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Theories, rhetoric and practice: recovering the capacities of war-torn societies

Barakat, S. and Chard, M. (2002) Theories, rhetoric and practice: recovering the capacities of war-torn societies. Third World Quarterly, 23 (5). 817 -835. ISSN 0143-6597

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As international attention focuses on the rebuilding of Afghanistan, this paper looks critically at the evolution and meaning of the core concepts underpinning aims and strategies for recovery: the key role of institutional development and capacity building in establishing good governance based on collaboration between state, civil society and market; the empirical consensus, over many decades, for best practice in development; the acknowledgement that recovery of war-torn societies is a development challenge. It is shown that, despite this understanding, operational practice continues to contradict the principles and lessons learned from proven experience. The financial and administrative culture of the international institutions, lack of political will, donor conditionality and recipients' contrary agendas are seen to contribute to this failure. The paper concludes by examining the implications of this analysis for the recovery of Afghanistan.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2009 14:22
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2009 14:22
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0143659022000028639
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Identification Number: 10.1080/0143659022000028639
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7770

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