Master's Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations


Security, Development, Afghanistan


In the 21st century the need for conflict and post-conflict reconstruction efforts have increased since a number of conflicts in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe necessitated the building of newly-democratized states while aiming to achieve security and promoting development. The difficulties that arise when helping to reconstruct states that have failed or those approaching a “failed state” status is that they are neither stable nor have a secure environment which prevent the opportunity for economic development, despite reconstruction efforts. These are the most difficult of situations due to the interconnectedness and direct correlation of the two significant criterions for established peace: security and development. These two criteria create a catch-22 situation where without security, development won’t come yet without development, security will not prevail. This situation has become widely accepted by the International Community, specifically at the European Union’s Council Conclusion on Security and Development of November 2007, the Council reiterated that ‘there cannot be sustainable development without peace and security, and without development In an increasingly interconnected world, progress in the areas of development, security and human rights must go hand in hand. There will be no development without security and no security without development. ~ Kofi Annan, 2005 5 and poverty eradication there will be no sustainable peace’. 1 Importantly, the Council stated that the nexus between security and development should help define strategies, policies and programming. This means that at policy and operational levels, the linkages between security and development should be taken into account. For my thesis I will conduct an analysis of failed states reconstruction efforts with a focus on economic development and security. I will discuss how development and security are intricately tied together, although it is accepted as evident that security is a prerequisite for development. My hypothesis I will argue is that development is required before security can be stabilized. By exploring a shift in focus from security oriented reconstruction efforts to economic driven efforts it will become evident that it is possible to achieve development amongst both fronts, whereas economic development can lead to improved security I will begin this thesis by identifying the need and modern origin of reconstruction efforts. I will then evaluate frameworks for reconstruction before we begin to further explore the security and economic nexus and the evolution of this concern within recent times. With an understanding of the need and the nexus of reconstruction we can then analyze typical theoretical justifications for dealing with these matters. We will better understand this nexus when analyzing states in conflict whose attempts at reconstruction have either aided or damaged the two 1 See: EU Council Conclusions on Security and Development: Summary: 19 November 2007, Brussels - Council of the European Union, 2831st External Relations Council meeting, conclusions on Security and Development at 6 crucial issues. This will also help us to identify how security driven efforts have been unsuccessful in certain reconstruction attempts and why a greater emphasis on development led efforts are required. I will evaluate a number of nations such as Afghanistan and Somalia whose current situations are representative of the complexities we will be discussing. However, the focus will remain on Afghanistan because of its complex challenges, which are prohibiting economic growth, as well as national and local security. I will look at the economic and social well-being status as well as the nation’s security status in order to identify what has been established insofar. These findings will later be evaluated and compared against economic growth models, such as Rostovians five stages of growth and the unbalanced model of growth to determine the missing links in an effort to find the connection and causal relationship between security and economic development. In identifying these failures and isolating any significant successes I will seek to learn how that can be best capitalized so we can further progress on the security and development front. I look to answer whether the current strategy in Afghanistan needs to be adjusted or even replaced, are more soldiers or more money the answer, do we need greater involvement from NGOs, is privatization the answer, can licit drug cultivation or security subsidization be a solution? We will look at this nexus from a different perspective; can we focus primarily on development to build security? Or should these two intrinsic issues be dealt with together to identify a mutually reinforced alternative that will allow for the simultaneous achievement of both essential elements? The goal of my thesis is to prove that a shift in focus is required; by placing greater emphasis on 7 economic development driven policies reconstruction efforts can succeed while furthering security. Development can lead to security.


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