In the decade since the signing of the Ottawa Treaty, which banned the production and use of anti-personnel mines, governments have spent over $3 billion on clearing up and mitigating the security threat of mines, cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance in the world's current and former war zones. However, this flow of cash into regions dominated by violent social structures raises numerous political issues. 'Foreign Aid and Mine Clearance' explores the politics behind the allocation and implementation of foreign aid by the US and Norway for demining in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan. As a case study of post-conflict reconstruction, it examines the impact of replacing the public provision of security and services with governance complexes incorporating state and private actors. Drawing on interviews and detailed archival research, this book compares the landmine and cluster munitions policy frameworks of two donor countries - the United States and Norway - with very different understandings of how the threat of such weapons should be mitigated and neutralized. Rooted in field research conducted in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan, it focuses on the micro-level of actual implementation of demining programs. Bolton finds that long-term grants to international NGOs produced demining that, while more expensive and slower, was better targeted on humanitarian priorities, safer and of better quality. Such programmes also built inclusive institutions that resisted the politics of violence. In contrast, efforts tendered out to commercial companies were cheaper and faster but also less safe and of lower quality. These companies, often with links to the private security industry, were also less able to resist capture by vested interests embedded in the political economy of war. 'Foreign Aid and Mine Clearance' offers new perspectives on the politics of post-war reconstruction and feeds into current debates on the international funding of mine clearance projects.
Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance
Governance, Politics and Security in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan