The power of friends: the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands

Whalan, Jeni (2010) The power of friends: the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands. Journal of Peace Research, 47 5: 627-637. doi:10.1177/0022343310370107

Author Whalan, Jeni
Title The power of friends: the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands
Journal name Journal of Peace Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-3433
Publication date 2010-08-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0022343310370107
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 47
Issue 5
Start page 627
End page 637
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Abstract his article analyzes the power and legitimacy of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), explaining why local actors chose to comply and cooperate with the operation in its crucial first year. It argues that, to be effective, peace operations require the compliance of local populations, and finds that RAMSI's ability to shape the attitudes, incentives and interests of local actors was determined by the relationship between its three currencies of power: coercion, inducement and legitimacy. Focused on the exercise of power by RAMSI, this article enables much-needed analysis of the local dimensions of peace operations and affords serious consideration to processes of local legitimation. Within the local realm, the case of Solomon Islands provides three important insights on the power and legitimacy of peace operations. First, the design and implementation of RAMSI's communications strategies were central to its ability to exercise coercive and inducive power and, crucially, to legitimize its power relationship with local populations. Second, the manner in which RAMSI exercised authority affected local perceptions about its legitimacy, independent of the operation's outcomes. Third, the quality of treatment people received from RAMSI was influential in their decisions to comply and cooperate with the operation. This suggests that carefully examining the way that peace operations and local people interact can help to identify the determinants of an operation's effectiveness.
Keyword Communications
Peace operations
Solomon Islands
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 29 Feb 2016, 16:58:34 EST by Bronwyn Clare Crook on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies