a task of church specialists (e.g., missionaries). Islam generally does not employ such a strong distinction, but inviting people to the religion is considered a virtuous activity. As a consequence, all members of the Umma4 can take the initiative to convert people, in particular by the example of living their faith. Muslims will, therefore, rarely use the concept of proselytization. We use the term proselytization in this article, because the Congolese, Sudanese, and some UN staff members mentioned it. Hence, it functions as a common concept for both case-studies. Even if proselytization by some peacekeepers can be demonstrated, it is still hard to discover how it actually takes place and to establish causal chains. When individual soldiers proselytize, it may not be possible to identify them and they may operate in various ways. When proselytization is organized more broadly, the actual degree of institutionalization may vary. It may be a social activity for peacekeepers that, for example, during their religious holidays they occasionally contribute to a “good cause,” or it may be a planned activity. It may also be considered a “natural” or “morally right” thing to do and taken for granted as a justified religious expression and a crucial way of helping others. Yet, an invitation to religious services or celebrations does not necessarily constitute proselytization. Identifying proselytization depends on the ability to detect a continuous pattern of additional efforts, including constructing religious buildings, handing out gifts, and other explicit attempts to convert people.5 People at the receiving end of proselytization efforts may hold different judgments on it. In much religious and secular thought, conversion is seen as a crucial personal choice, which defines identity, loyalties, and worldviews. Especially in poor and insecure countries, however, people may convert for more pragmatic reasons, such as safety, food, material benefits, access to jobs, education, or people, and opportunities to migrate. Depending on 3. In the summer of 2012, staff members of DPKO in New York discussed proselytization informally. At the time of writing this article, it was not yet clear whether this would lead to official UN policy. 4. Umma or Ummah is Arabic for country or nation. It is commonly used to indicate the community of all Islamic people. 5. Continuous efforts and resources poured into proselytization by peacekeepers constitute violations of impartiality and a lack of professionalism. When proselytization, or any other activity or affiliation that is ancillary to the UN mission itself, reaches a certain scale, it may also compromise the neutrality of the mission. This becomes even more contentious when some goals of the mission are failing to be achieved.


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the depth of conversion, proselytizers may be seen as benefactors or as simply providing economic and social opportunities. Reactions by people who do not convert may vary from disinterest to protest or even violence. Proselytizers may be seen as people who impose themselves, who abuse the needs of other people, bring in different cultures, or are just difficult to fathom. When peacekeepers provide alms or food during religious celebrations, the difference with regular peacekeeping, humanitarian, or development activities may not be clear. Similarly, their religious habits, ceremonies, and rituals may not be understood. Aid by Blue Helmets may then not be perceived as a neutral humanitarian activity but as a way to “win souls.”6 As a result, “winning hearts-and-minds,” for instance through Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities, may lead to further confusion.7 All this is compounded by the different cultural frames of reference of interveners and the local population. Ultimately, local perceptions of proselytization may or may not be justified by the actual behavior of the peacekeepers. Moreover, perception as a concept does not refer to some “objective reality” but to the subjective interpretation of events and allows for cultural and personal differences. Yet, people act on the basis of their perceptions, which include the perceived legitimacy and effectiveness of peacekeeping (Dijkzeul and Wakenge 2010:1141– 2). Usually, local people perceive “actors” in peacekeeping operations as more or less the same, belonging to one big operation. Distinctions among parts of the operation are hard to make (Joachim and Schneiker, forthcoming). Hence, collected data on perceptions cannot be taken at face value and information obtained from different actors should be compared and cross-checked carefully.8 Data collection should ideally take place with longitudinal field observations and data collection methods should be triangulated. Based on initial data collection (cf. Glaser and Strauss 1967), we defined and used five indicators for detecting and analyzing proselytizing in peacekeeping: 1) direct support to religious institutions and proselytization efforts, 2) differential treatment of converted and unconverted local staff members, 3) provision of material benefits, such as food, fuel, and gifts, 4) growth in the number of converts, and, finally, 5) reactions by the UN Mission staff and local actors.9 None of these indicators individually prove that conversion takes place. Rather, they need to take place together regularly and be sustained over time.10 Ideally, there should be proof of an official policy or a program for conversion. However, as such a policy could increase resistance toward proselytization, it is unlikely that such a policy will be openly advertised, if it exists at all. Moreover, proselytization may also take place as a 6. Among the Blue Helmets, we focus on the protection forces and support elements (who belong to a contingent) and not on (multinational) military observers. 7. The conceptualization of CIMIC varies from the UN to NATO and from contingent to contingent. OCHA provides CIMIC courses to enhance a joint understanding of CIMIC, which it does not see as winning hearts-and-minds but rather as providing security and helping with quick impact projects (QIPs) in consultation with humanitarians and local communities. 8. As perceptions of proselytization are not objective facts but (can) also reflect the ideas and beliefs of the person who perceives, we paid careful attention to the quality of our data. In particular, we only included information we could either cross-check in separate interviews or through observation and documentation. We did not include the many personal remarks about proselytization that we could not corroborate. Moreover, both case-studies were checked by international staff members who worked for the UN Missions. 9. Points 1 and 3, if they are done on a large and organized scale over a sustained period of time, at the least, raise the question of the integrity and impartiality of UN peacekeepers. At the most, they compromise the peacekeeping mission by violating neutrality and pitting social groups against each other. Point 2 deals with a lack of professionalism, directly undermining the loyalty and commitment of mission staff by importing an ancillary basis of loyalty into the bureaucracy of the mission. These three points violate UN peacekeeping neutrality towards different population groups over time, as in the potential scenario of the “Nigeriazation” of the DRC (see below). In the context of failing states, UN peacekeeping missions whose effectiveness is uneven, and fall short in their protection mission, violations of impartiality amount to offering UN protection to only some populations. In such contexts, provision of any kinds of resources often amounts to selective protection by “steadying the position” of a societal group. This is a (potential) spoiler scenario by directly undermining the effectiveness and legitimacy of the UN, and seriously threatening its neutrality, if not yet directly violating it. 10. Indeed, one anonymous reviewer remarked that support for building mosques alone does not count as an indication of proselytization: “The U.S. has been building mosques in Afghanistan and Iraq—does this mean that the U.S. is proselytizing? There is a lot of writing on the controversies this entails over whether the U.S. is engaged in a new ‘religious establishment’ in these places. . . . (In some places, the U.S. feels the need to say it is building ‘Islamic cultural centers’ instead of mosques, reflecting uncertainty over whether it should be doing this).”


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regular activity that is culturally condoned but not officially promoted.11 At the same time, it is important to check whether other local or international actors also engage in proselytization, because they may then also bear responsibility for some of the proselytization activities and their effects. Data collection for both cases differed. In the Abyei case, the main challenge was that relatively little information was available, as many of the people involved had moved on and the relevant internal UN documentation is not publicly accessible.12 Hence, we looked for historical data and interviewed local people and UN staff using a snowball methodology. For the eastern DRC case, longitudinal field research was possible and operationalization and data collection were more elaborate. We noticed in 2007 that mosques were being built in villages that had none before. A Catholic priest in Kalehe indicated that Pakistani peacekeepers took the lead in building them and attempted to proselytize local people. We collected further information and encountered rumors about Pakistani proselytizing. As it is difficult to get access to the Pakistani soldiers, we initially relied heavily on information provided by local Congolese. Data was collected from 2007 to 2012 in Bukavu,13 Kabare (Miti, Kavumu), Kalehe (Bunyakiri, Kalehe Centre), Walungu, Uvira (Ruzizi plain), Shabunda, and Baraka-Fizi. In the areas of Walungu, Kabare, Kalehe, Mwenga, and Shabunda, Christianity dominates, whereas, especially in Fizi and Uvira, Muslims have been a minority since pre-colonial times. Our main forms of data collection were: 1. Semi-structured interviews with imams or sheikhs,14 other people with an official responsible function at the mosques, other people at the mosques, and recent converts about proselytizing strategies and funding for the construction or repair of mosques; 2. Semi-structured interviews with local priests, parish members, and protestant ministers; 3. Semi-structured interviews and documentation (e.g., letters) from people who work within MONUSCO and/or with the Pakistani peacekeepers; 4. Photographs of mosques and the occasional billboards or other signs with information on their construction and funding partners; and 5. Mapping of mosques, taking into account the period when they were built and their location, specifically whether these mosques were located in areas where Pakistani peacekeepers were present. We selected our cases on the basis of their similarities; both regions have suffered from structural and armed violence, state collapse, and protracted crises, which led to the establishment of UN peacekeeping missions. In both cases, the UN missions foster political and social change in order to achieve peace but have so far not been very successful in reaching this goal. Our aim was to show the main similarities in the context of both cases in order to highlight the differences in proselytization by (some) peacekeepers, as well as their influence on the conflicts. Two Case Studies To foster comparison, the two case studies are set up in a similar fashion. After providing brief background information on the region and the UN peacekeeping mission, we describe whether and how the peacekeepers proselytized. Each case ends with an analysis of the five indicators. This section concludes with a comparative analysis of both cases, including the ensuing micro-politics of fostering peace inside and outside the mission walls. In this sense, we view humanitarian crises as an arena in which different actors promote their own political 11. In the latter case, it becomes important to demonstrate why such a culture exists. 12. Two former staff members referred to internal UN Mission reports, but we could not obtain them. 13. The main mosque in Bukavu was built in 1974. 14. Sheikh refers to a person who teaches about Islamic practices, interprets the Quran, and is considered a religious authority. An Imam leads daily prayer sessions.


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agendas (Hilhorst and Serano, 2010: S183-S201; Hilhorst and Jansen, 2010: 123–156). Some of these agendas are completely or partially hidden, others are overt. Case 1: Zambian Peacekeepers in Abyei (Sudan) BACKGROUND

Civil war raged in Sudan for most of its independence, which it achieved in 1956. The north and south had been administrated rather separately in colonial times. After independence, continuing tensions, including religious ones, sparked violence and humanitarian crises in the north and south.15 In 2003, conflicts in Darfur, the western part of Sudan, also escalated and caused a severe humanitarian crisis. After long negotiations, the government of Sudan and the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that officially ended the civil conflict in January 2005. It stated that the south would be administrated by southerners and planned the referendum on independence held in 2011.16 Subsequently, Security Council Resolution 1590 established the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS). Its main tasks were to support the implementation of the CPA, to provide humanitarian assistance and protection, and to promote human rights. In 2007–08, the peacekeeping force in Darfur and the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), established in 2004, became part of the combined UN/AU mission in Darfur (UNAMID) (CIC 2008). All three peacekeeping forces struggled with the intransigence of the Khartoum government, deep ethnic and religious tensions, unaccountable rebels, huge logistical problems, and incomplete international support. For UNMIS, a Zambian battalion led by a colonel was placed in Abyei (sector 6). The population of Abyei consists mainly of Misseriya Arabs, who are Muslim, and Dinka, who are animists or Roman Catholics. Whether Abyei is part of the north or south has been disputed at least since the start of the last century (Johnson 2008; International Crisis Group 2007), and it continues to be a flashpoint between Sudan and South Sudan. ZAMBIAN PEACEKEEPERS’ PROSELYTIZING

In early 2006, UN officials received information from local staff members that Zambian peacekeepers were promoting their brand of evangelism. They had constructed a makeshift church close to the UN compound and invited local people to their services, which were also attended by others from UNMIS and humanitarian organizations operating in the region, some of them faith based. Local staff found a manual on how to convert people to Christianity in a joint UN printer.17 International UN staff realized that a member of the Zambian contingent had printed the manual. These proselytizing efforts raised eyebrows locally, and people within the UN mission staff criticized them. A few also worried it could lead to criticism by the Khartoum government.18 The acting head of office and his team decided to stop it “on the basis of two considerations: First, this was not part of our mandate; second, having one UN component—the military in this case—preach Christianity in an environment, which was [. . .] divided along ethnic and religious lines would amount to the UN taking sides [. . .] [we] would have done the same if the proselytization [had been] undertaken by a Muslim group within the UN.” They went on 15. As the north is predominantly Islamic and the south mainly Christian and Animist, religious tensions played an important role in the conflict. Yet, religion was definitely not the only issue. It was often instrumentalized for political and economic purposes by the elites in the north and the south. 16. South Sudan became independent on 9 July 2011, but the final status of Abyei was left open. 17. One respondent stated: “We were living in tents and had to share computers and printers.” 18. According to one respondent: “The National Security Services were aware of what was happening. However, this [. . .] was never raised in any of the regular meetings of the UN with Foreign Affairs in Khartoum [. . .] in 2006. Yet, the Sudanese government made this an issue in Darfur.”


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to say: “We used common sense” and interpreted UN policy as “peacekeepers could carry out their own services but that local people should not be influenced.” The acting head of office asked the Zambian section commander to stop the proselytization. He added, “The UN is here to bring peace and not to incite conflict.” The Zambians were actually surprised by this criticism, because they felt they were doing the right thing, and it had not occurred to them that this could be seen as a problem. The section commander promised to take measures. However, some “joint services continued for both UNMIS and local residents.”19 ANALYSIS

This was a small case of proselytization, which was dealt with swiftly. The makeshift church, the invitations to the joint services, the document found in the joint printer, as well as the reaction by the Zambian section commander, all indicated direct support for proselytization efforts. Senior UN staff believed in their response they had applied common sense: faith-based activities were not part of their mandate. Their reaction was indeed in line with the independence and impartiality of the UN staff regulations. Simultaneously, some staff members already felt concerned that UNMIS “was trying to engineer social and political change” to foster peace, which would not necessarily be accepted locally. They worried about which types of social and political change were acceptable and which were not. Importantly, the peacekeepers did receive considerable local criticism for the lack of protection and the slow return of displaced people in Abyei but not for proselytization.20 In 2012, most people we interviewed were actually surprised to hear this proselytization had taken place. However, joint services continued for some time and respondents also mentioned more recent proselytization efforts in the south, for example by Kenyan and Egyptian Blue Helmets.21 Case 2: MONUC/MONUSCO in the DRC BACKGROUND

The conflicts in the eastern DR Congo have caused the deadliest humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War (Dijkzeul 2010).22 The crisis or, more appropriately, a continuously evolving network of crises has often been referred to as “Africa’s First World War,” because at one stage eight African countries and many international and transnational actors were involved. In response, the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) was active in the country from 1999 to 2010, and it was then renamed Mission of the United Nations Organization for the Stabilization of the DR Congo (MONUSCO) (UNSC 2010). The new name stressed the importance attached to stabilization and civilian protection. However, subsequent military campaigns against various rebel groups faltered. Moreover, the 2011 reelection of President Kabila was marred by fraud and violence, which reflected the government’s increasing authoritarianism. In 2012 and 2013, large-scale violence erupted once again in North Kivu and the UN mission has taken on more enforcement tasks, but this has not led to a higher degree of stabilization.23 MONUSCO is not popular with the local population. After so many years, it has not succeeded in providing protection and achieving peace. Some contingents have been involved in corruption and sex-abuse scandals, which runs counter to their mandate and to UN rules 19. The quotes in this section are based on interviews with people from Abyei and UN officials. 20. Since this case-study presented hard proof of proselytization and quick action by UN mission staff, the indicators “differential treatment,” “provision of benefits,” and “growth in the number of converts” are less relevant than in the DRC case-study. 21. The quotes in this section are based on interviews with UN officials. 22. A study by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) estimated an excess mortality of 5.4 million people from 1998 to 2007 (Coghlan et al. 2008). 23. The recent defeat of the M23 rebel movement by the Congolese armed forces and the UN military is a rare exception. Many other rebel movements are still active in the eastern DRC.


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(Beigbeder forthcoming). In May 2012, a mob marched on the MONUSCO base in Bunyakiri, South Kivu, after an overnight rebel attack that reportedly killed thirty-six people. “The residents said the troops ‘did nothing to defend’ the village against the attack” and protested against their inaction. Hiding in the crowd, Mai Mai rebels opened fire at the peacekeepers, who, to prevent carnage, did not return fire. At least eleven Pakistani troops suffered serious injuries (The Telegraph 2012; see also UNSC 2012). In this incident, lack of impartiality led to a breach of UN neutrality. PAKISTANI PEACEKEEPERS’ PROSELYTIZING

In addition to actual peacekeeping, the Pakistani soldiers undertake activities, often as part of CIMIC, but also paid for by themselves, such as the (re-)construction of markets, schools, soccer fields, and games to win hearts and minds. Additionally, they employ local Congolese, and help with the construction of mosques in South Kivu. Their activities are watched closely on a local level. On the one hand, local people hope their lives can be improved. On the other, as they are dissatisfied with the lack of peacekeeping success, they frequently do not trust the intentions of the peacekeepers. This section analyzes the five indicators to study the Pakistani peacekeepers and the spread of Islam. Direct support to construct or repair mosques and proselytization efforts takes various forms. For example, a mosque at Bulambika (a town in Bunyakiri) was completed in 2011. According to the Imam, a Pakistani officer employed the same masons at a MONUC/ MONUSCO camp. Another Pakistani commander provided wood for the construction of the mosque. The local Muslims could not finance its construction on their own. Moreover, Pakistani peacekeepers organize Koran training in their MONUC/MONUSCO camps, as in Sange, where very young children converted and scholarships were promised for the study of the Koran abroad in Burundi or Egypt. When limited local knowledge of Arabic seemed to constrain the growth of the number of converts, Pakistani soldiers in Kavumu invited young Congolese intellectuals capable of assimilating the Koran for Arabic courses in 2011. In addition, some mosques were inaugurated by MONUSCO peacekeepers, for example in Panzi. Usually, the peacekeepers also provide local Muslims with food and gifts during their religious holidays. Another small, but highly symbolic aspect, is the regular calls to prayer at the camp bordering MONUSCO headquarters in Bukavu.24 The latter two aspects are examples of regular religious activities. However, the local population interprets them as support for Islam. Picture 1: Commemorative Tile at the Panzi Mosque

24. This is an Egyptian camp, but this distinction is often lost on the local population.


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Table 1 summarizes the work on mosques in the area we studied from 2005 (the time of arrival of the Pakistani peacekeepers) to 2012, when we stopped our data collection. Table 1: Mosques Built and Renovated in South-Kivu (January 2005–March 2012)25 AREA/ CITY

Name of Village/ Neighborhoods (Mosques funded by other donors in italics. These are discussed in the analysis.) Mosques Constructed

No.

Fizi

Mosques Repaired

No.

Baraka (2007)

1

Kabare

Miti (2009), Mululu (2010), Katana (2010)

3

Mudaka, Kashenyi (2009)

2

Kalehe

Bunyakiri, Hombo-Sud Nyabibwe, Minova Irangi, Kitshanga, Karasi, Chebumba, Maibano, Ziralo (2006-2012)

11

Kalehe-Centre, (2007), Hombo-Nord (2010)

2

Mwenga

Mwenga-centre (2010)

1

Shabunda

Kigulube

1

ShabundaCentre

1

Uvira

Rusabage, Musenyi, Nyakabere, Runingu, Rutanga, Kiliba, Kabulimbu, Luberizi (2006–2012)

8

KilibaONDES, Luvungi, Katogota, Bwegera, Bwiza Rutanga (1–2)

7

Walungu

Burhale (2009), Walungu-centre, Kaziba (2011)

3

Kamanyola

1

Bukavu

Panzi (2009)

1

Karhale and the centre Islamique (Quartier Industriel)

2

TOTAL

28

16

Land Purchased

No.

Kigurwe, Ndunda, Kigoma, Rugeje, Mutarule

5

5

5

25. The mosques that were repaired or improved were constructed before the Pakistanis arrived. Examples of these repairs are new roofing, construction of sanitary equipment, cementing walls, and caulking.


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Of the total forty-four mosques mapped in the research area, twenty-eight (62 percent) were built between 2005 and 2012. Sixteen mosques that were built before the Pakistani peacekeepers arrived were repaired between 2005 and 2012 with their material, financial, and human support. For instance, the peacekeepers volunteered as masons on several construction sites. The purchase of land and construction of new mosques often took place in areas where no mosques existed and virtually no Muslims were living. These include Kigulube, Karasi, Maibano (moyen plateau of Kalehe), and in the Panzi neighborhood in Bukavu. One local leader remarked: “Without MONUSCO, there would be no Muslims in this area.”26 In the Ruzizi plain and the Kalehe area, Pakistani peacekeepers also funded the purchase of land for mosques. The rehabilitation of Muslim infrastructure, the increase of mosques in villages, and the distribution of food (see below) is perceived by many local Congolese as a strategy to advance Islam, even where it was barely present. One sheikh stated, “Those who convert to Islam will continue to go to the mosque; it becomes a habit that creates the system.”27 Nevertheless, we also found that many other actors fund the repair and construction of mosques. Cinja, a trader from Bukavu, provided funding for the mosque of Kaziba, a Mrs. Kulsum did so for the mosques of Katogota, and the Islamic League of Bujumbura (Burundi) for both mosques in Rutanga. Some billboards at construction sites provided further information. A billboard at a mosque in Luberizi mentioned the Jinnah Foundation and COMICO (Communauté Islamique en RD Congo), the national Congolese Muslim association, as partners.28 The Jinnah Foundation is a Pakistani foundation that mainly supports schools.29 A billboard in Kiliba (Uvira) indicated that the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), a Kuwaiti organization, was financing the construction of a mosque. It works with another organization in the DRC, namely the Association Islamique de l‘Est de Congo. In other words, the Pakistanis are not the sole actors supporting mosques, many other Congolese and international actors also do this.30 Still, their arrival coincided with the increase in the number and repairs of mosques. Moreover, their presence and activities as Blue Helmets are frequently noticed within and outside the mosques. Personnel issues, in particular differential treatment of Muslim and non-Muslim staff, also play an important role in local perceptions of the Pakistani peacekeepers and their (potential) proselytization. Many Congolese complain about the way the Pakistanis treat non-Muslims, in particular, people who work at their bases. Local people complain regularly that those who convert to Islam obtain long-term positions with MONUC/MONUSCO or that they obtain better wages and receive additional gifts (the latter is also said to be the case for day-laborers). Similarly, several language interpreters complained about preferential treatment of Muslim colleagues and felt pressure to convert to enhance their job security.31 In a related vein, in Pakistani camps, Congolese staff are regularly invited to take part in Islamic prayers and some of these staff members feel pressured to do so. Several non-Muslim staff members of MONUSCO also reported “some non-Muslim MONUSCO-employees have been accused of not being up to their tasks and would have been fired by the Pakistanis had it not been for the objectivity of other UN officials.” One respondent stated that every second question by a member of new Pakistani troops is whether “we are Muslim or not.”32 Finally, 26. Interview, Bukavu, 10 March 2012. 27. Interview with a sheikh at Kavumu, 15 March 2012. 28. Leinweber (2012) describes how the Muslim community in the DRC has become more assertive and has been able to provide more public goods in recent years. In particular, the number of Muslim schools has increased. 29. Although Blue Helmets often collaborate with specific NGOs from their home country, we could not establish any linkages between the Jinnah Foundation and the Pakistani contingents. 30. Evangelical churches actually proselytize more than international and local Muslim organizations. However, the fact that other actors engage in micro-politics on the same social divides is not a warrant for UN passivity. UN mission management can and must engage in micro-politics to defend its mandate, including threats from within its own ranks. 31. Letters of the interpreters to their MONUC superiors in 2005 and 2007. 32. The quotes in this and the next section are based on interviews with local Congolese and UN officials.


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in a few cases, members of the Pakistani forces refused to eat with or share utensils with non-Muslim staff and asked why Congolese do not clean themselves like they [Muslims] do. The degree to which this has a religious connotation could not be established. Such local complaints are hard to verify, but they contribute to religious tensions. Negative perceptions of such a lack of respect and proselytizing tend to reinforce each other. In terms of food rations, fuel, gifts and other material benefits, local respondents noted the peacekeepers sold items from their rations, such as canned food and chocolate, which local Congolese call either “food of MONUSCO” or “MONUC biscuit.” In some villages where Pakistani peacekeepers are located, the allocation of food and “food for work” has become institutionalized. The peacekeepers sometimes invite local people to work for food and sometimes they hand it out. In the same vein, jobs such as weeding or picking up litter in or around the Pakistani camps are entrusted to young converts who sometimes receive clothes. When a former teacher of a protestant school in Sange (Kyamate Institute) converted to Islam, he subsequently became responsible for the recruitment of new Muslims in Sange. According to several respondents, these Muslims help the Pakistanis sell consumption articles, mostly food, which was part of their weekly rations, and sometimes fuel. Some of the income from these sales is invested in the construction of mosques. Finally, one local MONUSCO employee reported that in Kigulube (a remote area in eastern Shabunda), a Pakistani officer sold three fuel drums (200 liters) originally intended for generating electricity for a total of $1,050 USD between January and February 2012. This money was supposedly used to purchase a piece of land and construct a local mosque. The sheeting used for the roof was transported with UNhelicopters from Bukavu. Other UN officials did not know about this and thought these were used to construct the camp for the Pakistani soldiers.33 This study points to three sources of funding. First, one source indeed comes from Pakistani peacekeepers. As stated, they donate money and goods, and they provide work. They usually do not provide their funds directly to the Imams but buy construction materials, which they transport to sites where mosques are built. We came across three cases of Pakistani officers directly providing support to new believers or mosques on an individual basis. Second, some local respondents suspected the existence of an “Islamic fund” that finances the construction works, but we did not find any evidence of such a fund. As described above, there are also many other local and international initiatives that support the mosques. A third source is the use of MONUSCO transport and rations, such as food and fuel as mentioned in the Kigulube example. In sum, there is no hard data on the extent to which proselytization depends on 1) personal sources (e.g., rations), 2) diverted mission assets, and 3) personal gifts and gifts as part of religious duties and festivities. In addition, it is difficult for many Congolese to understand how these sources of funding relate to the execution of CIMIC and quick impact projects, as well as official food aid. With respect to the growth in numbers of converted people, two local mosques collected data on the growth of their Muslim congregations in their respective neighborhoods, Kadutu and Karhale in Bukavu.34 In Kadutu, the number of Muslims grew from 368 in 2000 to 900 in 2011. In Karhale, it grew from 293 in 2000 to 709 in 2011. Information from outside Bukavu showed a relatively rapid growth in numbers starting from a very small basis. This growth in numbers of converts is related to support for building mosques. In Kalehe-centre, the number of believers grew from 18 at the start of construction of the Mosque (2006) to ninety in 2009. In 2012, the number of Muslims in several villages east of Bunyakiri (i.e., Karasi, Kambegeti, Cibumba, Kambali, and Hombo) was increasing rapidly. In 2000, there were no or almost no Muslims in these villages. In the village of Bulambika the number of faithful increased from fifty-six in 2005 to almost three hundred in 33. Corruption takes away resources from either the UN or the local economy, and it violates the protection mandate by victimizing the local population. 34. Information on the number of converted people was collected from imams and sheikhs at the mosques.


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2010. In Mululu, a district of Kavumu (formerly without a mosque), the number of Muslim families has increased from thirty in 2009 to sixty-five in 2012, when the mosque was built. Similarly, in Sange (where there were only two mosques in Rutanga) and in the surrounding areas, four new mosques were built (Rusabage, Musenyi, Nyakabere, and Rutanga), and the number of Muslim families increased from 135 to nearly 230 in March 2012. Moreover, in the international press (Malekera 2009), as well as locally, there are indications these peacekeepers converted Congolese with some success.35 Our fifth indicator concerns the responses by local and UN actors to the proselytization efforts, namely by MONUSCO itself, local churches and mosques, and, finally, the national government. a) Within MONUSCO itself: Alfa Sow from Senegal, Chef de Bureau of MONUC, convened a meeting in 2008 with the Pakistani General Shujaat Ali Khan and his battalion’s commanders in south Kivu (Kavumu, Walungu, and Uvira) concerning local complaints that the Pakistanis put spreading Islam ahead of peacekeeping. Shujaat rejected this complaint. He argued they were simply helping needy Muslims. Since this meeting, some respondents indicated that the Pakistanis have approached other religious groups. For example, they also donated food to Catholics and protestants during Christmas and Easter. And they helped renovate some Christian buildings, including the church of Kavumu. Some Pakistani peacekeepers have since then attended Christian activities such as Sunday mass in Catholic parishes in Ihusi-Kalehe and Bukavu (Paroisse Nguba). Nevertheless, one international MONUSCO employee replied: Sixty percent of the international professional (excluding UNVs) staff is from Sahelian countries or Muslim parts of West-Africa. They don’t bother. Congolese staff don’t bother because they are there mostly for the money, and they take [proselytization] for granted. Only some, on an individual basis, mainly with a European/Caucasian background [. . .] criticize it. In any case, MONUSCO’s internal Conduct and Discipline Section is not ready to act because it is afraid to offend the troop-providing countries. Interestingly, the annual replacement of Pakistani troops does not stop the proselytizing. They generally continue with constructing mosques. Some imams and sheikhs stated the growth in number of new believers depends on the financial capacity of each military unit. The higher its capacity, the higher the number of Muslims becomes. For, instance, at the mosque in Kashenyi (north Kavumu) the number of converted fell when PAKBATT 7, which seemed very engaged in proselytizing, left the area in early 2011. With a change of troops, the financial means and methods applied change slightly. It seems the proselytization by the Pakistani is based more on cultural norms within their army than on an official policy or method. b) Within local churches: Initially, local reactions to the Pakistani peacekeepers were restrained. As churches (for example, the priests of the Kavumu parish) witnessed the peacekeepers caring for the poor, unemployed, and malnourished, they assumed the “lost sheep” would return once the Pakistanis left. Over time, however, discontent has grown, and priests and protestant ministers have begun to preach that “people should pay attention to the brief transitory period of the mosques.”36 As a result, protestants and Catholics have begun to address this issue in workshops, sessions, and sermons. These workshops followed an incident in Walungu between Muslims and Catholics in late 2010. Muslims, with support from the Pakistani peacekeepers, were constructing a new mosque. The Mwami (traditional leader) of the Ngweshe-community, Ndatabaye Weza III, supported by local priests, protested against the construction of a mosque and 35. See the interdiocesan session report of the evangelization agents of the former Kivu province (Dioceses of Bukavu, Beni-Butembo, Goma, Kasongo, Kindu, and Uvira), which dealt with Islam and occultism (Bukavu, May 8-14, 2011). 36. Interview with a member of the Centre Interdiocesain de Pastorale, Catéchèse et Liturgie (CIPCL), Bukavu, April 2012.


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requested the immediate clearance of the construction site. The Muslims, including the peacekeepers, cleared the site. Some Congolese fear this might be an example of the risk of Nigériarization—a local reference to the religious violence in Nigeria.37 Put differently, this risk points to a present phenomenon that may threaten UN neutrality in the future.38 Catholic evangelization agents held an interdiocesan session on both Islam and occultism in Bukavu (8–14 May 2011). In his opening address, Bishop Maroy, the Archbishop of Bukavu, urged Christians to be “vigilant against the danger of Islam and the occult that pose a major challenge to the evangelical mission of the Church.” The final report of the workshop concluded that “Islam is expanding its appeal and raises questions on catechetical, pastoral, and even liturgical methods.”39 In sum, church officials are becoming more critical and protest more fiercely against peacekeeper proselytization. c) Within mosques: As could be expected, within mosques the activities of the Pakistanis were perceived positively overall. Several imams, sheikhs, and visitors of the mosques talked openly about their appreciation for the support they received from them. Ironically, in Fizi, members of COMICO complained they had not benefited enough from the presence of Muslim peacekeepers. They noticed that others, including new converts, had received more support. d) The Congolese government: Local Christian leaders looked increasingly to the Congolese state to stop the proselytizing. Yet, Islam is an official religion in the DRC and the Kabila government lacks the capacity (or interest) to stop peacekeepers from proselytizing and deviating from their mandate. ANALYSIS

It is clear that the number of mosques and the number of believers is increasing from a very small base. As the overall population of Bukavu has grown rapidly in the last two decades, partly as a consequence of internal displacement, it is not certain whether this increase in the number of converts implies a growth in relative numbers compared to the overall population. Lack of sound demographic data is a general problem in the DRC. Nevertheless, as the number of converted believers has also increased rapidly in rural areas outside Bukavu, including areas where IDPs come from and where no mosques existed before, conversion has become a growing trend. In addition, people at the mosques regularly provided us information about the support they had received from the peacekeepers. For some Congolese, the Pakistanis have become marchands de rêve (dream merchants) as they provide food,40 work opportunities, and the possibility to move to wealthier Islamic countries. As the DRC faces chronic unemployment and food crises, these favors attract new converts. Similarly, Congolese working at MONUSCO are afraid to lose their jobs when they disagree openly with the Pakistani activities.41 The proselytization activities of the peacekeepers are broad and manifold, and have continued over such a long period that they illustrate a pattern of support for spreading Islam in south Kivu. 37. One priest has called for an interfaith dialogue (Awazi 2011). 38. But these activities are already violations of independence and impartiality, and can in principle be disciplined on this basis. 39. See fn. 35. 40. The fact that local Congolese dubbed the term “MONUC biscuit” indicates that food hand-outs or sales of rations occur regularly. 41. Although there are many complaints about the way peacekeepers treat non-Muslim staff members, such complaints also surface frequently regarding the treatment of local staff by humanitarian NGOs. In general, outsiders that can be a potential source of income are very carefully observed, and they may not be aware of the hopes invested in them (and the concomitant disappointments). In the dire economic situation in the DRC, it is almost inevitable that these kinds of problems occur. Despite many complaints, we cannot say with certainty that these peacekeepers behave either more or less professionally than the NGOs in the DRC (cf. Büscher & Vlassenroot, 2010).


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Part of the local perception is that the Pakistanis have a policy to advance Islam.42 Yet, the intensity of the Pakistani activities differs from year to year, and individual peacekeepers also seem to take their own initiatives. The meeting Alfa Sow convened and the more inclusive reaction by the Pakistani peacekeepers afterward also suggests an official policy does not exist. It seems that advancing Islam is more part of the soldiers’ culture. When the Pakistani contingent arrived, the local population initially considered them positively. Nowadays, Congolese regularly complain about the lack of interaction with or respect by the Pakistani peacekeepers. They also feel frustrated with the ongoing violence, the lack of protection, and they complain about the role of the Pakistani peacekeepers in proselytization. As indicated above, several priests indicated they were upset by the Pakistani. Churches, as well as a Mwami (traditional leader) in Walungu, are now increasingly working against proselytization and the construction of mosques. Although the Pakistani peacekeepers play a role in proselytization, they are, contrary to local rumors, not solely responsible for the growing number of converts. The growth of Islam is partly an indigenous development, partly a consequence of international funding, and only partly a result from the Pakistani peacekeepers’ activities. It is difficult for the Congolese to determine how this proselytization is funded. Most believe that peacekeepers are responsible for funding the mosques and the rise in conversions.43 This is in line with the local perception that MONUSCO as a whole is responsible for proselytization. In sum, whereas the five indicators together point to a sustained pattern, with differences from contingent to contingent and over time, this proselytization is culturally condoned within Pakistani society and its army, but not as part of a formal policy. Yet, it increasingly causes religious tensions. Comparative Analysis This section assesses the ways in which proselytization differs in the two case studies and how this influenced the micro-politics of the reactions that ensued. Comparing both case studies shows important differences in the ways in which proselytization was organized and the micro-politics of the responses to it. In Abyei, proselytization was quickly identified, it was clear which contingent was responsible, and how it proselytized, so that senior mission staff could take swift action. As a consequence, proselytization was constrained and did not receive much local attention. Importantly, the UN head of office did not act in the name of anti-proselytization as such. Senior mission management felt that such activity was ancillary to its mandate. It would amount to favouring certain population groups (which could be violating impartiality or neutrality or both, depending on both scale and the local reaction). The latter is important in the particular context of the religious divisions (which coincide with what in Sudan counts as an “ethnic” division) and also in the dispute over the status of Abyei. In the eastern DRC, proselytization varies from contingent to contingent and over time. UN Mission management has discussed the role of the Pakistani in the spread of Islam, but it has taken no decisive action against it, and the number of converts and local resistance continuous to grow. To explain this difference between both cases, it is important to take other actors and cultural aspects into account. In the Congolese case, the Pakistani peacekeepers actively converted people, but they were not the only actor doing so. Moreover, it was not always clear how the proselytization was funded, and which activities were part of their regular peacekeeping tasks and which were individual or group activities. As mentioned, converting people was more a cultural phenomenon than the result of a formal policy. The continuity of the efforts seems to be based on the one hand on their own religious beliefs, in particular that 42. Similarly, rumors are growing that Egyptian Blue Helmets are also proselytizing. 43. One local MONUSCO employee suggested that contacts with local Muslims constituted the most effective way for the Pakistani peacekeepers to develop local information networks on security.


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inviting people to become Muslim is highly valued for all Muslims, but it is not necessarily carried out in a strongly institutionalized manner, as more often happens in Christian churches. On the other hand, it is the role of the Pakistani army to protect and defend the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The army played a central role in the foundation of the Pakistani state. Especially since the 1977 coup d’état by General Zia-ul-Haq, a religious conservative, it has strongly promoted the further Islamicization of state-institutions in Pakistan (Rashid 2008:33–37). That its peacekeepers follow this culture in Africa is not surprising. As a result, proselytizing by the Pakistani peacekeepers was not based on a clear policy, which made it more difficult to describe and prove. For UN Mission management, it is then also more difficult to address such weakly institutionalized proselytizing in a large geographic area. In contrast, in Abyei, Christian proselytization was already more institutionalized in a small area, with a manual, a specially constructed makeshift church, and hierarchical relationships within the contingent more explicitly supporting proselytization. In other words, there was hard evidence. Usually, the five indicators will need to be studied over time to see whether sustained attempts to convert people are made. Despite differences in the degree of institutionalization, scale, including temporal scale, of proselytization efforts also matters: the DRC case shows more proselytization over a longer period of time than Abyei. This constitutes ongoing violations of impartiality in the context of failing the official mandate of protection and promoting peace. Thus, it undermines the neutrality of the peacekeeping forces over time and leads to greater religious tensions in the future. Comparing the two cases shows that any actions that have the effect of counteracting or compromising the mission can be opposed by UN managers in the name of the UN rules and defending the mission’s mandate. UN mission management does not need to be passive; when it actively promotes impartiality and neutrality to all population groups, 44 it actually follows its mandate and enhances the legitimacy and effectiveness of the UN mission.45 In the end, the two case studies show a paradox. Whereas Sudan had a history of religious conflict, the quick reaction kept the potential negative consequences in check. However, in the DRC, which has a history of religious tolerance, prolonged proselytization is leading to greater tensions. This raises the question how and to which extent proselytization can be seen as a form of internal spoiling? Proselytization as Spoiling from Within? The article by Trettin and Junk in this issue defines bureaucratic spoilers as individuals or a small group of actors that as staff members of the peace operation’s organizational structure consciously counteract the successful implementation of a peace operation by undermining the efficiency and effectiveness of the mission, consequently working against the interests of the organization. It describes three forms of bureaucratic spoiling: dissent-shirking, obstruction, and sabotage. Trettin and Junk cite Brecht (1937:48), who argued the phenomenon of sabotage by individuals in bad faith is more frequent than is understood. Yet, in both case studies, Blue Helmets felt they acted “in good faith” in both meanings of the term: with good intentions and according to their religion. They were initially surprised by complaints about proselytization or denied them. The issue of acting in good faith needs to be explored in terms of legitimacy and effectiveness, because, as indicated, the UN policies did leave some wiggle room. Nevertheless, the peacekeeper’s behavior is not as neutral or impartial as the UN staff regulations prescribe. Importantly, the intentions of the soldiers differ significantly from the other three forms of spoiling because, based on cultural norms in their home country and army units, the soldiers 44. In a similar vein, humanitarian organizations are also more effective and legitimate when they actively promote the humanitarian principles on all sides of the conflict (Vlassenroot, et al. 2010). 45. Note that in the DRC case, neutrality towards the population does not imply neutrality toward the warring factions. As stated, MONUSCO currently has a mandate that incorporates enforcement against insurgent groups.


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argue their behavior is right. Hence, they take for granted a particular interpretation of what is a universal good for them: their faith. For those who agree with the importance of conversion, the soldiers are doing excellent work. Indeed, if the whole population would convert at once, proselytization would not be a problem. Only for those who do not consider themselves as co-religionists is it a potential threat or a negative result of peacekeeping. These people judge proselytization efforts indeed as similar to sabotage or obstruction. Crucially, peacekeeping carries the stamp of approval of the Security Council, which represents another universal value—or at least an aspiration that transcends the particularistic interests of either individual member-states or warring parties—to represent the “world community.” In this sense, two universal aspirations collide when peacekeepers proselytize.46 Although the legitimacy of making a choice between these two universal aspirations is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, proselytization hampers the legitimacy and effectiveness of peacekeepers. This is especially troublesome, because it takes place with peacekeeping missions, UNMIS and MONUSCO, barely able to improve protection and security. Regardless of how one judges the intentions—or universal aspirations—of the peacekeepers, their proselytization is enabled by the power and wealth differentials between them and the local population. Any actions, consciously intended or taken for granted, that have the effect of counteracting or compromising the mission can be opposed by UN managers in the name of professionalism and defending the mandate. Certain behaviors constitute “taking sides” or violations of impartiality regardless of the intentions or religious beliefs of the peacekeepers. In Abyei, swift action prevented problems at first, but the problem has recurred several times since then. At the moment, UN managers in the DRC have acquiesced in selective protection in the context of failure of the UN protection mandate, which combines with growing tensions among communities and Christian churches. In this respect, one can question whether the UN or both regions need more tensions than they already face. Peacekeepers’ proselytization constitutes internal spoiling, because it “adversely reflects on their status” as peacekeepers, and “on the integrity, independence and impartiality that are required by that status.” It may also amount to taking sides. In summary, although we acknowledge the good intentions of the soldiers engaging in proselytizing, if we judge it from their perspective, this is a form of spoiling. As it differs from the three forms mentioned earlier, we name it “pushing particularized universalisms.” This constitutes a form of spoiling, where the normative judgments on the legitimacy of “spoiler,” “recipient,” and “context” can differ considerably, but the behavior is not part of the official mandate. It presents a diversion of organizational resources, gives rise to unnecessary local tensions or even violence against peacekeepers, violates impartiality, neutrality, and independence, and compromises the legitimacy and effectiveness of peacekeeping. Proselytizing peacekeepers may not be a well-known phenomenon, but “pushing particularized universalisms,” which can also cause tensions within mission walls, is a useful addition to the three spoiling mechanisms mentioned above. As the next section shows, it can partially be countered at the policy level. Policy Responses Proselytization is related to three larger policy issues: 1) To which extent can and do peacekeepers transfer customs, values, and beliefs in exchange for “security and protection”? Religion is one dimension, political convictions another. 2) To which extent does this transfer foster or impede the success of peacekeeping operations? If peacekeepers should promote gender norms and democratic values, why not religious ones also? The difference is not always clear cut. For example, traditional gender roles may be seen as part of a religiously sanctioned 46. As Wallerstein contends, “There is nothing so ethnocentric, so particularistic, as the claim of universalism” (Wallerstein 2006:40). See also Abu Sada (2012:191).


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order, 3) How to establish the degree of success of peacekeeping operations in terms of the peace process? In multidimensional peacekeeping it is often unclear how to measure success because mandates contain several broad tasks (democratization, security, etc.), change (e.g., mission creep including new enforcement and stabilization tasks), or lack clear goals. When peacekeeping mandates are the result of a divided Security Council, the implementation of the mandate will reflect a lack of policy clarity. Policy measures to address peacekeepers’ proselytization will frequently lack success due to these three broader issues. Of course, UN policy on proselytization can be further developed, disseminated more broadly, and there should be transparent oversight mechanisms, including an official complaint procedure and disciplinary sanctions (e.g., a Conduct and Discipline Section or specialized officials). In addition, listening and cultural awareness, training, and monitoring help address the power differential between peacekeepers and the local population. More generally, peacekeepers should listen better to the population to enhance their accountability (Oxfam 2010). A stronger policy response to pushing particularized universalisms emphasizes the process of establishing UN legitimacy. UN missions are legitimate, because they have been negotiated through a UN system that attempts to maximize the degree of political consultation and agreement in the “international community.” Religious communities have access to that negotiation process, on their own and through national governments. Peacekeepers volunteer and national militaries send peacekeepers to successfully achieve those negotiated missions. After this process has been completed, everyone concerned has a right to demand professional dedication to the general norms of peacekeeping and to the particular goals of the mission. Policy implementation at the field level, however, will remain challenging. Mission leadership must actively manage impartiality and independence towards all population groups and be continuously aware of the underlying policy issues in running a multi-cultural, multireligious operation in a conflict environment where religion is or can become a divisive issue. Conclusion This article assessed two cases of proselytization by peacekeepers in Africa. Some respondents pointed out that it happens more frequently. Proselytizing peacekeepers require more theoretical reflection and empirical research on their spread, financing, and the concomitant micro-politics within and outside the mission walls. This article makes methodological, theoretical, and practical contributions to the debates on spoiling. Methodologically, research on the micro-politics of spoiling, which is often hidden, is difficult. In this study, the geographical spread of the peacekeepers and religious institutions, as well as insecurity, also hampered observation and gaining access to the various actors involved. Moreover, local perceptions are not always based on facts, but they influence attitudes toward peacekeepers and co-determine their impact. Consequently, this type of research requires both longitudinal and ethnographic field research to understand both the behavior of the peacekeepers and of local perceptions, including rumors, over time. Thus, both actual behavior and perceptions could be empirically compared and assessed. When different norms collide, or more specifically particularized universalities clash, their actual consequences for the peace process can then be analyzed in greater detail. Theoretically, this article identifies a fourth form of spoiling: “pushing particularized universalisms.” Two aspirations towards universality—UN decision-making and religion— can in principle be justified in terms of legitimacy and effectiveness but only from different perspectives. These perspectives cannot be reduced to each other or to a commensurable minimum standard, so the possibility of tensions and conflict remains. Nevertheless, given the huge security and protection problems and the possibility of introducing new tensions in conflict-ridden societies—e.g., Nigeriazation—peacekeepers should focus first and foremost on fulfilling their mandate and refrain from proselytization. Their goal should be


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to impartially protect the whole population, be independent of religious funding, and prevent further societal tensions. From a practical standpoint, it would be ideal if UN policy on proselytization, as well as the formulation of peacekeeping mandates could be formulated more clearly. The processual legitimacy of UN decision making can be stressed in this respect. However, mission leadership of a multicultural peacekeeping operation faces huge challenges in actively promoting mandated political and social change, while stemming “unmandated” change. As the difference between the two is not always immediately clear to the peacekeepers on the ground, spoiling from within is likely to recur and hamper the peace process. REFERENCES Abu Sada, Caroline (ed.) (2012) In the Eyes of Others: How People in Crises Perceive Humanitarian Aid, New York: MSF-USA. Awazi, Bernard (2011) L’Islam: Sa Doctrine et Sa Physionamie en Afrique Noire et au Congo, Amani du 11 au 12 Mai 2011, in mimeo. Beigbeder, Yves (forthcoming) “Fraud, Corruption, and the United Nations Culture,” in Dennis Dijkzeul and Yves Beigbeder (eds.): Rethinking International Organizations: Pathologies and Promise, Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, second edition. Brecht, Arnold (1937) “Bureaucratic Sabotage,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Improved Personnel in Government Service, 189. Büscher, Karen and Koen Vlassenroot (2010) “Humanitarian Presence and Urban Development: New Opportunities and Contrasts in Goma, DRC,” Disasters 34 (2): 256–73. Center on International Cooperation (CIC) (2008) Annual Review of Global Peace Operations 2008, Boulder: Lynne Riener Publishers. Coghlan, Benjamin, Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, Pascal Ngoy, Tony Stewart, Flavien Mulumba, Jennifer Lewis, Colleen Hardy and Richard Brennan (2008) Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: An Ongoing Crisis, IRC, Burnett Institute, available at www.theirc.org, accessed 16 July 2011. Dijkzeul, Dennis (2010) “Developing Security in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: MONUC as a Practical Example of (Failing) Collective Security,” in Peter G. Danchin and Horst Fischer (eds.): United Nations Reform and the New Collective Security, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dijkzeul, Dennis and Claude I. Wakenge (2010) “Doing Good, but Looking Bad? Local Perceptions of Two Humanitarian NGOs in the Eastern DRC,” Disasters 34 (4): 1139–70. Dijkzeul, Dennis (1997) The Management of Multilateral Organizations, The Hague: Kluwer Law International. Egeland, J. (2011) “Foreword: Humanitarianism in the Crossfire,” pp. xiv–xxi, in Michael Barnett and Thomas G. Weiss (2011) Humanitarianism Contested: Where Angels Fear to Tread, Milton Park: Routledge. Glaser, Barney G., and Anselm L: Strauss (1967) The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research, Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. Hilhorst, Dorothea and Bram J. Jansen (2010) “Humanitaire Ruimte als Arena: Een Perspectief op de Alledaagse Prakijk,” pp. 123–56, in Dijkzeul, D. and Herman, J. (Red.) (2010) Humanitaire Bewegingsruimte: Tussen Politiek en Onpartijdigheid [Humanitarian Space: Caught between Politics and Impartiality], Gent: Academia Press. Hilhorst, Dorothea and Maliano Serrano (2010) “The Humanitarian Arena in Angola, 1975–2008,” Disasters, No. 2, Supplement 2, pp. 127–29. International Crisis Group (2007) “Sudan: Breaking the Abyei Deadlock,” Africa Briefing No. 47, Nairobi, Brussels, 12 October 2007.


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Joachim, Jutta and Andrea Schneiker (forthcoming) “Privatized Humanitarianism? The Role of Private Military and Security Companies in the Field,” in Sezgin, Zeynep and Dennis Dijkzeul (forthcoming) The New Humanitarians: Contested Principles, Emerging Practices Milton Park: Routledge. Johnson, Douglas H. (2008) “Why Abyei Matters: The Breaking Point of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement?” African Affairs 107/426: 1–19. Mahbubani, Kishore (1993) “The Dangers of Decadence: What the Rest Can Teach the West,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 4 (Sep–Oct, 1993), pp. 10–14. Leinweber, Ashley E. (2012) “Muslim Public Schools in Post-Conflict D.R. Congo: New Hybrid Institutions in a Weak State,” Africa Power and Politics, Working Paper 22, in mimeo.

Malekera, Dieudonné (2009) RD Congo: Sud-Kivu: l’Islam Progresse dans les Campagnes, 11 February 2009, Syfia Grands Lacs, available at www.syfia-grands-lacs.info, accessed 24 February 2009. National Intelligence Council (2005) Mapping Sub-Saharan Africa’s Future, Conference Summary, CR February 2005, March 2005. Oxfam (2010) “Engaging with Communities: The Next Challenge for Peacekeeping,” Oxfam Briefing Paper 141, Oxfam International, November 2010. Rashid, Ahmed (2008) Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, London: Viking.


The Morality of Bureaucratic Politics: Allegations of “Spoiling” in a UN Inter-Agency War by Sebastian Schindler, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt This study examines the moral connotations and political use of three scientific concepts: bureaucratic spoiling, agency slack, and bureaucratic politics. These concepts served as moral allegations against political opponents in a conflict between two United Nations (UN) agencies: The 1982–91 struggle of the World Food Programme (WFP) for institutional autonomy from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). On each side of the FAO-WFP conflict, the other was depicted as a spoiler of the UN’s mission, shirking its obligations, and engaging in bureaucratic turf battles. The negative depiction of the other side justified each side’s struggle against the other. The empirical findings strike a cautionary note for future research on bureaucratic spoiling, agency slack, bureaucratic politics, and similar moralpolitical phenomena. Introduction1 In September 1988, the social science journal Society dedicated a special symposium to an analysis of the largest specialized agency in the UN system, the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In eight articles, nine contributors set out their answers to the question “The UN’s FAO: Is It DOA?” The answers differed vastly. In the lead contribution, Juliana Pilon, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation of Washington, D.C., argued that FAO should “die a well-deserved death,” because of its leftist ideology and its tyrannical Director-General Edouard Saouma (Pilon 1988: 10). Pilon described Saouma as a bureaucratic despot of the worst kind, who went so far as to delay, in June 1984, the approval of an emergency food aid request from Ethiopia for twenty days, simply because the Ethiopian representative in Rome supported Saouma’s bitter enemy: James Ingram, head of the joint UN/FAO World Food Programme (WFP). Of the eight other contributors to the Society symposium, three supported Pilon’s allegations in most or at least in significant parts, among them a renowned scholar of international relations, Raymond Hopkins (1988). One author focused exclusively on FAO’s role in Ethiopia and argued the 1984 delay was probably not deliberate but still condemnable (Varnis 1988). The remaining four contributors, however, defended Saouma. John Cohen, a fellow at the Harvard Institute for International Development, and Michael Westlake, an economic advisor to Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, argued that Pilon’s article was characteristic of “advocacy journalism” by “advocacy foundations” such as the Heritage Foundation. Cohen and Westlake claimed Pilon’s arguments were based on “preconceived ideas and positions,” and violated “established patterns of proof” (Cohen and Westlake 1988: 41). Also, two high-ranking FAO staff members, of American and Danish nationality, defended their organization and directorgeneral in separate articles (Huddleston 1988; Lydiker 1988). Was Saouma a “bureaucratic spoiler” as defined by Trettin and Junk in this special issue? Did he consciously counteract his organization’s mission? This study will not formulate a definite answer to this question, nor will it make a case for who of the nine contributors to 1. I thank Julian Junk, Frederik Trettin, Joel Winckler, Ariel Pate, and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.

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Society is wrong or right. The goal of this article, more limited in scope, is to strike a cautionary note by showing why certain questions such as, “Was Saouma a spoiler?” “If not him, then who was the spoiler at the world food organizations?” “Who shirked their obligations, and counteracted the UN’s mission?” can be problematic research questions. In certain situations, research would be better served by asking another kind of question. The problem with asking whether Saouma was a spoiler is not only that the range of answers in Society is so wide, the status of contributors so contestable, and the interpretation of the same facts so diverse but also the problem lies in the moral-political nature of the disagreement. In fact, the question “Who counteracted the UN’s mission?” was an object of political contention in one of the most protracted and escalated bureaucratic conflicts in the history of the UN system: the struggle of the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN’s food aid agency, for institutional independence from the FAO between 1982 and 1991. The FAO-WFP conflict positioned not only the agencies and their executive leaders, FAO Director-General Saouma of Lebanon and WFP Executive Director Ingram of Australia, against each other. It also involved the governments of UN member countries. Like the contributors to Society, the parties disagreed in their answers to the spoiler question. Ingram and his allies saw Saouma as a bureaucratic dictator who counteracted the UN’s mission in the pursuit of his personal power and FAO’s turf interests. Saouma and his allies believed Ingram and the industrialized countries, particularly the U.S., strived to terminate FAO’s oversight over WFP’s food aid in the pursuit of their own personal and national economic interests, counteracting FAO’s mission to protect and develop the agricultural economies of the global south. The allegations against Saouma in Society correspond to moral allegations against a political opponent in the conflict over WFP’s independence from FAO. In this situation, the goal of this study is not the formulation of an objective, neutral, and scientific answer to the spoiler question. Instead, the goal is to better understand the consequences of the moral-political disagreement over this question. The main argument of this study is that this disagreement was the moral and political driving force of the FAO-WFP conflict. Senior UN staff and government officials spent nine years fighting against each other, because both sides of the struggle over WFP’s independence could justify their actions as directed against a morally evil, greedy spoiler of the UN’s mission. The argument proceeds in two steps. The first main section of the study will show how Ingram’s struggle for institutional autonomy from FAO was justified and motivated by the depiction of Saouma as “the spoiler.” The second section will demonstrate that Saouma’s struggle against WFP’s independence was justified and motivated by the depiction of Ingram and his Western allies as “the spoilers.” Both sections are based on primary sources: The diaries and a book by Ingram (2007), a book by Saouma (1993); historical documents such as speeches, verbatim records, letters, and memoranda from the FAO Archives and the WFP Library in Rome; and twenty-eight oral history interviews with twenty-five former UN staff and government officials conducted in 2011 and 2012. Besides a better understanding of the origins and nature of the FAO-WFP conflict, the more general goal of this study is to problematize a certain way of asking research questions. Based on the empirical findings, the study comes to the conclusion that the scientific project to define and model bureaucratic spoiling, as well as agency slack and shirking, bureaucratic politics and bureaucratic turf battles, and other kinds of so-called “dark side behavior,”2 is, in certain situations, a problematic project. Some important organizational phenomena, such as the FAO-WFP conflict, are better understood as the effects of moral-political disagreement over the spoiler question, rather than the effects of actual spoiling. 2. For spoiling, see Trettin and Junk, this issue; Stedman (1997), for agency slack and shirking, see Hawkins et al. (2006), for “bureaucratic politics,” see Allison and Zelikow (1999: chpt.5), and for “dark side behavior,” see Vaughan (1999).


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James Ingram’s Fight against Spoiling Saouma epitomizes what is wrong, i.e., the use of the [UN] system for the pursuit of personal power. —James Ingram, diary entry, 28 The depiction of FAO Director-General Edouard Saouma as a greedy spoiler may be found in a number of scientific and journalistic works.3 The most well-known of these depictions is probably Graham Hancock’s portrayal of Saouma as a “lord of poverty” (Hancock 1989: 85–89). Hancock, a British journalist, has assembled numerous allegations against Saouma. According to Hancock’s sources—newspaper articles, unnamed American and Canadian diplomats, and a Colombian election opponent to Saouma, Gonzalo Bula Hoyos—Saouma used staff appointments and aid projects to reward allies and cultivate political friendships. The June 1984 delay of the approval of the Ethiopian emergency aid request is also mentioned by Hancock. The goal of this section is to analyze the moral and political role the allegations against Saouma played in WFP Executive Director Ingram’s struggle for the independence of his organization from the FAO. The section will describe how and why Ingram, whom Saouma himself had appointed in 1982, came to perceive Saouma as a greedy spoiler in the months before and after his appointment, and how Ingram’s perceptions of Saouma informed a stable moral world view, according to which Saouma epitomized what was wrong with the UN system: agency slack, shirking, and the reckless pursuit of bureaucratic politics. Then, the section will describe how two decisive actions by Ingram in his struggle against FAO were motivated and justified by this worldview. The study of motivations is admittedly very difficult, and one will never know with certainty what the “real” motivations were. In Ingram’s case, there is, however, an excellent source for studying Ingram’s everday perceptions and views: his personal diaries. Ingram began to record brief comments on the day’s happenings in January 1984 and continued to do so for nearly every day until April 1992, when he left the WFP. The transcripts of the diaries are 698 pages long. They may be accessed at the National Library of Australia in Canberra, with Ingram’s prior permission. Some diary entries have been published by Ingram in a 350page book on his leadership of WFP, which deals—like the diaries—mainly with the conflict with Saouma (Ingram 2007). Ingram’s First Impressions of Saouma When Ingram became executive director of the WFP in April 1982, it was already the UN’s largest aid-giving agency, delivering food aid from industrialized countries, mostly the U.S., to nearly 100 million beneficiaries in 114 developing countries (Ingram 2007: 14). The UN’s food aid arm possessed, however, very little legal, administrative, or financial autonomy. The WFP had been founded, in 1962, as a joint UN/FAO Programme. According to the Programme’s General Regulations (GR), which were adopted in 1961 and remained nearly unchanged until 1991, the WFP was to rely “to the fullest extent possible” on FAO’s administrative services (GR 14g); its funds were placed under the trusteeship of the FAO director-general (GR 27); its emergency aid projects were approved by the director-general (GR 19); its secretariat was located at FAO headquarters in Rome and was to report to both UN and FAO (GR 7b); and its executive director was appointed jointly by the UN Secretary-General and the FAO DirectorGeneral (GR 14b). In his book, Ingram describes that he carefully read the General Regulations before taking up his appointment. He was aware of the limits to the WFP’s autonomy but came to the conclusion that his relationship to Saouma was not “a simple subordinate/superior one 3. Besides the Society symposium (Pilon 1988), see e.g., Gill (1986), Abbott (1992: 10–11), Shaw (2001: 211–124), and Stokke, (2009: 271–272).


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but rather a constitutional one” (Ingram 2007: 77). In the months before and after his arrival in Rome in April 1982, Ingram gained, however, the impression that Saouma did not respect the constitutional regulations, but instead strived for “complete dominance” over the food organizations (Ingram 2007: 77). Already, the way in which Saouma had achieved the appointment of Ingram himself made Ingram skeptical. From 1981 to the decision in February 1982, most governments had favored a candidate other than Ingram (2007: 40–42; Shaw 2001: 214). Saouma, however, used his influence on diplomats and governments from the group of developing countries (the G77) to push for the Australian diplomat and director of the Australian Development Assistance Bureau (ADAB), Ingram. Saouma’s success, Ingram writes, gave him a first impression of how Saouma “had come to dominate FAO through his manipulation of the G77” (Ingram 2007: 52). Ingram’s skepticism of Saouma quickly increased when he met with WFP’s senior staff for individual conversations during his first months in Rome. Ingram gained the impression they were living in a “culture of fear,” including fear of Ingram, who “was perceived as the D-G’s (Director General’s) man” (Ingram 2007: 66). It seemed that Saouma, who had been elected director-general in 1975, had used the intervening years to strengthen his administrative grip over the WFP, creating an atmosphere that not only Ingram but also other WFP senior staff members perceived as detrimental to the efficiency of the food aid agency (Shaw 2001: 211–14; Stokke 2009: 271–72). The two described episodes—Ingram’s appointment and his meetings with WFP senior staff—exemplify Ingram’s main moral allegations against Saouma: that Saouma manipulated the food organizations’ principals (notably, the G77) and he engaged in reckless bureaucratic politics, particularly vis-à-vis the WFP, to the detriment of the UN’s mission. The following subsection will further elaborate on these two kinds of moral wrong and their role in Ingram’s worldview. Ingram’s Moral Worldview In scientific usage, the term “spoiling” does not have an explicit moral meaning. A spoiler is simply he (or she) who counteracts an organization’s official mission—be it peace, agricultural development, or fighting hunger (Trettin and Junk, this issue). Of course, when Stedman describes specific actors as “greedy spoilers” or even as “total spoilers,” who “pursue total power” (Stedman 1997: 7, 9–11), it is hard to ignore the moral connotations. More generally, in research on the internal dynamics of bureaucratic organizations, many terms carry negative moral meanings: agency slack and shirking (Hawkins et al. 2006: 8), the “dark side” (Vaughan 1999), and also bureaucratic politics, which is, according to Allison and Zelikow themselves, an “uncomfortable” conception (1999: 257). In the case of Ingram’s diaries, these scientific terms—or rather, the phenomena they describe—do carry explicit moral meanings, and describe the two main types of morally reprehensible activities carried out by Saouma and the FAO: agency slack and bureaucratic politics. Agency slack is defined by Hawkins, Lake, Nielson, and Tierney as “independent action by an agent that is undesired by the principal” (Hawkins et al. 2006: 8). In Principal Agent Theory, from which the term is derived, agents are commonly described as opportunistic or “self-interest seeking with guile”—they shirk their obligations where they can and try to maximize their independence (Hawkins et al. 2006: 24). This is exactly how Saouma was depicted by Ingram. He did everything he could to increase his independence from, and influence on, the principals of the FAO, i.e., its member states. Two tools served this purpose: staff appointments, which Saouma used to secure the allegiance of government representatives,4 and aid requests, in particular requests for WFP emergency food aid.5 The 4. Ingram, diaries, 6.6.84. 5. Ingram, diaries, 17.5.84, 24.7.84.


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diaries mention, for example, Saouma’s “efforts to hold things up” in the case of Ethiopia’s June 1984 request and that “we must publicize [that] this was done to punish Ethiopia for [its representative] Negash’s support to WFP.”6 In addition to a quite severe form of agency slack, Saouma was also guilty of pursuing reckless strategies of bureaucratic politics—a form of inner-organizational bargaining behavior that does not serve the organization’s mission but one’s own turf interests and power base (Allison and Zelikow 1999: chpt. 5). Thus, Ingram records that “everything FAO does is self-serving,”7 and Saouma was only preoccupied with the chances for his re-election.8 In Ingram’s view, Saouma tried to dismantle every alternative power base within the UN food bureaucracy, in particular the WFP’s. When there were, in 1984, allegations of fraud in the tender process for WFP’s maritime insurance, Saouma failed to extend the usual fiduciary trust of the “trustee” (the director-general) to his “ward” (the WFP) but instead tried to discredit Ingram’s organization.9 In Ingram’s diaries, the scientific phenomena of agency slack and bureaucratic politics form moral allegations against Saouma. They unmask Saouma as a bureaucratic spoiler, a person who consciously counteracted the UN’s mission; they are why Saouma “epitomizes what is wrong” with the UN,10 and they motivated Ingram’s struggle for the independence of his agency, which was, for Ingram, “a struggle of good over bad” and “the test of my life.”11 The motivating, political force of these moral allegations is palpable everywhere in the diaries. It is particularly evident in two crucial actions by Ingram: the decision that led to an unseen, final re-escalation of the FAO-WFP conflict in March 1988, after a period of relative peace, and the speech that decided the final phase of the dispute in December 1990. March 1988: The Re-Escalation of the FAO-WFP Conflict At the beginning of 1988, Ingram was hopeful the relationship between FAO and WFP had entered a more peaceful, stable period based on the May 1985 Joint UN/FAO Task Force Report, which had served as a temporary truce in the conflict.12 The Task Force provisions had allowed WFP to establish its own internal audit, i.e., a unit charged with supervising financial flows and compliance with accountability standards (e.g., travel regulations). Ingram saw this unit as crucial because of his bad experience with FAO’s behavior in the maritime insurance affair in 1984, when FAO’s internal auditor seemed, in Ingram’s perspective, concerned primarily with discrediting the WFP. In March 1988, the Task Force regulations on WFP’s accounting were tested for the first time. The financial accounts for the 1986–87 biennium needed to be prepared (i.e., formal statements that certify that WFP’s financial situation is sound), and FAO and WFP staff met for intensive deliberations.13 FAO requested insight into all kinds of internal audit documents from WFP, because the FAO director-general continued to bear the responsibility for the signature of WFP accounts in his role as “trustee” of the WFP fund. Ingram decided, however, that certain documents would not be submitted to FAO, even though their submission was required by the Task Force report.14 This decision resulted directly from Ingram’s fear of Saouma’s spoiling behavior, i.e., Saouma’s desire to use a bureaucratic tool intended to create audit 6. Ingram, diaries, 2.7.1984. 7. Ingram, diaries, 10.2.84. 8. Ingram, diaries, 19.6.84. 9. Ingram, diaries, 21.5.84; J. Ingram, “Briefing Document Submitted by the Executive Director in Respect of WFP Audited Accounts for 1986–87,” 6.4.89, WFP-Library, §7. 10. Ingram, diaries, 28.1.84. 11. Ingram, diaries, 14.6.84. 12. Ingram, diaries, 20.1.88. 13. Ingram, diaries, 24.3.88, 29.3.88. 14. Ingram, diaries, 26.3.88, 29.3.88.


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accountability in a highly unaccountable, self-serving way. And this decision resulted directly in the re-escalation of the FAO-WFP conflict. Saouma responded in a manner that Ingram perceived as intransigent and “graceless” and led him to conclude: “This episode (over the accounts) has convinced me that the texts [WFP’s constitutional documents from 1962] must be changed. But how to do it and when?”15 The “how” and “when” of WFP’s constitutional independence from FAO turned out to be closely linked to the accounts issue. In the summer of 1988, Saouma refused to sign the 1986–87 accounts since he had not received all the necessary documents.16 In the fall of 1988, FAO, UN, and WFP governing bodies began to deal with the issue and the allegations of both sides that the other had violated the letter and/or the spirit of the Task Force provisions. The item “WFP audited accounts for 1986–87” remained on committee sessions’ agendas until December 1989. It became the main vehicle of the FAO-WFP confrontation until WFP’s governing committee finally moved, in June 1990, to discuss more generally the issue of the FAO-WFP relationship.17 December 1990: The Decision of the FAO-WFP Conflict Ingram’s denial of access to internal audit documents, motivated by his fear of Saouma’s use of audit against him and the WFP, had brought the FAO-WFP dispute to a head by the summer of 1990. Many governments began to send unusually high-ranking officials to committee sessions, and an unprecedented number of observers attended. Government representatives had fundamentally different perspectives on the FAO-WFP relationship. Most delegates from donor states described, like Ingram, FAO’s supervision as inefficient, and perceived Saouma as the spoiler. Most delegates from recipient countries stressed, like FAO, the need for FAO’s technical supervision of food aid flows and believed FAO’s assertion that Ingram sought independence merely for his “own benefit.”18 They believed, in other words, that Ingram was the spoiler. The irreconcilable perspectives deadlocked the negotiations until December 1990, when the WFP’s governing committee finally agreed on a reform package that terminated many of FAO’s oversight rights and gave the WFP secretariat greater legal, financial, and administrative independence, as well as its own headquarters in Rome. This package was adopted by a special session in March 1993 and approved by FAO and UN bodies in the course of 1991. Why December 1990? Why did Ingram’s arguments that the Task Force provisions were inefficient and that FAO’s insistence on supervision stemmed from self-serving motives not lead to a conclusive action in the fall of 1988, nor in the course of 1989, nor in the summer or fall of 1990? According to Ingram’s own account, the solution of the FAO-WFP conflict was, like its beginnings and its entire course of action, the result of his resistance against Saouma’s mean-spirited spoiling behavior. In the months before December 1990, Saouma’s highranking collaborators had assisted the G77 in preparing their own reform proposal that hardly altered the status of the WFP but included a provision that limited the executive director’s terms of office to two.19 Since Ingram’s second term ended in April 1992, this provision gave the impression that “they [the G77 and Saouma] wanted me [Ingram] to leave.”20 It seemed indeed that the term limit was “Saouma’s main concern.”21 Ingram perceived FAO’s lobbying of developing countries as a giant “whispering campaign,” the main thrust of which was that “I was pressing for change to obtain untrammeled power in my next term.”22 15. Ingram, diaries, 11.4.88. 16. E.Saouma, “Letter to Ingram,” 19.8.88, FAO-Archives, FP1/1-Vol. XIV. 17. WFP, “Agenda of the 29th CFA session,” WFP-Library. 18. Ingram, diaries, 3.12.90. 19. V.J.Shah, “Faaland/WFP,” strictly confidential note to Saouma, 17.5.89, FAO-Archives, FP1/1-Vol.XIV. 20. Ingram, diaries, 8.10.90. 21. Ingram, diaries, 8.10.90. 22. Ingram, Bread and Stones, p.283.


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In this situation, Ingram made a decision that should prove FAO’s campaign wrong and should demonstrate it was not he but Saouma who was the spoiler. On the first day of the WFP governing committee session in December 1990, Ingram declared that he supported the G77’s proposal for a term limit and added that “there should be no exceptions; and that therefore any change you make should apply to me.”23 Ingram renounced his own power in order to demonstrate it was not power he was longing for, and, apparently, his renunciation was “very well received by [the] G77” and had the desired “impact on the rival camp.”24 In the early morning of the fourth day of the session, the G77 accepted a package that contained “the essentials of all I [Ingram] sought”: wide-ranging financial and administrative independence for the WFP and its executive director.25 This section has described how Ingram’s perception of Saouma as a greedy spoiler motivated and justified Ingram’s struggle for the institutional independence of the WFP from FAO. The next section will examine the motivations and justifications behind Saouma’s struggle against WFP’s independence. Edouard Saouma’s Fight against Spoiling The development issue is above all a moral issue. —Edouard Saouma, FAO in the frontline of development, 1993 Was Edouard Saouma indeed a greedy “lord of poverty” (Hancock 1989), acting for no other reason than to protect and expand FAO’s turf and further his own power? The task of this section is to make plausible that, while Saouma’s behavior might have appeared to others as a case of bureaucratic spoiling, it is better understood as a fight against spoiling. The section will proceed similarly to the section on Ingram. It will assemble as much evidence for Saouma’s moral motivations that the contrary assumption—that Saouma was merely driven by greed and was consciously spoiling—becomes implausible. This task is more difficult than that of the last section, because there is neither a diary nor a book about Saouma’s struggle against the independence of the WFP. It will thus be necessary to deal with other available sources: a book that Saouma published in the last of his eighteen-year stint as director-general of FAO (1993), in which the conflict is not mentioned; letters and memoranda written by Saouma and his high-ranking collaborators, accessible in the FAO Archives in Rome; interviews with five of Saouma’s high-ranking collaborators; the descriptions of observers; and, finally, Ingram’s diaries. The inclusion of Ingram’s diaries might come as a surprise. Weren’t the diaries the primary basis for demonstrating Saouma was perceived as the spoiler? While Ingram sometimes doubted whether he saw Saouma with “sufficient charity,”26 such occasional doubt hardly makes it plausible that Saouma did not consciously intend to counteract the UN’s mission. Ingram’s diaries are important because they provide some first evidence of why Saouma perceived Ingram as a spoiler. The following subsections will first describe Saouma’s perceptions of Ingram according to Ingram’s own diaries; then Saouma’s broader moral worldview; and finally how this worldview motivated Saouma’s struggle against WFP’s independence. Saouma’s Impressions of Ingram According to the Ingram Diaries The diaries inform us not only about how Ingram perceived others but also about how others perceived Ingram. Ingram was often confronted with skepticism about the true motivations behind his fight against FAO. In a number of instances, government officials such as the U.S. 23. WFP, “Verbatim Record,” 30th CFA session, 1st meeting, WFP-Library, p. 9. 24. Ingram, diaries, 3.12.1990, 4.12.1990. 25. Ingram, diaries, 6.12.1990; WFP, “Report of the 30th CFA session,” 4.2.91, WFP-Library, pp. 5–8. 26. Ingram, diaries, 14.6.84.


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Secretary of Agriculture Block described the whole FAO-WFP confrontation as petty and personal to Ingram, which usually led Ingram to stress the issue was “not personal.”27 The American Ambassador to Rome from 1983 to 1987, former U.S. Representative Millicent Fenwick, once described Ingram and Saouma in the same, negative way: Didn’t both have numbered Swiss bank accounts? At a lunch with Ingram, Fenwick claimed that Ingram was “just as bad as Saouma,” also adding that Ingram would delay aid projects “to influence governments.”28 The Colombian Ambassador Bula Hoyos—one of Hancock’s sources for allegations against Saouma—even sent a letter to both the secretary-general and the directorgeneral asking them to terminate Ingram’s contract because he was “discrediting the UN.”29 Ingram’s diaries also point us to Saouma’s own view of Ingram. Saouma seems to have perceived Ingram as a person longing for untrammeled power not only during the “whispering campaign” of 1990 but already in 1984: “At least twice he [Saouma] has told me [Ingram] that he realized what sort of character I was,” notes Ingram,30 referring to a conversation with Saouma in which Ingram “spoke cynically” about his own attempts to strengthen governmental oversight. Ingram also supposed that Saouma stood behind U.S. Ambassador Fenwick’s skepticism: “It would appear that she [Fenwick] sees me as [a] power-hungry and ambitious man (Saouma’s view).”31 From Ingram’s diaries, we learn that allegations of greed and spoiling existed against almost everybody in the UN food organizations. Ingram himself was suspicious not only of Saouma but also of many government representatives.32 And the people Ingram dealt with were often suspicious of the motivations behind his behavior as well—a fact that Ingram clearly recognizes and pinpoints in his diaries: “One works so hard to do one’s best but one’s motives are so little understood.”33 The only people Ingram fully trusted—and who fully trusted Ingram—were those to whom he was linked through a common political struggle: his close collaborators. It is worth quoting more fully from Ingram’s diary entry on the “struggle of good over bad”: “I write these words [i.e., good over bad] hesitantly. One’s own motives are always obscure and perhaps I do not view Saouma and his cohorts with sufficient charity. All I can say is that good men like [names of four collaborators] give unstinting support.”34 How about “Saouma and his cohorts,” then? In six interviews with five of Saouma’s close collaborators (of over seven hours’ duration in sum), all of them expressed their unstinting support of Saouma. In particular, they described Saouma as an upright, moral character who truly cared for FAO’s mission and wanted to help the poor in developing countries. “As far as I’m concerned,” one of them said, “Saouma was all about development, he dedicated his life to it.”35 And this is indeed the impression one gains when reading through Saouma’s 1993 report on his leadership of FAO. The recurring theme that runs through the 184 pages of Saouma’s book is the idea that FAO has a crucial role to play in north-south relations. Saouma’s Moral Worldview Saouma was elected FAO director-general in 1975, a time when developing countries’ demands for a new international economic order were high on the agenda. One of Saouma’s first initiatives was a radical restructuring of FAO’s budget, to reduce staff and headquarters expenses and free up money for development projects in recipient countries (Saouma 1993: 27. Ingram, diaries, 9.7.84. 28. Ingram, diaries, 5.6.84, 6.6.84. 29. Ingram, diaries, 6.6.84. 30. Ingram, diaries, 6.6.84. 31. Ingram, diaries, 29.5.84. 32. Ingram, diaries, 6.6.84. 33. Ingram, diaries, 14.5.84. 34. Ingram, diaries, 14.6.84. 35. Interview, 20.9.2011.


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15–20; Talbot and Moyer 1987: 354). Media reports from the first years in office depict Saouma as a dynamic leader, willing to take radical, concrete measures to advance FAO’s mission.36 Saouma was re-elected unopposed in October 1981. However, in the following years, FAO ran into substantial problems. And 1981 was also the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and the U.S. began to take an increasingly tough stance vis-à-vis the UN system, to the point of withdrawing from UNESCO, which was led at the time by Amadou M’Bow, another advocate of the global south who was depicted as a greedy and corrupt spoiler (Coate 1989). The U.S. also began to withhold parts of its statutory financial contributions to certain UN agencies and from 1986 onwards, from FAO (Saouma 1993: 131). In Saouma’s analysis, the U.S.’s breach of FAO’s statutes epitomized what was wrong with the UN system: industrialized countries’ shirking from their obligations to developing countries. In Principal Agent Literature, “shirking” is defined as a form of agency slack; it occurs “when an agent minimizes the effort it exerts on its principal’s behalf” (Hawkins et al. 2006: 8). In his 1993 report, Saouma uses the term to describe the U.S.’s lack of effort in meeting its legal and moral commitments to the formerly colonized countries of the global south (Saouma 1993: 143). Saouma openly criticized the policies of Western, industrialized countries in his speeches: inequitable terms of trade, protectionism, and agricultural surpluses resulting from subsidies.37 Also present on this list was the Western support for Ingram’s fight for institutional independence, which FAO’s leadership perceived as a self-interested quest for control of food aid streams. Saouma often stressed “food aid programmes should be designed to solve the problems of the recipients, not those of the donors,”38 and he argued food aid risked becoming “an end in itself” if FAO’s oversight over the WFP was terminated.39 These concerns were not implausible. Researchers have stressed that “the United States has always employed food aid in the service of short-term self-interested goals related to surplus disposal, export market promotion, and geopolitical strategy” (Barrett and Maxwell 2005: 50). Ingram’s struggle for independence was perceived by FAO’s leadership as morally illegitimate—as a case of spoiling or counteracting the UN’s mission in the pursuit of selfinterested goals. In interviews, senior collaborators of Saouma directed allegations of spoiling against Ingram’s Western allies but also against Ingram himself. Ingram’s main fault was he, in a sense, “sold out” the WFP to the United States. In the view of both former FAO and WFP staff, institutional independence led to an increase of U.S. influence over the food aid program. And indeed, since Ingram’s departure in 1992, all executive directors have been U.S. nationals, whereas before there were none, apart from one three-month exception.40 A collaborator of Saouma reasoned that Ingram collaborated with the “extremely reactionary, right-wing, entrenched State Department” in the time of Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs John Bolton (1989–93) because he was aware of the WFP’s dependence on American contributions.41 As the same collaborator put it, Ingram became a “servant of the United States agricultural policy.”42 He served the interests of one powerful principal and, thereby, neglected his responsibility to the collective principal of the UN, the community of member states. In internal documents, FAO staff members depicted Ingram as a bureaucratic politician obsessed with independence. They complained about “the extreme offensive tone of 36. E.g., New York Times, “U.N. Food Agency Says Few Gains Have Been Made Against Hunger,” 3.1.1978. 37. E. Saouma, “Statement to the 23rd CFA session,” 25.5.1987, WFP-Library, pp. 3–4; E. Saouma, “Statement to the 14th CFA session,” 11.10.1982, WFP-Library, pp. 2–3. 38. Saouma, “Statement to the 23rd CFA session,” p. 5. 39. E. Saouma, “Draft Letter to B.R. Sen,” undated/Nov.90, FAO-Archives, FP1/11. 40. Thomas Robinson, acting executive director from May 1976 to June 1977 and executive director from July 1977 to September 1977. 41. Interview, 20.9.2011. 42. Interview, 20.9.2011.


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Ingram’s correspondence,”43 his complete neglect of reporting requirements to FAO44 and his aggressive “pressuring” of a FAO expert group,45 even angrily noting on Ingram’s letters: “I fail to see the logic!”46 According to the moral logic of the FAO leadership around Saouma, Ingram was the person guilty of agency slack (in his alliance with a single principal, the U.S.) and reckless bureaucratic politics (because of his obsession with the expansion of WFP’s turf). Saouma’s Resistance against the Independence of the WFP The battles of the FAO-WFP conflict gain a different moral dimension when one looks at them from the viewpoint of FAO’s leadership. In interviews, FAO officials described the December 1990 “package deal” as the result of threats by industrialized countries and the WFP management to cut food aid to governments supportive of FAO. They said Ingram renounced power in order to clear the way for an American, and they claimed Ingram’s specific acts of contestation of FAO oversight stemmed from a selfish obsession with institutional independence.47 Against this background, Saouma’s actions against Ingram appeared not as a case of spoiling but as a morally legitimate struggle to safeguard the UN’s mission. The different moral meaning of Saouma’s actions—the different moral-political answer to the spoiler question—is palpable in interviews, speeches, and internal documents, and it also applies to the very beginnings of the FAO-WFP confrontation: Saouma’s attitude toward the WFP secretariat in the first years after his election in 1975. As described in the first section, some WFP staff members experienced Saouma’s behavior in the first years as an expression of a manipulative desire for complete dominance. But according to Saouma’s collaborators, Saouma was trying to limit the U.S.’s influence on the UN’s food aid agency. Saouma made a number of personnel decisions that seem to have deeply angered the United States. He confirmed the appointment of the acting WFP executive director in 1976/77, U.S. national Thomas Robinson, only three months before his retirement in September 1977, and then appointed a Canadian to follow Robinson. In 1981, he broke the long-standing tradition of the FAO’s deputy director-general being an American by appointing Edward West from the UK. And in 1982, he pressed for Ingram’s appointment to the post of executive director, disregarding the U.S. nomination (Shaw 2001: 214). In Ingram’s report, Saouma is quoted with an early remark about his hope that Ingram would be “quite strong, enough to stand up to donor pressure” (Ingram 2007: 53). Ingram, however, proved strong enough to resist Saouma’s pressure and instead moved closer to the donors. Saouma’s resistance to Ingram’s quest for independence was possible because Saouma could justify this resistance as an action against a greedy spoiler. When Ingram denied the FAO audit team insight into internal documents in March 1988, Saouma at first accepted Ingram’s decision but told him: “I don’t like your fait accompli, pressure tactics.”48 In August 1988, Saouma refused to certify the WFP accounts, because, as he argued, Ingram had violated the Task Force provisions and his obligations to WFP’s constitutional principal: the FAO.49 This line of argument can be found in both public and confidential documents that FAO’s leadership produced in the years from 1988 to 1990. In fact, in reading the historical documents, it seems the responsible FAO officials did nothing but constantly justify their bureaucratic measures against Ingram in moral-bureaucratic terms. Thus efforts of moral justification filled the days of both FAO and WFP managers—the protracted bureaucratic struggle was only possible because it could be justified, on both sides, as a struggle against a greedy spoiler. 43. DM, “Proposed Director-General’s reply to Ingram’s letter,” 1.2.89, FAO-Archives, FP1/1-Vol.XIV. 44. K. Mehboob, “Strictly Confidential Note to the Director-General,” 12.1.89, FAO-Archives, FP1/1-Vol.XIV. 45. V.J. Shah, “Faaland/WFP,” strictly confidential note to Saouma, 17.5.89, FAO-Archives, FP1/1-Vol.XIV 46. R. Joseph, hand-written comment on a letter from Ingram, 18.5.89, FAO-Archives, FP1/1-Vol.XIV. 47. Interviews, 23.5.2012, 25.5.2012, 21.5.2012, 20.9.2011, 15.9.2011. 48. Ingram, diaries, 31.3.88. 49. Saouma, “Letter to Ingram,” 19.8.88, FAO-Archives, FP1/1-Vol. XIV.


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Conclusion The disagreement in the social science journal Society over whether the FAO Director-General Edouard Saouma was a bureaucratic spoiler corresponds to a broader, political disagreement over who acted against the UN’s mission in the 1980s world food organizations. For the WFP Executive Director James Ingram, Saouma epitomized what was wrong with the UN system. Saouma was guilty of a long list of bureaucratic wrongs: He ignored and manipulated member states’ control mechanisms and engaged in typical, reckless bureaucratic politics, handing out posts for political reasons and manipulating the approval of emergency aid requests to enhance his and FAO’s power base. Saouma was, for Ingram, a bureaucratic spoiler who consciously counteracted the UN’s mission, and this is why, from Ingram’s perspective, the struggle for the institutional independence of the WFP was morally legitimate, and even more than that, morally necessary. On the other side of the FAO-WFP conflict, the world followed a different moral logic. For Saouma and the FAO leadership, the danger to the UN’s moral mission originated not from their own quest for power but from Ingram’s opportunism and the U.S.’s reckless pursuit of self-interest. According to Saouma and his close collaborators, Ingram and the U.S. administration had violated their legal and moral obligations to pay their statutory contributions (in the case of the U.S.) and to loosen the WFP’s bond to the FAO, e.g., by disrespecting reporting requirements (in the case of Ingram). In the view of FAO’s leadership, Ingram and his allies, notably the conservative U.S. administrations under Reagan and Bush, were guilty of typical bureaucratic wrongs: spoiling, shirking, and egoistic bureaucratic politics. What lessons can be drawn from this analysis for future research? At first, the findings of this study point to a problem with a certain kind of research project. If the primary goal of scientific inquiry is to model and define “agency slack,” “shirking,” “bureaucratic politics,” or other forms of bureaucratic spoiling, then research might encounter situations in which the scientific questions—what is agency slack or spoiling, and who engages in such activities?— are political questions. In such situations, for example, in the nine-year conflict between the FAO and the WFP, it might not be possible to determine in an entirely objective and neutral manner what kind of behavior truly was a case of agency slack and who the spoiler was truly. This problem is a real limit to research, because it originates not only from the possible political bias of historical sources. It is rather a consequence of the deeper moral-political structures of such conflicts, in which certain questions have no definitive, objective, and rational answer (cf. Williams 1973). The moral-political character of different “spoiler” concepts—such as agency slack or bureaucratic politics—is not only a limit, but also a potential for future research. To realize this potential requires a change in the direction of research. Instead of trying to develop abstract definitions and categories of spoilers and their actions (agency slack, etc.), it will be necessary to examine the different definitions that exist in real-world institutions. Instead of deciding who the spoilers are, it will be necessary to examine allegations of “spoiling” and their justifications. Instead of using “bureaucratic politics” as an empirical concept of purely analytical value, it will be necessary to treat it as a normative concept with tremendous political implications. REFERENCES Abbott, J. (1992) Politics and Poverty, London: Routledge. Allison, G. and P. Zelikow (1999) Essence of Decision, New York: Longman. Barrett, C.B. and D.G. Maxwell (2005) Food Aid After Fifty Years, London: Routledge. Coate, R.A. (1989) Unilateralism, Ideology and US Foreign Policy: The United States in and Out of UNESCO, Boulder: Lynne Rienner.


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Cohen, J.M. and M. Westlake (1988) “Advocacy Journalism and Development Policy,” Society 25, 41. Gill, P. (1986) A Year in the Death of Africa, London, Paladin. Hancock, G. (1989) Lords of Poverty, London: Macmillan. Hawkins, D.G., D.A. Lake, D.L. Nielson, and M.J. Tierney (2006) “Delegation under Anarchy,” in Hawkins et al., eds., Delegation and Agency in International Organizations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hopkins, R. (1988) “Shooting Yourself in the Foot,” Society 25, 24–25. Huddleston, B. (1988) “Why FAO?” Society 25, 26–31 Ingram, J. (2007) Bread and Stones, Charleston: BookSurge. Lydiker, R. (1988) “Setting the Record Straight,” Society 25, 32–38. Pilon, J.G. (1988) “Becoming Part of the Problem,” Society 25, 10. Saouma, E. (1993) FAO in the Front Line of Development, Rome: FAO. Shaw, J. (2001) The UN World Food Programme and the Development of Food Aid, London: Palgrave. Stedman, S.J. (1997) “Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes,” in International Security 22, 5–53. Stokke, O. (2009) The UN and Development, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Talbot, R. and H.W. Moyer 1987 “Who Governs the Rome Food Agencies?” Food Policy [November]. Varnis, S. (1988) “Policy and Performance in Ethiopia,” Society 25, 38–41. Vaughan, D. (1999) “The Dark Side of Organizations: Mistake, Misconduct, and Disaster,” in Annual Review of Sociology 25, 271–305. Williams, B. (1993) “Ethical Consistency,” in B. Williams Problems of the Self, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1973, 166–86.


Protectionism within the Organization of United Nations Peacekeeping: Assessing the Disconnection between Headquarters and Mission Perspectives by Joel Gwyn Winckler, Freie Universität Berlin The aim of this article is to assess the disconnection between the United Nations (UN) headquarters and its peacekeeping missions by exploring the perspectives of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York and the United Nations Mission in Liberia. It argues that even though there is a need for decentralization in the highly complex organizational setting of UN peacekeeping, it is aggravated by communication processes and behavior that protect the autonomy and interests of both headquarters and mission from internal interferences. The findings of this study indicate that internal protectionism leads to a diffusion of responsibilities and undermines the development and acceptance of common organizational goals. It concludes by proposing approaches on how to improve communication management in the organization of UN peacekeeping. Introduction There is a huge difference in the dynamic in New York and in the field. It is a difference in perspective and in the awareness on how processes and things work.1 The above description of an experienced official in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) clearly points out a disconnection between UN headquarters in New York and the UN peacekeeping missions in the field. This observation is neither surprising nor a new revelation. Rather, it is a well-known issue debated by both academics and practitioners. Barnett and Finnemore (2004: 121–55), for example, analyze this gap reflecting on one of the biggest failures in the history of UN peacekeeping in 1994 in Rwanda. Their assessment of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) highlights how reports from the UN mission in Rwanda were received, interpreted, and turned into knowledge in New York, which in no circumstance reflected the reality lived by the UN personnel on the ground. As the statement above indicates, one does not have to look into the depths of the Rwandan genocide to observe this gap. Rather, it suggests that in such a highly complex organizational and political endeavor as UN peacekeeping, it is an organizational normality that staff and members of both UN headquarters and missions cope with on a daily basis (Winckler 2011). The disconnection between UN headquarters (which in the case of peacekeeping is represented by DPKO and the Department of Field Support/DFS) and peacekeeping missions also seems obvious because of geographical facts. The realities on the ground and working environments (i.e., in an office in a skyscraper in New York or a post-war situation such as Liberia) could not differ more. However, the physical factors are not the only things creating the gap. UN peacekeeping is designed as a decentralized organization. DPKO is a 1. Interview with UNMIL official, Monrovia, 8 March 2011.

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comparatively small head of an extremely large body of around sixteen peacekeeping missions, with a total of approximately twenty-two thousand civilian staff and ninety-eight thousand military and police (Trettin and Winckler 2012). DPKO does not and cannot conduct the dayto-day management of all peacekeeping missions.2 This is formally expressed, for example, in the fact that the head of mission (HoM), who in most cases is a special representative of the secretary general (SRSG), is situated on the same hierarchical level as the head of DPKO (an under-secretary general). But it also points to the fact that DPKO and UN missions serve in different environments and require different means to achieve their goals. On the one hand, the mandated task of the mission is to support the host government and exist in the political environment of the post-war country. On the other hand, DPKO deals with the interests and political dynamics of the Security Council. These diverse challenges inevitably lead to different organizational perspectives. Schlichte and Veit (2007) have pointed out that these perspectives (re)produce their own discourses on peacekeeping, which do not necessarily depend on each other or create joint solutions to problems. This article goes a step further, arguing that different perspectives also change the way organizational processes are managed locally through communication behavior. The organization of UN peacekeeping heavily depends on processing information and knowledge. Being a political organization with neither donor nor executive functions, information and knowledge are the central resources of power of UN peacekeeping, both at the headquarter and the mission level, enabling it to engage and shape politics either at the international level or in the national context of the post-war country (Benner et al. 2011, Barnett and Finnemore 2004). On all levels of the UN peacekeeping bureaucracy, authority over information also enables a certain autonomy and leverage to interact with local counterparts. The central argument of this article is that organizational actors in peacekeeping missions and headquarters protect this autonomy and influence it through their communicative behavior. These practices exist next to confidentiality regulations toward other organizations. They are located within the UN bureaucracy, aiming to control internal interferences in local decision-making processes by other organizational perspectives. This makes the interaction between headquarters and mission especially difficult, leads to confrontation, conflicts, misunderstandings, and dysfunctions. The communicative behavior of organizational actors on both sides significantly aggravates this disconnection between DPKO and the missions. This article will explore the use of communication processes as internal protective behavior by conducting a qualitative empirical analysis of the different organizational perspectives of DPKO in New York and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).3 The selection of UNMIL as a case study provides the advantage that it is generally observed as a successful, “well managed,� peacekeeping mission.4 This allows an analysis of the different organizational perspectives within the UN peacekeeping bureaucracy, which are not biased by a general perception of dysfunctional and flawed management. On this basis, the study generates a better understanding of day-to-day political life within the peacekeeping bureaucracy, providing insights on how different interests and programmatic outlines of international organizations, such as the UN, translate into micro dynamics on different levels of bureaucracy, and vice versa. Finally, it also produces important inputs for the further development of communication and information management of UN peacekeeping. The analysis below is structured in two parts: The first will briefly recall the gap between DPKO and peacekeeping missions, describing the formal and informal communication channels between the two perspectives; the second step will analyze two perspectives of peacekeeping, namely the headquarter perspective of DPKO and the mission perspective of UNMIL. 2. Interview with UN official in DPKO, New York, 19 October 2012 and background discussion with former senior official in DPKO, Germany, 8 November 2012. 3. As this study focusses on the political and substantive dynamics of peacekeeping, it explicitly excludes an analysis of the support and administrative components of the peacekeeping bureaucracy. 4. Interview with UN official in DPKO, New York, 18 October 2010.


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Disconnection between DPKO and Missions through Communication Channels The observation that there is a disconnection between DPKO and the peacekeeping missions does not mean no information exchange exists. On the contrary, communication processes are essential, especially in terms of support from DPKO to the missions as well as a reference of the missions toward DPKO. However, according to staff members in DPKO and UNMIL, there are not a lot of regular, working-level contacts between mission and DPKO. Desk officers in New York who have been previously deployed in relevant field locations sometimes use informal contacts in the field to verify information. However, as informal interaction between the mission and DPKO is rare, desk officers and even directors in New York often only refer to their officially assigned contact persons, which are apportioned due to the hierarchical level of employment.5 In Liberia, there are very few UNMIL officers who seek regular contact to New York for professional and substantial reasons, except if it comes to joint events, such as a visit of a DPKO senior manager to Liberia.6 There are, however, formal communication channels that cover the gap between headquarters and the mission. The three most important will be introduced hereafter.7 First, there are the daily and weekly situation reports (SITREPS), which represent the organizational routine of the reporting line between the mission and DPKO. SITREPS are the first line of reference of the mission to DPKO and, therefore, progress through a rigorous vetting process within the mission. The second—and from the headquarter perspective perhaps the most important internal communication tool between the missions and headquarters—is the socalled “Code Cable.” It is essential to note that a Code Cable is not a normal bureaucratic communication instrument. Rather, it is a means of diplomacy to issue politically motivated notices and is used in a very similar way between DPKO and the missions. Code Cables always have to be signed at the highest level by the USG (DPKO) or the HoM and thus are also addressed to the highest level. Finally, the reference document of the mission that is open to the public is the biannual Report of the Secretary General to the Security Council. These reports are highly elaborate diplomatic documents. They include aspects and passages of all mission components, whereas the coordination and finalization of the document is assigned to the Office of Operations (OO) in DPKO. The most important observation here is formal communication lines are predominantly diplomatic in the sense that they usually have a political purpose. Thus, Code Cables, for example, are often a result of negotiations between both sides before being issued.8 The reason for this might be that they bridge not only a gap in the formal organizational setting, but they also protect daily work activities on both sides. This will be analyzed, turning to the assessment of the two broad perspectives identified in the organization of UN peacekeeping, referring to the work in DPKO as the “headquarter perspective” and in UNMIL as the “mission perspective.” The empirical analysis is based on a field study conducted in New York and Liberia in September/October 2010 and February/March 2011, which produced a crosscutting insight into both DPKO and UNMIL through conducting interviews with UN professionals and directors as well as participant observation. The following analysis is explorative and basically follows two steps for both the headquarters and the mission perspective. The first is a general description of the organizational perspective and its actors, including a brief introduction of the organizational structure. The second step explores the communication processes within each organizational setting, generating an understanding of the communicative behavior within the separate organizational perspectives, as well as toward each other.

5. Interviews with UN officials in DPKO, New York, 15, 18 (see fn. 4), 19 (see fn. 2) and 22 October 2010. 6. Interviews with UNMIL officials in Monrovia, 3 (two interviews), 10 and 11 March 2011. 7. For more details see Winckler (2011: 94-96). 8. Background discussion with former senior UN official in a peacekeeping mission, Germany, 14 December 2011.


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The Headquarters Perspective of DPKO As illustrated in Figure 1, DPKO is structured in four pillars: the Office of Operations (OO), the Office of Rule and Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI), the Office of the Military Advisor (OMA), and the Policy, Evaluation and Training Division (PET). OO acts as the connection between the missions and the intergovernmental organs of the UN, such as the Security Council. It is structured in four divisions in which the world of peacekeeping is geographically divided. Every division incorporates so-called integrated operational teams (IOTs), which include not only civilian personnel but also a representative of the military, police, and support side. The second substantive pillar is OROLSI, which includes the police division, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security sector reform, and mine action. Third, OMA provides services to the mission and member states (such as generation of peacekeeping troops), as well as military advice to DPKO leadership. The fourth pillar is PET, which has a somewhat exceptional position in the structure of DPKO. Crosscutting all aspects of peacekeeping, especially its most important section, the Peacekeeping Best-Practice Section (PBPS) has the task to enhance the long-term professionalization of peacekeeping. At the top of the hierarchy of DPKO is the under-secretary general (USG), who is supported by his front office and the chief of staff (CoS).9 Figure 1: Organization Chart DPKO (own design 2011) • Chief of Staff • Situation Centre • Et al.

USG (DPKO)

Department of Field Support (DFS)

OO

OMA

1) Division Africa I a. IOT (Darfur) b. IOT (Central and East Africa) 2. Division Africa II a. IOT (West Africa) b. IOT (Great Lakes) 3. Division Asia and Middle East a. IOT Asia b. IOT Middle East

OROLSI

• Security Sector Reform • Police Division • Criminal Law and Judiciary Advisory Service

PET

• Peacekeeping Best-Practice Section (PBPS) • Integrated Training Service

• Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Service • Mine Action Service

4. Division Europe and Latin America a. IOT Europe and LAD

Organizational charts and terms of reference describe functions and areas of responsibility. However, in daily organizational life, functions are often blurred and areas of responsibility are frequently not clearly defined. What stands out is a web of delegated, received, and defended authorities.10 Every decision or activity has to be cleared within this web of authority, as it especially states jurisdictions and powers of interpretation and the usage of information. One of the basic principles of decision making in DPKO, for example, is the primacy of politics, especially over the military, which gives OO an accentuated position within the (informal) hierarchy between the four pillars of DPKO. 9. The CoS is also responsible for the concerns of Department of Field Support (DFS), which provides logistical and technical support to the missions. 10. Interview (see fn. 4).


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This emphasized position of OO can be observed in its interactions with other sections. If, for example, OMA is tasked to provide advice or a position paper to UN leadership or member states, it has to coordinate with the civilian side, as DPKO cannot produce more than one position on one subject. Views between the civilian and the military side often differ significantly, a conflict normally solved through negotiation. Here, the civilian side always has the advantage to refer to the primacy of the political, much to the frustration of the military.11 A further example is the preparation of background and strategy papers by specialized substantial units or persons in other pillars of DPKO. In order to prevent a departmental conflict over competencies as well as to ensure the relevance of the paper and the information it incorporates, this can only be done in agreement with the IOT, allowing UN officials in the IOT to prevail at the center of the political process. The problem of the specialized substantial employees is to present their work in a fashion that does not offend any authorities and positions of power. Including an analysis of the information may, for example, challenge senior management (especially at the director level) in their authority over the interpretation of information, as “analysis is the task of the directors.”12 In these internal interaction processes, everyone tries to find and claim their own field of action and responsibility. This does not necessarily have to match with the respective formal terms of reference and functions. The aim is to make oneself (and the capacity of the unit) visible without offending the authority of someone else—or in the words of a UN official (not in OO), it would involve distributing as many business cards as possible without “promoting” oneself too much.13 A former member of OMA in DPKO described his arrival in New York as a very difficult process. He noticed very quickly the terms of reference describing his functions were irrelevant, as he personally was not included in the relevant processes he should have been participating in. After two very frustrating months, his own initiative, and the circumstances through which he made various contacts to high ranking officials in the smoker’s room made him slowly become an integrated part of the team.14 Visibility, thus, is essentially a problem of getting access to relevant processes of decision making. However, it is important to avoid claiming one’s formally fixed scope of action as such attempts are prone to fail. Daily interaction, working, and decision-making processes within the headquarter perspective of DPKO interplay with both function and personality. Here, not only is information the key, but the key is also the way it is handled within the web of authority. At the same time, the framework of action is often very limited for members of middle management, depending heavily on the preferences of the (leading) persons involved. Interestingly, Code Cables turn out to be a very important instrument for members of middle management in DPKO in reference to their own work. Code Cables here are the visible result of an individual activity, which is signed and thus recognized at the highest level of the organization.15 On the other hand, it is also a way of protecting authority and dividing responsibility along the lines of hierarchy. A Code Cable has to pass all relevant hierarchical levels before it can be signed by the person at the top of the organization (which is in most cases the USG DPKO). The signature process not only ensures the semantic correctness of the document, but it also divides the responsibility for this activity along the web of authority and the levels of decision making within the organization. This is practiced vertically through the hierarchical revision process of the document, as well as horizontally through its distribution to inform other offices and departments.16 11. Interviews with two UN officials in DPKO, New York, 7 and 11 October 2010. 12. Interview with two UN officials in DPKO, New York, 19 October 2010. 13. Interview 11 October 2010 (see fn. 11). 14. Background discussion with former UN official, Germany, 9 September 2010. 15. Interviews with several UN officials in DPKO, New York, October 2010. 16. Interviews with three UN officials in DPKO 15, 19, and 22 October 2010 (see fn.5).


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The integrated operational teams (IOTs) in OO stand at the center of these processes, acting as mediators and advisors without any specific substantive appointments. Here, the various threads of peacekeeping as a political process come together on different levels of interaction. Next to the routine work (such as drafting talking points for presentations of the senior management in intergovernmental organs of the UN), IOT desk officers described a second aspect: political involvement in what seems to be a stalemate in the work of the peacekeeping mission. IOT can help, for example, in lobbying for extension of mandates or increased donor involvement. It has a mediatory position: on the one hand, as support and oversight of the mission, and on the other hand, in representing the peacekeeping mission toward the member states.17 A good example for the work of the IOT and OO is the preparation of the biannual report of the secretary general to the Security Council on the progress of the peacekeeping mission. Formally, it is the report of the mission, and actually the SRSG presents this report to the Security Council on behalf of the secretary general. However, it is compiled under the lead of the IOT. The reason is that the information for this report is selected on the basis of political interests within the Security Council rather than on the needs of the mission, which—according to the perspective of DPKO—may be judged more accurately by the UN officials in New York. This may lead to a highly difficult and conflictive negotiation process between headquarters in New York and the mission, especially because (according to the mission perspective, see below) DPKO barely considers the internal negotiation processes within the mission.18 A second example is the case of the 2010 extension of the UNMIL mandate. In the eyes of the member states, UNMIL seemed to have succeeded in enabling a fairly secure and stable situation, making the massive peacekeeping mission in Liberia increasingly obsolete. In comparison to other missions, the situation in Liberia seemed very calm. What the mission could report on was not in any way near as explosive as the reports from other countries such as Sudan. This development brought the mission under strong pressure to justify its own existence. Nevertheless, UNMIL viewed its strong presence as the crucial condition in order to sustain the peace process in Liberia. In preparation of the extension of UNMIL’s mandate in 2010 there was a substantial debate about the withdrawal of the UN troops from Liberia. In this process, OO became one of the mediators between the Security Council and UNMIL, managing to effectively slow down the momentum of UNMIL withdrawal by persuading the Security Council members to postpone it at least until after the elections in Liberia in October 2011. On the other hand, OO also conducts its role in reminding and clarifying the concerns and interests of the Security Council to the mission by pushing for results. As, for example, the lack of capacities of the Liberian government to take over the responsibilities on security from UNMIL is one of the core arguments for the extension of UNMIL’s mandate, OO felt a need for an “initial push” from headquarters to get the security handover process started. Even though such interference from headquarters in the responsibilities of the mission does not create “positive reactions [. . .] someone has to play this role, as the masters [in the Security Council] will not carry on forever with this mission.”19 Here, the influence of the member states within DPKO becomes visible. They are often described as “masters,” whose interests and decision making have considerable influence on the work within DPKO and the missions. Even though DPKO does not control the missions, several DPKO officials have mentioned in interviews that the physical closeness of DPKO to the Security Council and the representatives of its member states give the word of officials in New York a comparatively high weight toward the missions. The influence of the member states in the Security Council on the daily work of DPKO is also reflected in its constant struggle to ensure a certain amount of political autonomy. Hence, assessment and analysis of information 17. Two interviews 15 (see fn. 5) and 19 October 2010 (see fn. 2). 18. Next to interviews with UN officials in New York, October 2010, and Monrovia, March 2011, also background discussion with former SRSG in a peacekeeping mission, Germany, 17 May 2010. 19. Interview, 15 October 2010 (see fn.5).


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is often limited to the mere description of facts and incidents in order to ensure the political correctness of the report. Evaluation and policy planning often are used by senior management as a political tool to push specific issues or processes regarding the development of peacekeeping in international politics. Guidance and policy development often get stuck in the netting of political interests between the Security Council, DPKO, and the peacekeeping missions. With such tasks one very easily reaches boundaries set by political interests. However, it also protects the political work of DPKO from failure in the missions, as it diffuses responsibilities and decisionmaking processes throughout the web of authority in the UN peacekeeping bureaucracy. The Mission Perspective of UNMIL As shown in Figure 2, UNMIL is organizationally divided into four pillars, which are headed by the special representative of the secretary general (SRSG) and her office at the top of the hierarchical pyramid. The military, headed by the force commander of UNMIL, covers both the military peacekeeping contingents, which are geographically located and divided in two sectors (A and B), and the military observers (MILOBS). Next to the military, UNMIL headquarters in Monrovia consists of two substantive pillars that are both led by a deputy special representative of the secretary gneral (DSRSG). The first substantive pillar is called recovery and governance (R&G), which includes civil affairs, recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration, and political affairs. Appointed as resident coordinator (RC) and humanitarian coordinator (HC), the DSRSG R&G also chairs the UN Country Team that comprises all UN organizations and agencies in the country. The second substantive pillar is Rule of Law (RoL), which subsumes four sections: Human Rights, Justice, Corrections, and UN Police (UNPOL). Next to mission headquarters in Monrovia, UNMIL maintains civilian field offices in all fifteen Liberian counties, which are headed by a head of field office (HoFO) that is appointed by the SRSG but formally reports to the DSRSG R&G.20 Figure 2: Organization Chart UNMIL (own design 2011) • Front Office, Chief of Staff • Et al.

UNMIL Headquarters

SRSG

Recovery and Governance (DSRSG)

Force Command

• Civil Affairs

Military Observer

• Recovery Rehabilitation, and Reintegration

Rule of Law (DSRSG)

Mission Support (Director)

• Human Rights and Protection • UN Police • Corrections and Prison Advisory

• Political Planning and Policy

• Legal and Justice System

Field Support Team UN Country Team 15 Field Offices (HoFO) • • • •

Civil Affairs Human Rights UNPOL Et al.

Sector A

Sector B

Military Observer Team Sites

Field

20. Mission Support is a fifth pillar of the mission, which is headed by the Director of Mission Support (DMS).


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The big difference to the headquarters perspective of DPKO is UNMIL’s technical and political alignment towards shaping national politics in Liberia. Here, the attribute “political” predominantly points to UNMIL’s support to the government of Liberia. UNMIL itself is structured as a “shadow bureaucracy” in which most units and persons have their counterparts in the national Liberian bureaucracy. In some areas, UNMIL directly bridges technical gaps of the government’s communications system, for example, through sending letters, faxes, and e-mails, as well as facilitating transport. In all areas, UNMIL has its own reporting system parallel to the Liberian government. Information from the field may be processed in the mission headquarters and used as a resource while shaping political processes at the national level. In recent years, UNMIL tried to pull itself out of all informally assumed leadership roles aiming to solely fulfill a consultancy role and push government officials into the lead. However, even in the position of the “back seat,” UNMIL seems to remain the access point to three crucial resources for national development: security (practically ensured through the presence of peacekeeping troops), knowledge (the competencies which are brought into the country “from the outside” on different levels and thematic areas of state building and peace consolidation), and money (coordination with donors). These three resources are the practical basis of UNMIL’s existence in the national context of Liberia, but they also have day-to-day implications on the position, function, and work of individual members of UNMIL. Security has the topmost priority in the work of the peacekeeping mission.21 The mission also clearly possesses the power of interpretation on what is relevant for security not only in the national context of Liberia but also for everything that might endanger the mission and its mandate. Thus, a high amount of information generated by UNMIL refers to security-related events. The interpretation of this data is usually carried out in a small circle at the top of the mission’s hierarchy. In special reports, staff at various organizational levels is encouraged to assess and analyze the data. However, in the hierarchical context of the UN, the transfer of facts and event-related data seems far easier than the circulation of opinion and interpretation. Here one seems to walking a fine line between the hierarchical requirements and overstretching one’s individual competencies, and not everyone has the professional experience to know how to handle this productively. Reporting that goes beyond mere description seems to depend heavily on personality, experience, and individual abilities. However, such reporting also strengthens specific involvements and might lead to increased profile and visibility within the organizational context of UNMIL. Security has the topmost priority in the work of the peacekeeping mission.22 The mission also clearly possesses the power of interpretation on what is relevant for security not only in the national context of Liberia but also for everything that might endanger the mission and its mandate. Thus, a high amount of information generated by UNMIL refers to security-related events. The interpretation of this data is usually carried out in a small circle at the top of the mission’s hierarchy. In special reports, staff at various organizational levels is encouraged to assess and analyze the data. However, in the hierarchical context of the UN, the transfer of facts and event-related data seems far easier than the circulation of opinion and interpretation. Here one seems to walking a fine line between the hierarchical requirements and overstretching one’s individual competencies, and not everyone has the professional experience to know how to handle this productively. Reporting that goes beyond mere description seems to depend heavily on personality, experience, and individual abilities. However, such reporting also strengthens specific involvements and might lead to increased profile and visibility within the organizational context of UNMIL.

21. The following aspects are drawn from several interviews with UNMIL officials and observations in Monrovia and Field Offices, Liberia, September 2010 and March 2011. 22. The following aspects are drawn from several interviews with UNMIL officials and observations in Monrovia and Field Offices, Liberia, September 2010 and March 2011.


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The importance of profile and visibility may be illustrated by examining the process of compiling a new strategic peacebuilding priority plan for Liberia in March 2011.23 The plan aims to strengthen national capacities in order to enhance the ability of the government to completely take over responsibility for security after the withdrawal of UNMIL. The initiative includes a great amount of new financial resources from the Peacebuilding Fund. The negotiation process concerning this plan included a vast amount of different stakeholders, including a delegation from New York as well as the Liberian government, UN agencies, and UNMIL. After an initial workshop with broad participation of all the different stakeholders, the plan (which formally is a document of the Liberian government) was drafted under the guidance of the New York delegation within the offices of the RoL pillar in UNMIL headquarters. A crucial aspect of this document is the formal conceptual integration of the thematic fields “justice” and “security.” UNMIL is the first mission that incorporated a separate organizational pillar on the rule of law. This means a great amount of personnel and competencies is assigned to the thematic field of justice. Despite its size and capacity, this organizational field has always been operating slightly isolated, and there were very few formally fixed connections with the field of security. With the new peacebuilding plan, this is fundamentally changing as the security relevance of the field of justice is formally fixed and thus made attractive and feasible for donor activity. This implies a reorientation in the priorities of the mission, as this document is the basis for the medium-term financial scope of action. Such a revision of priorities creates new opportunities for many people, who have so far been working in the background as their thematic field did not attract sufficient donor attention. However, critique of such concepts is often also based on the perceived danger for individual thematic “territories,” which entails personal access to resources and power. Everybody wants to be involved, and not everybody understands why he or she has not been included sufficiently in the process of compiling this document. In interviews, UNMIL officials often complained about territorial issues. In this context they also frequently referred to the so-called “stove piping”: people tend to send information through “stove pipes” of the hierarchical chain of reporting rather than sharing it horizontally with the colleague next door working on similar issues under a different chain of command.24 Next to the isolation of operational areas, stove piping has two major effects: First, it slows down the decision-making processes within the organization, as decisions are taken on the basis of simultaneously existing but disconnected information selection processes. One experienced UNMIL official stated that this might endanger the relevance of the mission’s work. If the mission and its bureaucratic apparatus take too long compiling concepts, developing political positions, or making decisions, donors would try to bypass these procedures and cooperate directly with the government. In this case, the mission would have invested a lot of effort and resources into shaping a political process in which it is not a relevant stakeholder anymore.25 The second effect of stove piping is the constant shifting of individual responsibility and accountability. Similar to New York, the diffusion of responsibility for political and organizational activities goes along many little, hierarchically structured working steps. At middle management level there are very few formally fixed systems of horizontal information sharing. In some offices, this might not be such a problem, as the team has worked together for several years and people know each other very well, or there is a leading personality, who proactively supports and calls for coordination, critique, and information sharing in specific meetings. Such horizontal sharing processes often seem to depend more on the ability of individual persons than on organizational structures. It seems to take a great amount of courage and trust in the colleague next door to share 23. Interviews with an UNMIL official 3 March 2011 (see fn. 6) and UNDP official, Monrovia, 24 March 2011. The priority plan sets the strategy for the use of the Peacebuilding Fund in Liberia, which is approved by the UN Peacebuilding Support Office and administered by UNDP, New York. 24. Especially interviews with two UNMIL officials in Monrovia, 15 September 2010 and 21 March 2011. 25. Interview, 3 March 2011 (see fn. 6 and 22). Similar statements were also made by two senior UNMIL officials, 10 and 11 March 2011 (for both interviews see fn. 6).


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information in a free and critical manner. An experienced UNMIL official explained that people would be very happy to share if the project is advanced or nearly finished. Before this stage, many colleagues would find it difficult to generally inform about a project without speaking about the details. This can lead to frustration, because the other side might have worked on similar issues that could (or even should) have been linked to it in favor of the project.26 The political representatives of UNMIL are the senior management and especially the SRSG. Therefore, flow and selection of information within the organization is also always directed to the senior management of the mission in order to keep them informed. Information processing under SRSG Ellen Margrethe Løj (current HoM at the time of my research) has become very hierarchically structured. Within this structure, only a limited number of organizational units have the authority to oversee the quality of the information that reaches the SRSG. For example, since 2008 reports from the field have been centralized. Next to the separate reporting lines of the different sections, there is now one integrated weekly report from the field, which is written by the HoFOs, overseen and compiled by the Field Support Team, and then finds direct access to the senior management (United Nations in Liberia 2008).27 The interpretation and strategic assessment of all information is also centrally organized in the Joint Mission Analysis Cell (JMAC), which in UNMIL is also assigned to compile the daily SITREPs to DPKO.28 Information gathering as part of organizational self-information is the first strand of hierarchical information selection within UNMIL. The second strand concerns UNMIL’s correspondence with New York. On various levels of the mission, the connection to New York has very little relevance. Separate sections send technical reports to their respective counterparts in DPKO, but the political interaction is centrally organized in the office of the SRSG. What stands out is the very low intensity of direct working level interaction between UNMIL and DPKO. There are some formally delegated contacts. Again and again there are technical and thematic inquiries and exchange of information. This is dealt with by the respective organizational unit, but is repeatedly described more as a burden rather than a productive involvement. For many members of middle management there is just no real necessity for regular communications with New York. There are some issues that indeed would need attention by New York, but this is mostly processed through the formal communication channels of UN hierarchy.29 From the mission’s perspective, the relationship to New York often is characterized by a lot of mistrust and suspicion. As an experienced UNMIL official put it, the ideas in New York on how processes in Liberia should work are very different from how the mission actually functions.30 Another senior UNMIL official complained about the incompetence shown at times in the respective section in New York, with Code Cables, for example, coming back just repeating what has already been sent. What would be needed are support and guidelines to work out how to do things best, for this mission, for guidance of staff, and for future missions. For the senior official, these priorities are off, even understanding that the demands of the work and leading personalities in New York are difficult.31 In some ways, the office of the SRSG is the clearinghouse for everything that reaches the HoM and subsequently is passed on to New York. However, it is also the office that keeps off pressure and requirements of New York from the rest of the mission. A good example of this is the pressure already mentioned above to justify UNMIL’s massive resources in times where the situation is regularly reported as calm. UN officials in this office stand in middle ground 26. Interview, 3 March 2011 (see fn. 6 and 22). 27. See also interviews with UNMIL official in Monrovia, 07 March 2011, and interviews and observations in five UNMIL field offices, March 2011. 28. Background discussion with UNMIL official in Monrovia, 20 September 2010 and interview 21 March 2011 (see fn. 23). 29. Interview, 11 March 2011 (see fn. 6). 30. Interview (see fn. 1). 31. Interview, 11 March 2011 (see fn. 6).


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between claims and arguments of specialized units of the mission and requirements of DPKO. It is this filtering and internal diplomatic effort that protects the day-to-day work of the mission from debates on UNMIL’s withdrawal and the ambiguity of the threat of organizational selfdestruction when the Security Council deems UNMIL’s mandate to be fulfilled.32 A further example on a more routine basis is the biannual drafting of the progress report of the secretary general to the Security Council. Every section, division, and unit of the mission participates in this process. Organizational units all draft their respective passage of the document, which then is sent through the hierarchical lines of the substantial pillars of the mission to the office of the SRSG that compiles the mission’s draft of the report. Thus, the human rights section would write a passage on human rights in Liberia. This text would be sent to the office of the DSRSG of RoL, which would compile the contributions of the other sections of the RoL pillar to be passed on to the office of the SRSG. What seems to be rather simple is in reality a constant fight about text passages, language, and syntax. It is also a conflict about competencies, the specific motivation of organizational units to highlight their work, and the diplomatic obligations of this important report. The office of the SRSG mediates in this process. But they do so not only towards the other units of the mission. After the mission’s draft has been finalized, the office of the SRSG has to defend the draft and revise it according to the requirements of New York. This can become very complicated, as the final version of the report also has to account for the demands of the separate units in the mission.33 The line of communication to New York seems especially important in terms of UNMIL’s reference towards their mandate, which is the legal basis of its existence. However, it seems to have very little relevance if it comes to the day-to-day work in the national or local context of Liberia. It often seems to be more a burden that leads to delays of decision-making processes. For many individual UNMIL officials, other factors, such as the local environment and conditions, the individual collaboration with Liberian counterparts, the organizational standing and visibility of their specific thematic field of action within the policy of the mission, as well as the attention of donors, seem to be far more important in their day-to-day work. However, regular reporting and the processing of requests from New York are important. Feeding and carefully controlling the communication line to New York prevents interferences from New York and protects UNMIL’s scope of action.34 Conclusion In no national or multilateral bureaucracy there is such [individual] entrepreneurship and autonomy [. . .] However, trying to impose some doctrine or hard basic rules on [. . .] information flow and sharing has therefore been very problematic in being accepted.35 This quote from a senior UN official in New York manages to grasp the core dilemma portrayed in this article. It describes decentralization as a gift, a strength, and an important part of the organizational design of UN peacekeeping. This especially provides flexibility in a business that has to adapt to highly dynamic and precarious environments in post-war countries. In such a complex setting, gaps and the development of different organizational perspectives, such as the disconnection between DPKO and UNMIL assessed in this article, are inevitable. It may be necessary, as both DPKO and UNMIL are facing different challenges in their political work, to develop different interests and procedures of interaction. However, this article has also shown that communication processes are often used as measures to protect autonomy within the organizational setting. Even though this protectionism might create some coherence within the own organizational perspective, it fosters the disconnection between headquarters and the mission. It also prevents the creation of common organizational standards and plausible interferences from the other side. 32. Interviews, 3 and 10 March 2011 (for both see fn. 6). 33. Ibid. 34. Interview, 10 March 2012 (see fn. 6) and background discussion (see fn. 18). 35. Interview with a senior UN official, New York, 11 October 2010.


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In this article, the communication behavior in the headquarters perspective of DPKO has been assessed as protective in three interconnected ways: First, in protection of basic principles, such as the primacy of the political. Even though military advice, competency, and field experience should be needed in managing an enterprise that involves sending thousands of troops into post-war settings, political interests and arguments have priority regardless of their reflection of the realities in the mission. The second form of protectionism concerns the visibility and profile of individual staff and their work. Members of middle management have to find their role and scope of action within a complex web of authority that does not necessarily reproduce formally assigned functions. Thus, communication tools such as Code Cables are used to create visibility of actions without actually taking over full responsibility for these actions as it has to run through a hierarchical signature process. Moreover, Code Cables usually create additional work for staff members in UNMIL and are often perceived as a burden, as they rarely serve as a method of individual visibility from the mission perspective. Third, communication practices are used to defend a certain amount of autonomy of DPKO toward the member states of the Security Council. This not only means communicative action is politically framed toward the interests in the Security Council, but it also explains a structural lack of strategic interest, as this diffuses responsibility of any mission failures. The communicative behavior within the mission perspective of UNMIL may also be summarized as protective in three ways: First, it protects the sources of power and influence of UNMIL within the political context of Liberia. Even though the mandate sets the legal framework, the ability to shape politics in Liberia is created locally, especially through effective self-information. The mission itself is the first recipient of the hierarchical information selection and interpretation process. Similar to the headquarters perspective of DPKO, the second form of protectionism focuses on the visibility and profile of the scope of action of individual UNMIL staff members. However, the methods in UNMIL differ to those in DPKO. Visibility and the protection of thematic territories are often linked with the prominence of the issue at stake. A formal connection to the subject of security, for example, promises attention and access to donor funds, as it is the top priority of the mission. The example of the development of the peacebuilding priority plan has shown how interference from New York, especially if it is connected to financial resources, can substantially disrupt the setting of individual organizational actors and lead to conflicts and defensive reactions within the organizational perspective of UNMIL. Third, UNMIL has developed mechanisms of information filtering and processing, which protects the mission from such interferences of DPKO. Especially the office of the SRSG in UNMIL serves as a buffer between the mission and DPKO, carefully controlling the information that is sent to headquarters as well as processing incoming requests. This also includes protecting day-to-day work in the mission from demands for UNMIL withdrawal or defending a mission compromise for the biannual report of the secretary general from the requirements and interests of OO in DPKO, which are assigned with the final coordination and drafting of the document. Organizational theory suggests that different perspectives in a complex and differentiated organization provide the basis of day-to-day decision making (e.g., Orton and Weick 1990, Luhmann 2006). This study underlines the importance to include these internal dynamics of organizational life into the study of international peace operations. In the interaction processes with counterparts of UN peacekeeping bureaucracy, such as the member states in the Security Council or the government of Liberia, the overall organizational objectives or norms rarely determine the process and outcomes of negotiations (e.g., Barnett and Zßrcher 2008, Zßrcher et al. 2013). Rather, organizational actors at different levels have to adjust to the interests of the other side. They also have to find ways to use their organizational perspective as a powerful stance as well as how to respond to the programmatic objectives of peacekeeping. The findings of this study suggest that these dynamics and struggles can lead to organizational internal protectionism and dysfunction. Protective communication behavior is mostly directed toward the defense of autonomy, scope of action, and recognition both at the


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individual and the organizational level. However, it undermines productive interaction beyond the limits of its own organizational perspective. It creates misunderstandings, sentiments, and conflicts within the organizational setting of UN peacekeeping. Moreover, it also prevents effective learning from experiences and the creation of institutional knowledge and memory that is not solely connected to personalities and interpersonal contacts. As important as it is to protect the autonomy of different organizational actors in a decentralized organizational system, it is also necessary to bridge differences with a systematic approach of information and knowledge sharing. In recent years, the UN has tried to implement some measures to enhance this exchange, such as the web-based Communities of Practice, which allow UN staff who are working on specific subjects to share experiences from all over the world.36 However, as this study has shown, more effort should be made. In conclusion, two suggestions for the development of the communication management in the organization of UN peacekeeping can be made. The first approach should be based on formal arrangements, which allow for a systematic exchange or rotation of UN staff in order to experience and understand the different organizational perspectives of UN peacekeeping. The recruiting system currently does not enable such an exchange. Headquarters’ staff often manages to gather some experience in the field. On the other hand, it is rather accidental that someone from UNMIL applies for a job in DPKO and manages to strive professionally in this very competitive environment.37 However, a systematic exchange of mission staff could be helpful to decrease the sentiments in the field toward headquarters, as it enhances the understanding of the requirements within the headquarters perspective. The second approach is to encourage increased informal exchange between the middle management staff in headquarters and missions. This type of informal interaction has often been discouraged by senior leadership in order to prevent any leaks and spreads of politically delicate information and rumors. However, professionals should be entrusted with the responsibility over certain information in order to informally exchange views and experiences with counterparts. Through such interaction, learning processes may be started and produce an added value in the work within the organization of UN peacekeeping. REFERENCES Barnett, Michael and Martha Finnemore (2004) Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Barnett, Michael and Christoph Zürcher (2008) “The Peacebuilder’s Contract: How External Statebuilding Reinforces Weak Statehood.” In Paris, Roland and Timothy D. Sisk (eds.) The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations, Abington and New York: Routledge. Benner, Thorsten, Stephan Mergenthaler and Philipp Rotmann (2011) The New World of UN Peace Operation: Learning to Build Peace? Oxford: Oxford University Press. Luhmann, Niklas (2006) Organisation und Entscheidung, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Orton, J. Douglas and Karl E. Weick (1990) “Loosely Coupled Systems: A Reconceptualization,” The Academy of Management Review, 15, 203–23. Schlichte, Klaus and Alex Veit (2007) Coupled Arenas: Why state-building is so difficult, Working Papers Micropolitics No. 3, Berlin. Trettin, Frederik and Joel Gwyn Winckler (2012) Die Friedenmissionen der Vereinten Nationen. Komplexe Organisationen mit schwierigen internen Herausforderungen. Vereinte Nationen, 115–200.

36. Interviews with two UN officials in DPKO, New York, 22 and 25 October 2010, and interview with UNMIL official, 21 March 2011 (see fn. 23). 37. Interview (see fn.1).


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United Nations in Liberia (31 October 2008) Working Group on UN Field Structure and Support. Addendum: Final Recommendations. Winckler, Joel Gwyn (2011) “Managing the Complexities of Intervention: United Nations Peace Operations as Organisational Action,” Peace, Conflict and Development, 83–103. Zürcher, Christoph, Carrie Manning, Kristie Evenson, Rachel Hayman, Sarah Riese and Nora Roehner (2013) Costly Democracy: Peacebuilding and Democratization After War, Stanford: Stanford University Press.


Multiple Actors and Centers of Agency? Examining the UN as a Competitive Arena for Norm Change by John Karlsrud, Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs Processes of norm change in international organizations have begun to be unpacked and evidence of “dysfunctional behaviour,” “pathologies,” or “organized hypocrisy” has been displayed. However, norm change processes often meet obstacles in the form of political bargaining and horse-trading, turf battles between UN entities, and bureaucratic resistance to implement change. In this article, I will look at the UN as a competitive arena where states, think-tanks, academia, and NGOs form informal policy alliances or “linked ecologies” to further norm goals. These processes aim to circumvent spoiling and turf battles between UN entities and strengthen informal consultations to avoid political horse-trading on difficult issues. As a case study, I will look at the process of establishing the integrated missions concept in UN peacekeeping. Introduction Existing theory looking at agency in international organizations (IOs) has so far mostly been concerned with the interests of states—particularly, powerful ones. In recent years, increasing autonomy and indirect agency has been accorded to IOs in constructivist literature, looking at how IOs at times act in contradiction to prescripts set by their constituencies— the member states (Barnett and Finnemore 1999, 2004, Lipson 2007, Weaver 2008). This volume takes a further step in this direction and explores how UN actions can be understood as bureaucratic spoiling, dissent-shirking, obstruction, sabotage, pathological behavior, and organized hypocrisy. This article will not deny that this kind of behavior takes place, but it will try to better explain the conflicting norm pressures that exist and how these norms evolve and change. Looking at UN peacekeeping, this article argues there is a need to further refine the analysis to discern who the main actors with agency are (see also Avant et al. 2010). I argue that norms wax and wane in the international system, and that small and large member states, academic institutions, think-tanks, and individuals at key positions may play a central role in the norm change processes that are taking place. To theorize the interaction between these actors, I turn to the sociology of professions to describe how different professional environments may make policy alliances to advance new norms, prescripts, rules, and concepts. To conceptualize the location of these alliances, I use the concept of arena and argue the UN can be seen as a competitive arena in a narrow and a wide sense. In a narrow sense, member states come together and discuss matters of common concern inside the UN. In a wide sense, I argue that to circumvent spoiling, bureaucratic turf battles, and political horse-trading, informal policy alliances are formed, partially outside the UN, to form consensus in informal fora before advancing a norm on the global agenda. To exemplify these theoretical arguments, the advancement of the concept of “integrated missions” is used as an empirical example. Although generally considered a concept and not a norm, I show the integrated missions concept had staunch supporters and opponents. The supporters were trying to improve the ability of the UN system to deliver assistance in a more effective and coordinated manner and improve accountability to host populations. Those JIOS, VOL. 5, ISSUE 1, 2014


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opposing the concept were doing this based on their conviction that humanitarian aid should not be politicized or securitized, which are strong norms in the humanitarian domain. Thus, I argue the process is a valid case study for understanding the processes of norm change within the UN. Finally, I turn to the question of legitimacy of the norm development processes. If norm development is not the result of the common will of the member states of the UN but rather a result of policy alliances formed to advance particular norms, are these norms then legitimate? I argue that indeed, even if the norms may be the result of the work of a limited number of actors that may not be representative of the collective will of the organization, there also has to be a certain ripeness for a new norm to emerge. If not, counter pressures will be sufficiently strong to stop the advance of the norm in question. Understanding Norm Change in International Organizations During the last three decades, the manner in which the norms for international organizations change has come under increasing scrutiny. So far, IOs’ existence has been explained by neorealists as being created to reflect state preferences and that powerful states ultimately decide outcomes in IOs (Waltz 2000: 26, Waltz 1979, Krasner 2009). According to Mearsheimer, neorealists view the international system as a “brutal arena where states look for opportunities to take advantage of each other. . . . International relations is not a constant state of war, but is a state of relentless security competition” (1994: 9). Based on economic and rational choice theory, Keohane argues that, out of self-interest, states cooperate and establish international regimes to realize common interests, reducing transaction costs and limiting uncertainty (1984: 13). Rational institutionalism treats IOs as mechanisms through which states act to reduce transaction costs, uncertainty and deter cheating (Koremenos et al. 2001). Examining IOs as bureaucracies, Barnett and Finnemore give examples of IOs and their staff acting autonomously in ways unintended and unanticipated at their foundation, showing that IOs are capable of creating their own norms, rules, and practices independent of, and unintended by, their creators (Barnett and Finnemore 2004). Bureaucracies are composed of rules and are constantly reinterpreting old rules and producing new rules, defining the behavior of the organization, its officials and member states alike. Rules are explicit or implicit norms and regulations guiding, proscribing or prescribing action, defining the world and are constitutive of the identity and culture of the organization. The relationship between rules and bureaucrats is mutually constitutive and dynamic, and at any given time several rules may be applicable. Dysfunctional behavior based on bureaucratic culture may occur when the IO must make difficult choices where several imperatives may apply at once. The authority of the organization establishes the basis for autonomous action and IOs may choose ways to solve problems that may not be in line with espoused goals. However, by employing the concept of bureaucratic culture and stressing the uniformity of action this imposes on UN staff, Barnett and Finnemore disregard the potential impact other actors have on the norm formation of peacekeeping. The secretary-general may act as a norm entrepreneur and use high-level panels composed of statesmen, member state diplomats, and prominent researchers to advance thinking on topics of particular concern (Annan 2007: xii, Johnstone 2007). In recent years, there has been a broadening of the perspective by which actors may be considered to have agency in global governance. Studies have investigated how advocacy networks, private companies, and NGOs may be considered as global governors (Weiss et al. 2009, Jolly et al. 2009, Avant et al. 2010). However, while this literature supports the claim of this article that there is a need to look at classes of actors other than member states, a theoretical framework for explaining how these classes of actors interact is still missing. Sociology of Professions as an Analytical Framework According to Abbott, “Professions are exclusive occupational groups applying somewhat abstract knowledge to particular cases” (1988: 8). Control of the occupation relies on control


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of the profession-specific practices and concepts or, in other words, the generation of doctrine and policy guiding practices. Similarly to Weber, Abbott identifies jurisdiction as the central connecting element between a profession and its work (Ibid.: 20).1 Drawing upon Weber, Barnett and Finnemore look at how IOs as bureaucracies establish “jurisdictional competency” or rational-legal authority in their areas of expertise (Barnett and Finnemore 1998). However, they are excluding from their analysis how bureaucratic control of a policy area tends to be created in close cooperation with think-tanks, donor governments, and other actors who have similar interests in the area of discussion. Barnett and Finnemore do make reference to the importance of the external environment but do not investigate this matter at any depth. In the area of peacekeeping, the UN has been reliant upon funding and support from donor governments to develop doctrines and best practices since the end of the Cold War (Benner and Rotmann 2008). Staff has been moving through “revolving doors” between being practitioners in IOs, policymakers at think tanks, and officials in government institutions. Middle powers and donor governments like the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden have pushed the development of a doctrine for peacekeeping, with dedicated government offices having peacekeeping on the agenda and funding the development of policy reports, discussions around new concepts and recommendations, and even best-practices positions on peacekeeping at UN headquarters (Ibid., Benner et al. 2007). Taking into consideration the close interaction between these actors, a closer look at how this dynamic has evolved and what consequences it has for the development of doctrines and evolving practices within the UN is called for. Building on the sociology of professions, it is possible to argue the jurisdictional competency of the UN peacekeeping bureaucracy is partly being dictated by the development of a profession of peacekeeping and the staff that makes up this new profession (Abbott 1988, Abbott 2005, Fourcade 2006). Applying Abbott on the development of peacekeeping as a profession, we see the importance of developing the concepts, diagnosis, and prescripts—in essence the doctrines that guide peacekeeping operations—to establish jurisdictional claims on the area of peacekeeping. External actors from different institutional contexts such as think tanks, donor officials, and academics have been essential in this process. According to the conceptual framework of Abbott, these different institutional contexts may be called “ecologies.” Building on Abbott, Fourcade, studying the transnationalization of economics, has identified how professions achieve jurisdictional competency and claims on a global level. Fourcade identifies transnational connectedness as one of the dimensions underlying the globalization of the economics profession (Fourcade 2006: 168), and it is also a constitutive dimension of concept formation within the area of peacekeeping. Increased movement of staff between various government institutions, think tanks, and UN offices is also a characteristic trait in the area of peacekeeping. Fourcade has shown how actors within different ecologies form coalitions or “hinges” with like-minded actors to influence practices and gain control over a policy “location” (Fourcade 2006). Building on these, Seabrooke and Tsingou argue that an alliance of actors will then “influence how certain policy problems are understood and inform broader norms on how policy problems should be legitimately addressed” (Seabrooke and Tsingou 2009: 3). Linking this argument with the concept of norm entrepreneurs, I argue that an alliance of actors from linked ecologies may form a policy alliance to advance a new norm. In the area of peacekeeping, the UN is the primary arena for advancing norms. To locate the interaction of these ecologies, I use the arena concept, in a somewhat different way than neorealists and rational institutionalists do, by looking at the UN as a competitive arena for informal norm change alliances. It will employ two understandings of arena—a wide and a narrow. In the narrow sense, member states come together in the UN, discuss matters of 1. According to Weber, an official in the bureaucratic hierarchy is a person with expert training who has “jurisdictional competency” and executes his or her tasks according to “calculable rules and without regard for persons” (Weber et al. 1946: 197, 215).


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common concern, and establish regimes along the lines described by rational institutionalism. Informal policy alliances or linked ecologies compete to frame issues and build support for new norms, concepts, and rules. These norms, concepts, or rules may be advanced on altruistic grounds to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization, or to strengthen the sovereignty of member states. In a wider sense, member states, along with many other actors, pursue policy agendas and prepare their arguments outside of the “official” UN with the ultimate aim of advancing norms inside the organization. In the case study on integrated missions, I will pursue this argument further and show how the wider understanding of the UN as a competitive arena is an important addition to how we understand norm change processes in the international system. Case Study: Establishing the Integrated Missions Concept With the expansion of UN involvement in internal conflicts after the end of the Cold War, the issue of how the different parts of the UN should work together on the ground quickly surfaced. In the years prior to taking up the assignment as secretary-general in 1997, Kofi Annan had a series of postings that gave him a clear insight to the challenges the UN was confronted with in this area. He launched a reform program that, inter alia, sought to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of UN peacekeeping operations on the ground in order to better serve host populations (United Nations 1997). The peacekeeping and special political missions were headed by special or personal representatives of the secretary-general, and these would “have authority over all UN entities” (Ibid.: 39, bold in original). The combination of the peacekeeping mission and the other UN entities would constitute an “integrated mission.” Following the decision to better integrate peacekeeping missions with the other UN entities on the ground, the secretary-general issued a Note of Guidance in 2000 (United Nations 2000), where the initial statement that the special representative of the secretary-general (SRSG) “will have authority over all UN entities” (United Nations 1997: 39) was significantly watered down. Instead, the guidance only gave the SRSG/RSG the authority to establish the political framework and the responsibility to provide overall leadership to the UN Country Team, which is composed of the UN agencies, funds, and programs present in the country. The direct authority vis-à-vis the UN Resident Coordinator (RC), who is responsible for all development activities undertaken by UN agencies in a country, and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), who is responsible for all humanitarian activities undertaken by UN entities in a country, as well as coordinating with other humanitarian actors, was diminished and delegated to the UN headquarters (HQ) who would decide on the level of integration on a case-by-case basis: “The RC/HC will, whenever feasible, serve as Deputy Special Representative/Representative of the Secretary-General, on the basis of a decision at UN Headquarters” (United Nations 2000: 2). As a general guideline, the RC should “keep the SRSG/RSG informed” and the “information-sharing among the SRSG/RSG and the RC/HC is essential” (Ibid.: 1). With these rather loose and ad-hoc-based guidelines, integration of UN activities on the country level took many shapes in the years that followed. The issuance of the guidance coincided with the second large expansion of peacekeeping operations after the Cold War. From 1999 and onward, the UN deployed a number of new missions to countries like Timor Leste, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Haiti, and Liberia. By 2004, the troop deployment numbers had reached the previous high of the nineties and kept climbing.2 By 2006, twenty Department of Peacekeeping Operations-led (DPKO) operations were ongoing around the world, with more than 100,000 troops and civilians deployed. According to Espen Barth Eide, who was one of the two lead writers of the Report on Integrated Missions, the work “started with the reform agenda of Kofi Annan in 1997 and it coincided with the broader system-wide coherence reform agenda during 2000s” (E.B. Eide, 2. All statistics are from http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/resources/statistics/.


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personal communication, 20 June 2011).3 Jan Egeland, the UN under secretary-general for the Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) at the time, argues that the integrated missions concept was based on the Brahimi Report, which should become active policy (J. Egeland, personal communication, 29 May 2011).4 The Brahimi Report had been issued in 2000 and became the main reference for the reform process for peacekeeping operations during the next decade.5 Egeland felt there was strong common agreement within the UN that the “UN pulled in too many directions and the result was unclear” (Ibid.). The integrated missions concept was the elongation of the One UN concept, where the RC and HC should have a stronger role and the UN should be co-located. The SRSG should coordinate military, political, development, and humanitarian efforts. Against integration were first and foremost some of the development agencies and, more so, NGOs. The most fundamental critique came from the IASC (Inter-agency Standing Committee) where the NGO-alliance (part of the IASC) was strongly against integration. MSF (Médecines Sans Frontières) said they would break off contact with the UN if integration went too far (Ibid.). From 2003, all missions were supposed to be integrated in the field, but according to Egeland, “this was a controversial move by the SG” (Ibid.). Eide informed that they “found that the practices on the ground in many cases were far more advanced than the policy debate in New York” (E.B. Eide, personal communication, 20 June 2011). However, they also saw there “was a tension between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ UN, i.e., the existing funds, agencies, and programmes on the ground and a peacekeeping mission. The old often have a closer relationship to the host government while the peacekeeping mission comes in with a lot of resources and insists on impartiality” (Ibid.). Practices in the field varied widely. As an example, both Eide and Egeland mentioned the discrepancies between the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. In Sierra Leone, SRSG Alan Doss was perceived as capable of achieving more integration and providing an example for other countries, while SRSG Klein in Liberia had great difficulties in achieving integration with the humanitarian organizations (J. Egeland, personal communication, 29 May 2011). While some of the reasons for the lack of integration were substantive, such as the fear of humanitarian actors losing their impartiality, others were rooted in internal UN politics and turf battles. This did not only come to the fore in the field (Blume 2007) but also at headquarters: Both mission and UNCT personnel pointed out to the Study Team that some of the limitations to integration in the field actually flowed from the fact that headquarters itself remain[ed] fragmented. Frequent turf battles in HQ were an example cited by many as a constraint on more effective integration, beginning with the prospect of system-wide planning processes. It was argued that the actors in the field couldn’t be expected to solve these issues on their own while receiving contradictory signals from their respective headquarters. (Eide et al. 2005: 18) A research team was put together in 2003–04 and visited a number of countries in 2004 to assess how integration was working in practice, to record challenges, and to assess best practices.6 The team was led by Espen Barth Eide, the director of the UN Programme at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and a former deputy minister of foreign affairs, and Randolph Kent, a former UN humanitarian coordinator in Somalia. Their findings were presented at a conference in Oslo in May 2005 (Ibid.: 47). 3. Eide was the deputy minister of foreign affairs, Norway, at the time of the interview, and later the minister of foreign affairs until October 2013. 4. Jan Egeland was at the time the director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), where the author is employed. 5. While the Brahimi Report did not mention integrated missions per se, it underscored the need to harness all the resources of the UN to consolidate peace and reestablish a stable and legitimate government that can provide the essential services to its population. United Nations (21 August 2000): Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations [Brahimi Report], UN doc. A/55/305-S/2000/809. The report became known as the Brahimi Report after the name of Chairman Lakhdar Brahimi. 6. The team visited Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The remainder of the countries with a peacekeeping mission was covered by desk studies and interviews. See Annex 1: Terms of Reference (Eide et al. 2005: 47).


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The Follow-Up Process to the Report on Integrated Missions Norway is explicit about its view of the organization as an arena where norms are formed and the responsibility of the organization is to further these norms: “A UN-led world order is in the interest of Norway. We need a UN that functions as a global arena, norm-setter and executive body” (Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2012). Eide, who became the deputy minister of defense only months after finishing the study, argued Norway “wanted a more efficient and effective UN that could work together” (E.B. Eide, personal communication, 20 June 2011). Within the Norwegian government, there was significant substantive capacity among the rest of the top leadership, understanding the needs of both the UN to work more efficiently, and for humanitarian actors to keep their impartiality. Raymond Johansen, who was then deputy minister of foreign affairs, used to be head of one of the main NGOs, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and Jonas Gahr Støre, the minister of foreign affairs, had previously been head of the Norwegian Red Cross. The report Eide had co-authored established that there was a wide range of practices in the field with regards to integration and how its implementation still varied widely. In terms of achieving the policy goal of establishing integrated missions as the default option, it was, however, slow. Micropolitics, bureaucratic turf battles, and political horse-trading were showstoppers for change, for which, in principle, there was support. According to Jostein Leiro, who was the head of the UN section at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time, the integrated missions concept was a clear and simple idea, and while there was a need and wish to discuss the issue, there were relatively few arenas where the issue could be discussed in an open and informal manner. Commenting on the work to develop policy for peacekeeping operations that was on-going concurrently, he argued there were internal limitations to these processes. UN reform processes regularly meet a number of obstacles—turf battles and sticking to established positions—so it was advantageous that the integrated mission discussions were taking place outside the UN in an informal setting (Karlsrud 2013a). Moving the debate to the outside arena and making informal consultations to prepare the discussion on the inside arena helps to avoid politicizing the subject: “It is about fifteen countries in the world that has a continuing and substantive debate about the UN at the domestic level. For other countries it is the delegation to the UN and the MFA that sets the agenda, and often substantive issues will be secondary to other political objectives that the countries want to achieve or espouse at the UN” (E.B. Eide, personal communication, 20 June 2011). Norway chose to engage in an informal manner and funded consultations and workshops in Beijing, Addis Ababa, Geneva, New York, Johannesburg, and Brussels during 2006 and 2007. The consultations ended with a two-day conference in Oslo in 2007, named Multidimensional and Integrated Peace Operations: Trends and Challenges.7 This enabled states to discuss the issues in an informal manner and share their experiences. During the consultations, participation was at times surprisingly high with people from a variety of backgrounds. The consultation in Beijing yielded the somewhat surprising result that China could share its experiences in integrated response to domestic natural crises (J. Leiro, personal communication, 27 June 2011).8 Establishing support for the concept of integration on a regional level before starting the policy debate at UN headquarters was essential to the success of the process, according to the interviewees. Establishing support by member states also significantly reduced the chance of the reform effort falling prey to internal turf battles between UN entities. According to Eide as well as Leiro, the follow-up process was a resounding success. Leiro argued there were only a few countries interested in conceptual change in the UN system and that have diverted resources over time to increase the knowledge about the organization, both in-house as well as to research institutes and think tanks (Ibid.). Continued 7. For more about the conference, the agenda, and the participants, visit http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/ud/selected-topics/un/ integratedmissions.html?id=465886. 8. Leiro was deputy director general, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, at the time of the interview.


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engagement with the topic gave Norway the necessary know-how. This, combined with the relatively large financial contributions that Norway has been giving to various UN entities, and being perceived as a relatively impartial state, positioned Norway to engage itself in policy change processes within the UN. Other countries have since launched similar policy processes with peacekeeping operations as the main focus, but these have been more formal than the follow-up process on integrated missions, according to Leiro (J. Leiro, personal communication, 27 June 2011).9 Leiro also argues there is a need for a good network to draw upon the various actors engaged in the issue and that need to contribute to and own the solution. Through engaging these actors and involving them throughout the process, their ownership would be strengthened. Policy, practice, and academia should be involved and could contribute to connecting experiences and knowledge from different institutional backgrounds. Part of this network was built through the close relationship that had been established over time between the working-level staff in the various organizations. According to Egeland, it was David Harland, then head of DPKO Policy Best Practices Service, and Mark Bowden, who had the equivalent position at UN OCHA Policy Development and Studies Branch, who suggested that Espen Barth Eide at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) should, together with Randolph Kent, be the main authors of the report (J. Egeland, personal communication, 29 May 2011).10 According to Mark Bowden, Eide was chosen by DPKO. He was then the head of the UN Programme at NUPI and had a string of publications on peacekeeping operations and other UN-related issues (M. Bowden, personal communication, 3 September 2012). Kent had been the HC in Somalia, Kosovo, and Rwanda and knew both Mark Bowden and David Harland from earlier assignments, while he was still part of the UN (R. Kent, personal communication, 7 September 2013). This shows the level of influence that working-level staff has on these kinds of policy processes. They can identify individuals who enjoy credibility among the stakeholders and who are perceived to take into consideration the views of all the actors. Thus, Norway played a significant role in the institutionalization of the integrated missions concept, taking part in the writing of the Report on Integrated Missions with Eide as one of the key authors, having Jan Egeland as the USG for OCHA at the time, and funding the follow-up process, which built more ownership for the concept among member states, practitioners from the humanitarian, development and peacekeeping domains, academic institutions, and think tanks. But they would not have succeeded in institutionalizing the concept without building a policy alliance with the other stakeholders. Arranging regional consultations ensured that sufficient knowledge, as well as ownership, among all stakeholders was established. However, it is uncertain whether the process may be considered a success. The process of establishing the integrated missions concept was fraught with many challenges. First, many member states did not understand what the reform fuss was all about: “Isn’t that what the UN should be doing anyway?” (UN official, personal communication, 2 October 2012). That the UN should be coordinated and under single control in the field seemed self-evident to most member states. Second, the fact that integrated missions continue to be run along three separate funding schemes, even when they are integrated, limits the level of actual integration that can be achieved in the field. While a formal integrated structure may be put in place, the reality is that humanitarian agencies still obtain their funding through core funding and pledges to the Consolidated Appeals, development agencies have their separate funding arrangements, and the peacekeeping mission has its budget from the assessed budget of the UN Secretariat. Some mitigating factors are the establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the pledge 9. The following paragraphs are based on the interview with Leiro. UK and France launched the “New Horizon” process in July 2009, looking at reform of UN peacekeeping operations. For more, see http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/operations/newhorizon.shtml. 10. The main authors were supported by Anja Kaspersen from NUPI and Karin von Hippel, who had worked with the UN and EU in Somalia and Kosovo.


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to fund gaps identified between these actors through the Integrated Strategic Framework, but these sources are small compared to the regular funding streams of humanitarian and development actors. Third, the actual implementation of the concept on the ground has never managed to realize the spirit of the underlying intentions. As noted, according to one respondent, it “went from a nice idea to a checklist SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) and was caught in the HQ loop, dumbed down to what HQ departments can deal with” (Ibid.). Although “integrated planning” in principle sounds very good to all involved, it can easily become a rather pointless and demanding exercise if there is no funding attached to the planning. In recent years, with the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Framework planning process, efforts have been made to link the planning process with funding, creating some incentives to get involved in the planning process. There have been some changes in how operations are structured, but, for the above reasons, these are often only skin deep. The Contribution of Linked Ecologies to Norm Change Taking into account the relatively small number of actors involved in advancing the norm of the integrated missions concept, a lingering question would be whether this norm development process is legitimate? Avant et al. have taken agency in global governance as a starting point and looked at who and what classes of actors may be considered “global governors” (Avant et al. 2010). They define global governors as “authorities who exercise power across borders for the purpose of affecting policy” (Ibid.: 2) and include NGOs, private companies, states, and international organizations among these authorities. When examining the legitimacy upon which the authority of these actors rest, they find that authority generally has several components, including institutional, delegated, expert, principled, and capacity-based authority (Ibid.: 11–14). This article agrees with this classification of various types of authority that global governors may draw upon but would add that authority is intimately dependent on the constituencies that global governors are communicating with and accountable to, which at any given time are multiple and diverse in nature. In the case of integrated missions, the main rationale behind the integrated missions process and the policy alliance driving this process was to make the UN deliver more efficiently and effectively to the countries hosting peacekeeping missions. Member states from the Global South were another set of constituents, perhaps more concerned with whether this process was imposed by Western states. Regional consultations provided a better anchoring of the concept. The humanitarian community felt threatened by the potential securitization and politicization of humanitarian aid that could follow from integrating the management of humanitarian, peacekeeping, and development pillars, and their concerns needed to be heard and accounted for in the process. The legitimacy of the process must consequently be evaluated from the viewpoints of all these groups, and to consult these various constituencies was a key part of the process. Finally, through the case study it has become clear that the working level is particularly important, something also highlighted in the article by Trettin and Junk in this issue. Individuals on working levels are establishing connections with colleagues. Interaction between different ecologies opens up different perspectives and stimulates the policy debate that percolates up to the state level over time. An officer in the DPKO Policy and Best-Practices Service (PBPS) argued that “academics can analyse issues much more frankly, which allows for provocativeness and frankness. This is helpful for us—it is easier for someone external to say something, and this can be used to start a broader policy dialogue” (UN official, personal communication, 17 June 2011). The importance of working-level participation was also highlighted by Eide with regards to the consultation that was arranged in Beijing: “Nationally, China had strong integration of their support systems and operations for natural disasters, and they could bring this thinking to the table, especially since they brought working level staff” (E.B. Eide, personal


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communication, 20 June 2011). The working-level participation ensures informed discussions and helps avoid the discussions reverting to political and principled positions: It is crucial for the success of a policy process that long-term relationships are built with people in working level positions. In the case of the integrated missions process, David Harland, as head of the Best Practices Section, Salman Ahmed and David Haeri were key interlocutors at the UN. Traditional politics often focus at the top level, but these individuals seldom have all the knowledge needed to understand the issues and will revert to political positions. (Ibid.) According to Eide, the influence Norway wields on policy processes and norm change processes in the UN is due to a long-term engagement and investment in establishing networks and relationships with working level officials, expertise on the nitty-gritty functioning of the UN, and funding policy research in think tanks that have a proven track record of influencing policy processes: There are few academic networks within the area of peacekeeping. Norway is engaged and knows who are the important actors. The Norwegian MFA spends much money on think-tanks in the US where policy often originates. In the US think-tanks play a major role as agenda setters as there is a tradition for a leaner government sector. It is also very important to solidly anchor the process in the UN, the process need to be with them and for them, not against them, to be allied to make the UN better. Through such partnerships Norway has the ability to shape UN processes. (Ibid.) Another important factor is that Norway is generally perceived as having little negative political ballast, being a neutral and impartial actor with the main aim of improving how the UN works on the ground. While the goal of a policy change process is often to increase the effectiveness of the organization, the question of legitimacy is always present, and should be addressed through regional consultations where member states have the opportunity to share their opinions in informal settings, and the involvement of working-level staff to make sure that the discussions are substantive and don’t revert to political positions. Even though this case study has exposed significant challenges involved in establishing and implementing the integrated missions concept, I would maintain that it also provides a wealth of material for the study of how norm processes in the UN in general, and UN peacekeeping in particular, proceeded in the period from 2003 to 2007 and has continued today. The key features highlighted here are common to most processes and may provide a fruitful framework for analyzing other processes of norm change. We have identified at least eight key elements of such a process. First, and most important, the UN links up with other actors or ecologies to expand the knowledge base and create informal alliances of the UN, interested member states, think tanks/research institutes, NGOs, and other concerned actors. Second, in this process, the working level is particularly important, as it is here that the UN bureaucracy links up with external actors who actually drive the process forward. Third, think tanks, research institutes, and NGOs that develop concepts and ideas together with the UN may test out ideas with various constituencies in a way that the UN—vulnerable to member-state sensitivities—cannot. In this manner they may also serve as useful intermediary tools for co-optation of activist groups. Fourth, the revolving doors phenomenon, of staff moving between the different ecologies throughout their careers, creates networks of actors that can ensure speedy transmission and discussion of ideas across ecologies, preparing the ground for informal policy alliances or linked ecologies to be formed and ideas to be developed. Fifth, and closely related to several of the points above, the use of expert teams and high-level panels that has come to characterize most norm-change processes over the past decade has mainstreamed and institutionalized the linking of ecologies, on both working and senior levels, and has become a staple ingredient of such processes. Sixth, regional consultations are essential for grounding ideas, and feeding best practices, inputs, and viewpoints from various regions and countries into the process—this may improve the


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chances that the norm in question will not fall victim to political bargaining in New York and may increase the buy-in for the substantive arguments of a particular norm. Seventh, donor countries remain important drivers of norm-change processes because of the funding they provide as well as the institutional and substantive capacity they often bring to bear on a particular issue. Eighth—and this is an enduring point—the environment must be ripe for a norm to proceed, and often there may be only a temporary window of opportunity. Conclusion The UN has two main functions: It is an arena where member states meet and establish regimes for global governance, and it is an actor (or indeed several actors) that implements the tasks entrusted to it by member states. This article has tried to nuance and deepen the understanding of how norms are changed in this setting and who are the important actors in this process. I have demonstrated how existing theories have significant shortcomings in grasping how anomalous behavior may be theorized and how norms are formed in the international system. The sociology of professions can augment constructivist theory to account for how other actors affect norm formation in organizations. As has been demonstrated, the UN is reliant on donors, think tanks, and academic institutions to develop and implement reform processes. This gives these actors a more central role than previously argued in the evolution or codification processes of norms in the UN. In the process of advancing the integrated missions concept, it was underscored by the Norwegian diplomats that they were successful because they, as one of a handful of states, had invested time and resources in acquiring knowledge about the UN as an organization and wanted to improve how it was working through relatively low-visibility reform efforts. Another important factor was engaging with member states through informal regional consultations to build knowledge and ownership to avoid that the reform process should fall victim to political horse-trading at the UN headquarters. In the article, the UN has been described as a competitive arena on two levels, with a focus on process. First, looking at the preparation phase of advancing norm change, I studied the process of the integrated missions study and the following regional consultations, allowing for framing of the issue and building knowledge and ownership around the concept. This improved the chances to advance the integrated missions concept on the arena of the UN in New York, where states formally discuss issues of common concern, and establish and modify rules guiding the operations of the organization. In this manner, I have also added conceptual depth to the arena concept as understood in international relations. The main rationale behind the integrated missions norm process and the policy alliance driving this process was to enable the UN to deliver more efficiently and effectively to the countries hosting peacekeeping missions. Member states were a further set of constituents, perhaps more concerned with whether this process was something imposed by the West. Regional consultations provided for a better anchoring of the concept in national Ministries of Foreign Affairs before moving to discussions between member states at the UN headquarters in New York and implementation in the field. The humanitarian community was uneasy about the potential securitization and politicization of humanitarian aid that could follow from integrating the management of humanitarian, peacekeeping, and development pillars, and these concerns needed to be heard and accounted for in the process. The legitimacy of the process must be evaluated from the viewpoints of all these groups, so consulting these various constituencies was a key part of the process. The integrated missions study noted frequent turf battles as a constraint to integration and the inability of the system to solve this problem on their own (Eide et al. 2005: 18). The choice to arrange regional consultations stemmed from a wish to circumvent spoiling, bureaucratic turf battles between various UN entities at UN headquarters in New York, Geneva, and elsewhere, and build knowledge and consensus with member states to avoid political horse-trading where substantive issues may well fall prey to political positions.


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The issue of legitimacy has also been discussed, considering that this view on norm development and change involves informal policy alliances who advance their ideas partially outside of the UN. However, as Eide also argues, the timing of furthering a new norm is key to success; there has to be a certain ripeness for the issue to stick to the agenda and be accepted by the stakeholders: “The timeliness of the initiative was important, there was ripeness in terms of most actors seeing a need for change in the UN system. Norway worked into this stream and tried to steer it rather than oppose it” (E.B. Eide, personal communication, 20 June 2011). If the timeliness and ripeness is not in place, the counter pressures will be sufficiently strong to silence and stop the advancement of a new norm. The role of working-level officials, practitioners, and researchers who link up and exchange views on an issue is under-researched and under-theorized (Felix da Costa and Karlsrud 2013; Karlsrud 2013b; Schia and Karlsrud 2013). Various theory approaches have investigated the role of NGOs but without systematically identifying how several other classes of actors also engage in norm-change processes and how these ecologies interact with each other, particularly at the working level. The UN relies on donors, think tanks, and academic institutions to develop policy and analysis capacity. This gives these actors a role in the processes of norm evolution and codification in the UN that is more central than previously argued. Linked ecologies, often through the working level, act as powerful drivers of change in the UN system. Various factors working together are important for the success of a policy process: consultations with substantive input and discussion, ripeness of the topic, and political and personal contacts. And here, human agency should not be underestimated. The ability of working-level officials to have agency in norm change processes also supports the overall argument of this issue. In sum, there is a need for a more pluralistic and complex understanding of norm development in IOs, “foregrounding agency” to illuminate what “functional and structural accounts obscure” (Avant et al. 2010: 370). While there are clearly many examples of dysfunctions, pathologies, and organized hypocrisy, there are also instances of practical innovation to achieve change and bend existing rules. States are not the only actors. NGOs, academic institutions, think tanks, sections within the UN, and powerful individuals are active constituents and guardians of the values of the organization. REFERENCES Abbott, Andrew D. (1998) The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Abbott, Andrew D. (2005) “Linked Ecologies: States and Universities as Environments for Professions,” Sociological Theory 23 (3) 245–274. Annan, Kofi A. (2007) “Foreword,” in Simon Chesterman (ed.): Secretary or General? The UN Secretary-General in World Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Avant, Deborah D., Martha Finnemore and Susan K. Sell (eds.) (2010) Who Governs the Globe? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Barnett, Michael N. and Martha Finnemore (1999) “The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations,” International Organization 53 (4): 699–732. Barnett, Michael N. and Martha Finnemore (2004) Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. Benner Thorsten, Andrea Binder and Philipp Rotmann (2007) “Learning to Build Peace? United Nations Peacebuilding and Organizational Learning: Developing a Research Framework,” GPPi Research Paper Series No. 7. Berlin: Global Public Policy Institute.


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Benner, Thorsten and Philipp Rotmann (2008) “Learning to Learn? UN Peacebuilding and the Challenges of Building a Learning Organization,” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 2 (1): 43–62. Blume, Till, (2008) “Implementing the Rule of Law in Integrated Missions: Security and Justice in the UN Mission in Liberia,” Journal of Security Sector Reform Management 6 (3): 1–17. Eide, Espen Barth, Anja Therese Kaspersen, Randolph Kent and Karen von Hippel (2005) Report on Integrated Missions: Practical Perspectives and Recommendations. New York: UN ECHA Core Group. Felix da Costa, Diana and John Karlsrud (2013) “‘Bending the rules’: the space between HQ policy and local action in UN Civilian Peacekeeping,” Journal of International Peacekeeping, 17 (3–4): 293–312. Fourcade, Marion (2006) “The Construction of a Global Profession: The Transnationalization of Economics,” American Journal of Sociology 112 (1): 145–194. Johnstone, Ian (2007) “The Secretary-General as Norm Entrepreneur: Secretary or General?” in Simon Chesterman (ed.) Secretary or General? The UN Secretary-General in World Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 123–38. Jolly, Richard, Louis Emmerij and Thomas G. Weiss (2009) UN Ideas that Changed the World, Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Keohane, Robert O. (1984) After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Karlsrud, John (2013a) “Responsibility to Protect and Theorising Normative Change in International Organisations: From Weber to the Sociology of Professions,” Global Responsibility to Protect 5 (1): 3–27. Karlsrud, John (2013b) “SRSGs as Norm Arbitrators? Understanding Bottom–Up Authority in UN Peacekeeping,” Global Governance, 19 (4): 525–44. Koremenos, Barbara, Charles Lipson, and Duncan Snidal (2001) “The Rational Design of International Institutions,” International Organization 55 (4): 761–99. Krasner, Stephen D. (2009) Power, the State, and Sovereignty: Essays on International Relations. London; New York: Routledge. Lipson, Michael (2007) “Peacekeeping: Organized Hypocrisy?” European Journal of International Relations 13 (1): 5–34. Mearsheimer, John J. (1994) “The False Promise of International Institutions,” International Security 19 (3): 5–49. Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2012) “Norway and the UN,” Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (online), available at http://www.norway.or.kr/aboutnorway/ government-and-policy/peace/un/, accessed 28 April 2012. Schia, Niels N. and John Karlsrud (2013) “‘Where the rubber meets the road’: Everyday friction and local level peacebuilding in South Sudan, Liberia and Haiti,” International Peacekeeping, 20(2): 233–48. Seabrooke, Leonard and Eleni Tsingou (2009) Revolving Doors and Linked Ecologies in the World Economy: Policy Locations and the Practice of International Financial Reform, Warwick: University of Warwick.


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Seabrooke, Leonard and Eleni Tsingou (2012) “Revolving Doors and Professional Ecologies in International Financial Governance.” Paper presented at the “Professions in International Political Economies” workshop, 14–15 June 2012. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School. United Nations (14 July 1997) Renewing the United Nations: A Programme for Reform. Report of the Secretary General, UN doc. A/51/950. United Nations (30 October 2000) Note of Guidance on Relations between Representatives of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinators and Humanitarian Coordinators. New York: United Nations. United Nations (21 August 2000) Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations [Brahimi Report], UN doc. A/55/305-S/2000/809. Waltz, Kenneth (2000) “Structural Realism after the Cold War,” International Security 25 (1): 5–41. Waltz, Kenneth (1979) Theory of International Politics, 1st ed. Boston, Mass.: McGraw-Hill. Weaver, Catherine (2008) Hypocrisy Trap: The World Bank and the Poverty of Reform, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Weber, Max, Hans H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (1946) From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, New York: Oxford University Press. Weiss, Thomas G., Tatiana Carayannis and Richard Jolly (2009) “The ‘Third’ United Nations,” Global Governance 15 (1): 123–42.


REVIEW Whither the Future of the International Labour Organization? by Stephanie MacLeod, University of Hull Maupain, Francis (2013) The Future of the International Labour Organization in the Global Economy, Oxford: Hart Publishing Ltd, ISBN 978-1-84946-502-1, 300 pages. Researchers and practitioners have become accustomed to appeals for systemic reform of the UN as a means to rebalance and better address the political realities of the twenty-first century. As the oldest body in the UN system, the International Labour Organization (ILO) is the prototypical case for deeper analysis into the viability of such grand-scale institutional reform. The ILO was one of the first intergovernmental organizations to set standards for relations between states and citizens. Now, with its centenary approaching in 2019, the ILO is faced with the need to modernize as a means to credibly respond to the challenges of globalization. Francis Maupain’s reflections, meticulously and eloquently put forward in this English version of his book first published in French, L’OIT À L’ Épreuve de la Mondialisation Financière: Peut-On Réguler Sans Contraindre?, serve to stimulate debate about the future course of the organization and its role in global economic and social governance. The edition is a welcome complement to a 2011 monograph by Jean-Michel Servais and an institutional primer of the same year by Hughes and Haworth, The International Labour Organisation (ILO): Coming in From the Cold. The value of Maupain’s contribution lies in his insider’s perspective into the complexities of ILO reform, teamed with his legal perspective on multilateral rules and coherence as well as on labour rights and standards. Writing from the vantage of a fellow with the International Institute of Labour Studies—an autonomous facility of the ILO, and following an illustrious career with the organization, Maupain weighs the ILO’s credibility for purposeful action given the realities of the financialized global economy. His book, therefore, is not just directed at legal scholars but would be of interest to researchers and practitioners of international organization, sociology, and political economy as well. Its accessible style renders it at once a legal reference, social commentary, and marketing case study. The core issue Maupain examines is whether the ILO has the institutional capacity to fulfil its mandate in the twenty-first century. Though critics are quick to dismiss the organization’s lack of coercive power, Maupain reasons that strengthening the ILO’s persuasive capabilities is not good enough for institutional reinvention. Rather, the organization needs, first and foremost, the capacity to act effectively. After discussing the history of the ILO and the challenges of the multilateral system, Maupain establishes two requirements the organization must meet to achieve a more equal footing with its sister organizations in global economic governance (such as the WTO, the OECD, and the Bretton Woods institutions): 1) a high degree of autonomy from political and technical interference; and 2) a critical mass of resources with new teams of researchers or a better sourcing of current researchers, so that its social policy models are not subordinated to economic concerns. The author argues this would help to foster an “ILO ‘epistemic community’ capable of influencing common thinking on social and economic policy” (121). With such a strengthened institutional capacity, the ILO would more effectively ensure JIOS, VOL. 5, ISSUE 1, 2014


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the universal diffusion of fundamental human rights and redeploy its normative tools to promote social progress. Yet, Maupain claims the ILO should not lose sight of the tripartite constituency of its governing body, “which gives gravitas and clout to the organization’s presence and advice” (248). In the end, it is tripartism that can help the ILO rebuild a common vision for the future—one shared by workers, employers, and government. The discussion then focuses a great deal on the institutional mandates and work of other universal economic organizations, including the WTO and the IMF, in order to show that the ILO can rely upon technical cooperation with its sister organizations to pursue its goal of social progress. Chapter eight, in particular, links the work of the ILO with that of the WTO, showing how fundamental human rights at work may be promoted multilaterally through basic trade rules, though sovereignty makes it difficult to introduce social clauses into the trade regime. Maupain proposes a solution resembling corporate social responsibility, with the ILO overseeing an international labeling system for production methods, empowering citizens to exercise their social preferences based upon informed choice. Countries of origin would supply the labels for goods and services produced within their borders. The expectation is that consumers would naturally bond together across countries in a form of transnational solidarity, given that citizens are, in most cases, workers, former workers, or employers. The poignant commentary Maupain intersperses throughout the chapters is a real strength of the book, further drawing attention to the ILO’s role in normative justice. However, while the book is thorough in most regards, it does omit one important aspect of the ILO: its administrative tribunal. Perhaps this is due to the fact that discussion of the tribunal would not fit easily within the scope of the book; nevertheless, one could expect that analysis into the future of the ILO would make at least casual reference to the tribunal, which is mandated to hear the complaints not only of its own officials but also those of civil servants from sixty international organizations, including the WTO, Interpol, the International Criminal Court (ICC), and several UN bodies. If there is to be growing consolidation within the UN system, then the import of the tribunal can only grow, leading to an overall greater role for the ILO in global governance. On the whole, the book functions as a discussion, but it also serves as an invaluable legal resource, given its Table of Cases and Table of International Materials. The contents are thoughtfully broken up into four parts and then meticulously subdivided to allow for ease of reference. The argument is amply supported with footnotes and an impressive bibliography. In fact, as the reader progresses through the book, he or she has the sense of advancing through the trajectory of the ILO in world affairs and knowing it is well documented for posterity. Overall, the book is worth a read as much for Maupain’s provocative discussion as for its insight into an important but often overlooked institution of global economic governance.


JIOS Spring 2014  
JIOS Spring 2014  
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