United Nations Constitutional Assistance in Statebuilding

Authored by: Vijayashri Sripati

Routledge Handbook of International Statebuilding

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415677028
eBook ISBN: 9780203370377
Adobe ISBN: 9781135939946


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In 2011, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General described UN Constitutional Assistance (UNCA) – a key tool of international statebuilding – as ‘potentially a high-return investment’ (UNSG, 2011: 4). The ‘biggest returns’ are seen to come not just in lives saved but also in the promotion of economic growth and wellbeing (UNSG, 2011: 4). Indeed, the UN has long deployed constitutional assistance as a conflict-prevention strategy in post-conflict and development assistance contexts. Consequently, UNCA has today developed into an established field of statebuilding intervention in which practice has far outstretched theory.

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