The English school theory of international relations and peacebuilding : an analysis of peacebuilding interventions in Liberia and Sierra Leone through the world society framework

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Bilkent University
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Although the world society (WS) framework appears to be an important cornerstone in the theoretical triad of the English School (ES), it is the least developed concept amongst others (Buzan 2004). This dissertation's objective is to contribute to the literature which aims to develop and revitalize the WS framework, which is one of the three pillars of the ES of International Relations (IR). It uses this theoretical approach in the analysis of peacebuilding intervention practices. The dissertation proposes three specific parameters which constitute the progress from the international to world society framework. In this regard, changes in the (1) normative context, (2) agency and (3) identity appear as themes which differentiate the WS framework as a distinct theoretical category. The dissertation develops the argument that the progress from the international to world society overlaps with the change in the nature of intervention which have been evolving from traditional peacekeeping to new peacebuilding. The empirical sections of the dissertation focus on the peacebuilding experiences in Liberia and Sierra Leone. These cases are analyzed with specific references to the parameters emphasized in the theoretical chapters. Both qualitative analysis and quantitative content analysis methods are employed in the empirical chapters. According to the results, I suggest that the peacebuilding interventions are better understood and explained through the lenses of the WS framework compared to the international society framework which remains rather state-centric in terms of its normative context and agents. The results also challenge several long established arguments in the peacebuilding literature which suggest that the normative center of the peacebuilding is built upon the understanding of human/individual security.

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English school, World society, International society, Intervention, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Human security, Societal security, State security, Africa, Liberia, Sierra leone, Civil war
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