Fighting and helping? : the domestic politics of NGO-military relations in complex humanitarian emergencies
Title: Fighting and helping? : the domestic politics of NGO-military relations in complex humanitarian emergencies
Citation: Security studies, 2014, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 582-621
ISSN: 1556-1852; 0963-6412
In complex humanitarian emergencies, why are NGO-military relations cooperative in some cases, yet deeply conflictual in others? Drawing on historical-institutionalist theoretical insights, we argue that NGOs and military organizations are embedded in, and responding to, domestic institutional configurations that define a set of political incentives and constraints, material and normative, which structures and influences the characteristics and outcomes of their relations. Counterarguments suggest that organizational differences and the nature of their missions affect NGO-military relations. Using fresh empirical evidence we assess these arguments by comparing the Italian and the French experiences of NGO-military relations during the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan and the UN mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL II) between 2007 and 2011.We find that domestic institutional configurations are not left behind when NGOs and military units deploy abroad. Rather, they shape NGOs' and militaries' capacity to work together instead of at cross purposes and ultimately influence the success of international action.
Published online: 01 Aug 2014
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