Journal of International and Global Studies


This article uses an institutional network governance approach to explore the overlapping dimension of the policy fields between security, development, and human rights, reflected in the US and German provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan. The past two decades have witnessed a gradually changing paradigm in academic and policy debates regarding the questions of the normative basis of world order and possibilities for tackling imminent threats to security and peace (i.e. intra-state armed conflicts, failed states, terrorism, poverty, and deepening inequality). The introduction of concepts such as “human security” and “the right to humanitarian intervention/responsibility to protect (R2P)” as well as critical examinations of peace-, nation-, and state-building missions (PNSB) have led to a relativist tendency of state sovereignty and a changing attitude regarding how to address the intersection of security, development, and human rights. Despite this shift, the policy commitments to integrating these policy considerations remain puzzling. How have they been redefined, conceptualized, and put into practice? I argue that an integrated conceptual approach has facilitated the redefinition of common policy goals, principles, and the mobilization of resources. At the same time, civil and military cooperation, as demonstrated in the multifunctional work of PRTs, has been Janus-headed—permanently caught in an ongoing tension between the war on terror and short-term stability operation on the one hand and long-term durable peace and development on the other. The misunderstanding of its interim character, the dynamics of Afghan environment, the blurring of policy lines, and the differences between national PRT models have made it difficult to systematically assess the efficiency and legitimacy of each policy frame and program.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.