Guns or Growth: Lessons from Security-First and Civil-Society-First Approaches to Peacebuilding in East Timor

International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006. Geneva, 27 January 2006 Signature H. E. Ms. Kirsti Lintonen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Finland

This case study examines conditions and situations faced by several United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions in East Timor with the goal of applying the lessons learned from their responses to similar dilemmas in future peacekeeping operations (PKOs). East Timor provides a unique setting for the application of theory to practice, as the successive UN missions (UNAMET, INTERFET, and UNTAET) each took different approaches in their attempts to overcome obstacles on the ground. By studying and critically examining specific operational decisions and the subsequent repercussions, readers will gain a better understanding of the debates surrounding the integration of local personnel into PKOs, security vs. civil society in the first stages of peacekeeping missions, and the use of Whole of Government vs. Whole of Society approaches to peacebuilding.

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