This paper reflects on the roles played by the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission in its first two years of existence. It discusses various features of the Commission's design and mandate before focusing on its ability to disseminate international norms to a broad array of key actors in global politics. Still carving out its institutional niche in the crowded field of international post-conflict state reconstruction, the Commission faces difficulties in fulfilling its core mandate of increasing coordination among the multilateral agencies, bilateral aid programmes, and non-governmental organizations involved. The paper argues that the Commission has been more successful as a mechanism for reaffirming international norms. Specifically, it has helped to shore up the norm of state sovereignty in the domain of development cooperation, making the Peacebuilding Commission a significant forum for establishing the limits of donor influence in post-conflict states.
Working Paper No. 38 (series 2), London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 25 pp.