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  • Global pathways or local spins? National Action Plans in South America

    Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo

    Article published in August 2020 (in English).

    Abstract: With the upsurge in the adoption of National Action Plans (NAPs) to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 (2000), scholars have made attempts to better understand the global, regional, and national formulations of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. Commitments to the agenda have emerged in South America in recent years, and this article critically examines what governments understand and indicate as appropriate ideas and practices for engaging with the global WPS architecture. By considering the specific security challenges experienced in the region, the article interrogates the extent to which South American countries have been emulating or innovating in terms of the content of NAPs. We argue that, despite some innovative elements that are bubbling up from these documents, the appropriation of the agenda by governments has mostly emulated traditional “peace” and “security” frames that are notably at odds with the insecurities and realities facing South American women. As feminist research gains new impetus with the twentieth anniversary celebrations of UNSCR 1325, our findings provide new insights into the workings of this agenda in a region that has been under-explored within WPS scholarship.

  • Civil-military relations as a ‘coordination problem’? Doctrine development and the multiple ‘missions’ of the Brazilian Armed Forces

    Victória M. S. Santos and Maíra Siman

    Article published in March 2022 (In English).

    Abstract: As the Brazilian Armed Forces are increasingly deployed outside the realm of defence against external threats (in tasks such as peacekeeping, public security, and migration management), military doctrine on Civil-Military Coordination and Cooperation (CIMIC) has emerged as a body of ‘technical knowledge’ which would support their interactions with various civilian actors. This is expressed in frequent demands by military officers for the development of a ‘Brazilian CIMIC doctrine’ reflecting both the accumulated knowledge of international partners, such as NATO and the UN, and their own experience in the ‘field’, as in their recent engagement in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). We argue that the progressive institutionalization of CIMIC military doctrine recently observed in the country reinforces a perspective according to which several domains of action traditionally attributed or led by civilian actors are seen as a legitimate part of the so-called ‘mission’ of the Brazilian Armed Forces. As a result, political disputes concerning civil-military relations and the role of military organizations outside the realm of external defence are reduced to technical challenges of coordination and cooperation between military officials, civilian state agencies and the Brazilian society. In this article, we discuss this trend by analysing the development of military doctrine on CIMIC within the Brazilian Army, and its connections with their increasing engagement in peacekeeping, public security, and migration management at home and abroad.

  • Not so unusual after all: the transnational making of the boundary between “defense” and “public security” in Colombia

    Manuela Trindade Viana

    Article published in 2020 (in Portuguese)

    Abstract: This article argues that the translation of counterinsurgency operations into public order practices in the context of “post-conflict” in Colombia has allowed for the military to diffuse their “expertise” to countries allegedly far from an “internal war” condition. By its turn, this dynamic has nurtured the expansion of the circuit of military savoirs in the South-South axis. The argument unfolds into three main parts. Firstly, I trace the historical footprints of the crystallization of counterinsurgency in Colombia, by inscribing the production of the “military professional” in this country into a broader circuit of military savoirs. In a second analytical move, I analyze how discourses of national security doctrine in Colombia have been historically entangled with counterinsurgency practices. More than this: they found in the latter their center of gravity. Finally, the article faces the re-articulations of the role of the military in Colombia in the context of “post-conflict”. It claims that the penetration of military savoirs into modes of public ordering constitutes the condition not only for claims to peace in Colombia, but also for the re-positioning of Colombia as a reference in public order in the South-South circuit of military savoirs.

  • National Truth Commission: a critical perspective on the advances and limits of the transitional justice agenda in Brazil

    Carolina de Campos Melo and Andrea Bandeira de Mello Schettini

    Chapter published in 2021 (in Portuguese)

    Abstract: This chapter intends to discuss the scope of the term “transitional justice”, coined in the 1990s, in reference to institutional efforts in the face of authoritarianism and internal conflicts. By being internationalized, gaining prominence on the agenda of the UN and other international organizations, transitional justice has been conceived as a standard set of mechanisms to be implemented in different realities, even if no longer linked to the idea of transition. Under the monopoly of human rights discourse, criticism of underlying social issues has escaped the field, with a naturalization of the liberal political and economic model. Five years after the publication of the Final Report of the National Truth Commission and in the face of the setback that the Bolsonaro government has entailed for the implementation of transitional justice mechanisms in Brazil, we propose an analysis of the work of the National Truth Commission and the construction of its final report, understanding the limits of its analysis which has been guided by the transitional justice agenda.

  • What is left of the Brazilian National Truth Commission? The politics of time in truth commissions

    Andrea Schettini

    Article published in 2021 (in Portuguese)

    Abstract: This study aims to investigate the politics of time constructed by the transitional justice field and reproduced by truth commissions. It seeks to analyze the relationship between historical and legal discourses and their effects on the delimitation of what should be considered the past and the present. The experience of the Brazilian National Truth Commission is addressed as a reference for the study of truth commissions, capable of bringing relevant contributions to the analysis of these mechanisms of justice.

  • Stability abroad, instability at home? Changing UN peace operations and civil–military relations in Global South troop contributing countries

    Kai Michael Kenkel

    Article published on 09.02.2021 (in English)

    Abstract: This article highlights the domestic effects of the ongoing changes in United Nations peacekeeping practice on troop contributing states from the Global South. It juxtaposes scholarship on stabilization, the specific motivations of Global South troop contributing countries, and in particular the effects on civilian control of armed forces of peacekeeping participation. It argues that the “diversionary peace” hypothesis—which posits beneficial effects on civilian control for peacekeeping—has not obtained, and that current developments in United Nations peace operations will negatively affect civil–military relations in postcolonial sending countries. The text suggests avenues for future inquiry. One is the notion that stabilization may lead to a net negative effect on civilian control in unconsolidated democracies. This is due to stabilization’s increased militarization, and its turn towards objectives that mimic the counterinsurgency mandates associated with military rule in the Global South, rather than a focus on the socioeconomic well-being of local populations.