Reconstituting Local Orders

Brookings Seminar on Reconstituting Local Orders banner image

Led by Brookings Senior Fellows Vanda Felbab-Brown, Shadi Hamid, and Harold Trinkunas, the Brookings Seminar on Reconstituting Local Orders seeks to better understand how domestic political order breaks down and is reconstituted. It draws out policy implications and recommends more effective action for local governments and the international community. It examines these issues by bringing together top-level experts and policymakers. Learn more »

Chapter 1

Reconstructing local orders in Mali: Historical perspectives and future challenges

DATE IMPORTED:July 14, 2013Soldiers from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) take part in the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris July 14, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann (FRANCE - Tags: MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS)

Authors: Andrew Lebovich

Andrew Lebovich traces the evolution of local orders in Mali, discussing past governance practices and the outcomes of prior rebellions in the 1960s, 1990s, and 2000s before turning to the period following the 2012 peace accords to present analysis on the current prospects for these agreements.

Continue reading


Chapter 2

Combat charities or when humanitarians go to war

Influence of non-state actors on local order of partially governed spaces
DATE IMPORTED:October 12, 2011Matthew Van Dyke (top), a U.S. citizen, fights alongside anti-Gaddafi fighters in Sirte October 11, 2011. NTC forces have captured Sirte's most important landmarks, including the Ouagadougou conference hall, where Gaddafi once hosted lavish summit meetings, the hospital and the university. Tuesday's fighting focused on Omar al-Mokhtar street, a tree-lined thoroughfare in a well-heeled neighbourhood. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (Libya - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY CONFLICT)

Authors: Pavol Kosnáč

Pavol Kosnáč analyzes the rising phenomenon of “combat charities,” or entities that seek to provide military and political assistance to weaker armed groups or minorities resisting the military onslaught of others, such as of ISIS in the Middle East and North Africa.

Continue reading


Chapter 3

Reconstituting local order in Pakistan: Emergent ISIS and locally constituted Shariah courts in Pakistan

A man walks past the Supreme Court building in Islamabad, Pakistan. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

Authors: Manzar Zaidi

In this paper, Manzar Zaidi investigates how in Pakistan, the state has partially failed to establish local order in its region because of poor governance, the lack of a coherent counterterrorism policy, and a disconnect between state organs.

Continue reading


Chapter 4

Inside out: The challenge of prison-based criminal organizations

Gang members who are also inmates pose for a photograph at a prison in Quezaltepeque, on the outskirts of San Salvador June 2, 2012. The relentless tit-for-tat murders between El Salvador's two largest street gangs - "Calle 18" and "Mara Salvatrucha" - made the country the most murderous in the world last year after neighboring Honduras, also ravaged by gang violence. That was until Garcia, from the Calle 18 ("18th Street") gang, along with elders from the Mara Salvatruchadeclared an unprecedented truce that authorities say has cut the homicide rate in half in just four months. Picture taken June 2, 2012. To match Feature SALVADOR-GANGS/ REUTERS/Ulises Rodriguez (EL SALVADOR - Tags: CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST) - RTR34YC6

Authors: Benjamin Lessing

In this paper, Benjamin Lessing argues that prison gangs present three distinct problems for policymakers and provides policy recommendations based on case studies in California, El Salvador, and São Paulo, Brazil.

Continue reading


Chapter 5

Local orders and international engagement in South Asia

Authors: Matthew J. Nelson

Matthew J. Nelson outlines four cases of local orders in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Noting that these orders are quite difficult to change, he analyzes the ways in which Western social and governmental organizations might be able to engage with members of these communities more effectively by working within these orders rather than against them.

Continue reading


Chapter 6

Imagining assistance: Tales from the American aid experience in Iraq in 2006 and Pakistan in 2011

Authors: Cameron Munter

For more than a decade, government assistance to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan (the so-called AIP countries) has dominated United States aid efforts. Cameron Munter draws on his experience as the head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Mosul, Iraq in 2006 and as ambassador of the United States to Pakistan in Islamabad in 2011, with a description of U.S. reconstruction and state-building from which we may find lessons to consider in the future.

Continue reading


Chapter 7

Better next time? Tales from the American aid experiences in Iraq and Pakistan

Authors: Cameron Munter

In the last decade, government assistance to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan (the AIP countries) has dominated U.S. aid efforts. We’ve learned that it’s difficult to provide aid to dangerous places.

Continue reading