The Securitization of Development and its Impact on Peacebuilding: A study of Canadian Mission in Afghanistan

Title: The Securitization of Development and its Impact on Peacebuilding: A study of Canadian Mission in Afghanistan
Authors: Khan, Saleha
Date: 2020
Abstract: After the attacks of 9/11, the policies related to national security, especially in Western nations, took a fundamental shift towards viewing weak and fragile states as security threats. The international community poured in an enormous amount of aid and resources to rebuild the fragile Afghanistan as part of the peacebuilding mission. This substantial investment was a recognition that peace and stability in Afghanistan were important to establishing and maintaining international security. Building on the existing literature on securitization, development and peacebuilding, this paper analyzes how securitization of development has impacted the peacebuilding process in Afghanistan using the post 9/11 Canadian mission as an example. The Copenhagen School’s securitization theory is used as a framework to understand how Canada securitized development through the language of securitization. The analyses of official policy documents show that Canada’s position remained that by helping failed or fragile states like Afghanistan, it is also securing its national security interests. The securitization resulted in framing the focus of peacebuilding in Afghanistan through a lens of security for Canada. This was demonstrated through the prioritization of the military component of the mission over development priorities, signifying the importance given to conventional security over a more inclusive concept of security such as human security. Furthermore, securitization of development ended up undermining the peacebuilding process by pushing aside essential tenets of development. The failure to establish local agency, aid ineffectiveness, local-capacity building and budget imbalances were some of the challenges arising as a consequence. Eventually, increased donor fatigue, particularly due to the volatile security situation, resulted in withdrawal from the complex mission. One of the main lessons learned from the post 9/11 Canadian peacebuilding mission in Afghanistan is that securitization policies designed to bring peace and stability in a post-conflict Afghanistan were ineffective.
CollectionAffaires publiques et internationales - Mémoires // Public and International Affairs - Research Papers
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