Peace, Civilisation and Good Governance? Democracy, State-building and Transitional Justice in Afghanistan

McGovern, M. (2008) Peace, Civilisation and Good Governance? Democracy, State-building and Transitional Justice in Afghanistan. CAPPE International Conference, University of Brighton.

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Abstract

In February this year the Foreign Secretary David Miliband delivered a keynote speech entitled ‘The Democratic Imperative’ in which he outlined the essence of his vision of a post-Blair foreign policy. This was certainly no break with the military interventionist agenda that has framed the Labour Governments disastrous actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather (Miliband argued) the ‘mistakes’ made in these wars that had raised ‘doubts’ and ‘deep concerns’ should not ‘cloud the debate about promoting democracy around the world’. The aim of this paper is to critically assess the roots and nature of Labour’s ‘democracy promotion’ and interventionist agenda by exploring the continuity such a vision represents not only with the policies of the last 10 years but in the context of the longer term history of British imperialism. The article will concentrate on the current war in Afghanistan and explore the construction of ‘democracy’ and ‘terrorism’, in the context of New Labour’s rhetoric of ‘progress’ and ‘modernisation’, as variants of older imperial themes. It will also consider the implications of these constructions of ‘democracy’ and ‘terrorism’ for the incorporation of transitional justice, development and humanitarianism into a ‘comprehensive approach’ to waging the new empire wars

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Divisions: Politics
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2010 16:07
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/1354

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