Campbell examines the factors that lead to the success or failure of international peace-building operations. The most important one, she argues, is how accountable peacemakers are to local people. Unfortunately, she reports, most peace workers answer primarily to the Western headquarters of the international agencies for which they work. Rather than developing strong relationships with locals who can inform them about conditions on the ground and help them get things done, they spend most of their time fulfilling reporting requirements and other bureaucratic tasks to keep their administrators happy. The book is steeped in the language of public administration and organizational theory, and Campbell is cautious in her conclusions, so it is easy to miss how devastating her account really is. She shows that the core organizational logic of peace-building agencies undermines their ability to help the people they are trying to reach.
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