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Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance: Governance, Politics and Security in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan

Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance: Governance, Politics and Security in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan
Matthew Bolton

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In the decade since the signing of the Ottawa Treaty, which banned the production and use of anti-personnel mines, governments have spent over $3 billion on clearing up and mitigating the security threat of mines, cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance in the world's current and former war zones. However, this flow of cash into regions dominated by violent social structures raises numerous political issues. Through detailed archival and field research, this book explores the politics behind the allocation and implementation of foreign aid by the US and Norway for demining in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan. It is an essential resource for practitioners and policymakers working in the field of landmine clearance and for students and researchers of Development Studies and post-war reconstruction.

Table of Contents

  • Abbreviations Acknowledgements Introduction 1. A Political History of Mine Action 2. The New Complexes Governing Insecurity 3. Donor Policymaking in the US and Norway 4. Implementation in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan 5. Comparing the Performance of Tenders and Grants 6. Impact on Peacebuilding Conclusion and Reflections Photographs Notes Select Bibliography Interviews Index

Author Info

Matthew Bolton is a freelance writer, researcher and aid worker. He holds a PhD in Government from the London School of Economics.


This important book shows how foreign aid can help build human security in the aftermath of war or, unfortunately, make the situation worse. It also demonstrates how partnerships between 'middle powers', like Norway, and global civil society can play a key role in building collective security through developing international law. This is an ideal text for policymakers involved in post-conflict reconstruction, as well as students of international relations.
– Mary Kaldor CBE, Professor of Global Governance, London School of Economics

Matthew Bolton sheds crucial light on how foreign aid in general and demining programs in particular make compromises with power structures. He shows that links between demining agencies and the defense industry or military factions can skew attention away from vulnerable civilians most affected by mines. It should be required reading for professionals in the mine action sector.
– Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)

This is a high-quality piece of work, well written, with interesting analysis rooted in on-the-ground fieldwork. The reservations about the involvement of private security companies in demining are extremely important, as is the discussion of the dangers of short-term contracts and 'cut-throat' competition in reconstruction tendering.
– David Keen, Professor of Complex Emergencies, London School of Economics

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781848851603
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2010
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: Illustrations

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