Susanna Campbell, Ph.D.

susanna.campbell@gmail.com

American University

Country: United States (District of Columbia)

About Me:

I am an Assistant Professor at American University’s School of International Service (SIS). Previously, I was a Post-Doctoral Researcher at The Graduate Institute in Geneva and a visiting Post-Doctoral Scholar at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies (SIWPS). My research and teaching address war-to-peace transitions, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, development, global governance, and the micro-dynamics of civil war and peace. I use mixed-method research designs and have conducted extensive fieldwork in conflict-affected countries, including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, Sudan, South Sudan, and East Timor. I have received several large grants for my research, including from the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Network for International Studies, as well as a United States Institute of Peace Dissertation Fellowship. My first book, Global Governance and Local Peace: Performance and Accountability in International Peacebuilding, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. I am writing a new book, Aiding Peace? Donor Behavior in Conflict-Affected Countries, that presents the results from a three-year research project that I led. My other academic publications appear or are forthcoming in International Studies ReviewJournal of Global Security Studies, Cambridge Review of international AffairsInternational PeacekeepingJournal of Peacebuilding and Development,  Columbia University PressZed Books, and Routledge, and have been widely cited. I have extensive experience with international peacebuilding, peacekeeping, development, and humanitarian aid agencies. I have led studies of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and CARE International, and have worked for the Council on Foreign Relations and UNICEF Burundi. My work on international peacebuilding and peacekeeping has had a demonstrated effect on the policies of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office and the United States Army as well as several International Non-Governmental Organizations. I received her PhD in 2012 from Tufts University.

Research Interests

Peacekeeping

African Politics

Bureaucracy

Political Violence

Development

NGOs

International Law & Organization

Publications:

Journal Articles:

(2018) Is Prevention the Answer?, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Is prevention the answer to escalating violent conflict? Conflict prevention uses carrots and sticks to deter future violence. Its power thus rests on the credibility of policy-makers’ commitment to supply the carrot or stick in a timely manner. Unfortunately, there are several political and bureaucratic barriers that make this unlikely. First, it is difficult for policy-makers to sell preventive actions to their constituencies. In contrast with core security interests (like nuclear warfare), an uptick in violence in a faraway, nonstrategic country provides a less convincing call for action. Second, preventive decisions are difficult to make. Decision-makers are predisposed to avoid making difficult decisions until a crisis breaks out and they are forced to act. Third, preventive actions are political, not technical, requiring the use of precious political capital for uncertain outcomes whose success may be invisible (manifest in the absence of violence). Perhaps, if decision-makers are able to overcome these obstacles and make more credible commitments to conflict prevention, then conflict prevention will become a more credible solution to violent conflict.

(2017) An Ontology of Peace: Landscapes of Conflict and Cooperation with Application to Colombia, International Studies Review

International relations scholarship on intrastate peace and conflict largely conceptualizes peace as an absence of war and, to some extent, the presence of a minimal degree of democracy. Empirically, scholars treat peace as a non-event, identifying it as the absence of military battles rather than (or in addition to) the presence of conflict-mitigating institutions or activities. This approach hearkens back to a bygone debate about negative and positive peace, and illustrates that negative peace conceptualizations dominate existing scholarship. In this article, we unpack the conceptual foundations of peace to account more fully for cooperation, rather than just violent conflict. We then operationalize this expanded conceptualization of peace through a latent variable measurement approach that carefully aggregates both conflict and cooperation events. We ground the measurement model in data from Colombia for the period of 1993 to 2012. In so doing, we present a new, empirically grounded ontology of peace that we expect could be useful for causal theorizing and testing in other work.

(2017) Ethics of Research in Conflict Environments, Journal of Global Security Studies

This review essay provides an overview of the literature on ethical challenges and dilemmas facing researchers in conflict and post-conflict environments. This scholarship argues that the basic ethical principles established to guide research on human subjects are necessary but insufficient for research in conflict and post-conflict environments. These environments present unique challenges to informed consent, confidentiality, risk-benefit analysis, researcher security, and Beneficence that require more nuanced guidelines and professional training.

(2016) Investing in International Security: Rising Powers and Organizational Choices, Cambridge Review of International Affairs

How do rising powers choose to allocate their finite resources among the multiple global and regional security organizations? Building on the literatures on forum shopping and rising powers, we argue that the different organizational investment choices of rising powers are explained by varying regional ideational affinities. Organizational settings have ideational foundations that can look very different from region to region. We argue that regional ideational affinity leads rising powers to invest in regional rather than global organizations. However, if the ideational composition of the region is highly diverse, global organizations are a better vehicle to accommodate rising powers’ emergent ambitions. To demonstrate our argument, we examine the choices of Brazil and South Africa in terms of their material and ideational investments in regional and global organizations.

(2011) Introduction: The Politics of Liberal Peace, Zed Books

Moving beyond the binary argument between those who buy into the aims of creating liberal democratic states grounded in free markets and rule of law, and those who critique and oppose them, this timely and much-needed critical volume takes a fresh look at the liberal peace debate. In doing so, it examines the validity of this critique in contemporary peacebuilding and statebuilding practice through a multitude of case studies - from Afghanistan to Somalia, Sri Lanka to Kosovo. Going further, it investigates the underlying theoretical assumptions of liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding, as well as providing new theoretical propositions for understanding current interventions. Written by some of the most prominent scholars in the field, alongside several new scholars making cutting edge contributions, this is an essential contribution to a rapidly growing interdisciplinary area of study.

(2008) (Dis)integration, Incoherence and Complexity in UN Postconflict Interventions, International Peacekeeping

The UN has developed a series of internal ‘integration reforms’ that aim to increase its capacity to integrate its post-conflict efforts through a single coherent strategy, and ultimately to support sustainable war-to-peace transitions. This article argues that these reforms could be redesigned to take into account the causes of the (dis)integration, incoherence and complexity of UN post-conflict interventions, to make them more comprehensive and more realistic. While some degree of both strategic coherence and operational integration may be necessary to improve the effectiveness of UN post-conflict interventions, these are inadequate without an increased conflict-sensitivity in each UN entity involved in post-conflict interventions. For the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts, the parts must make a significant contribution to the whole.

(2008) The UN’s Reforms: Confronting Integration Barriers, International Peacekeeping

An ad hoc group of reforms aimed at achieving greater integration of the UN system during peace operations has largely ignored the numerous barriers to their implementation. Accordingly, these integration reforms have fallen far short of their goal of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the UN’s efforts in countries in, or emerging from, conflict. Integration reforms are hindered by the absence of both adequate organizational change and accompanying incentives for implementation. The article outlines some of the key barriers to integration within the UN structure, and within war-to-peace transitions generally. The analysis highlights evidence of the need to revise these reforms, and concludes with suggestions for altering UN procedures and practices to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its post-conflict efforts.

(2008) When Process Matters: The Potential Implications of Organizational Learning for Peacebuilding Success, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development

Despite considerable attention given to professionalising methods and analysing best practices, peacebuilding organisations (i.e. any organisation aiming to impact the causes of peace) continue to have difficulty understanding and demonstrating their collective and individual impact. This article argues that this is in part due to the barriers they encounter in organisational learning. To impact the causes of peace, peacebuilding organisations have to learn what works in each conflict context. To improve their chances at learning, peacebuilding organisations have to measure and understand their successes and failures. As a result, this article argues, peacebuilding organisations’ learning processes have an important role in determining their capacity to identify and influence the causes of peace in countries emerging from violent conflict.

(1998) Introduction: Experiences in Prevention, Council on Foreign Relations

In 1996, there were violent intrastate conflicts in ninety countries around the world. Governments, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and scholars continue to investigate how these deadly conflicts can be prevented. In order to assess what has been learned about conflict prevention and encourage further examination of cases and strategies, the Center for Preventive Action (CPA) of the Council on Foreign Relations convenes an annual conference. CPA's December 1996 Conference on Preventive Action examined three regions where CPA has programs—Nigeria, the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, and the South Balkans—and three tools of prevention—religion, economic sanctions and incentives, and small weapons disarmament. This conference volume is the second book in CPA's series of Preventive Action Reports. It uses CPA's case studies to examine the effectiveness of the tools of preventive action, and draws on comparative studies to guide the analysis of the case studies. Included: Edward J. Laurance of the Monterey Institute of International Studies on small weapons disarmament; David Cortright of the Fourth Freedom Forum and George Lopez of the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, on the use of economic sanctions and incentives; Reverend Donald Shriver of Union Theological Seminary on religion and violence prevention; Steven Burg of Brandeis University on the South Balkans; Michael Lund of Creative Associates International on Burundi and the Great Lakes region of Central Africa; and Peter Lewis of American University on Nigeria.

Books Written:

(2018) Global Governance and Local Peace, Cambridge University Press

Tags: Peacekeeping

Global Governance and Local Peace explains why International Organizations (IOs), International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs), and state aid agencies sometimes achieve their country-level peacebuilding aims, and sometimes do not. Existing research claims that the country-level behavior of international actors is constrained by bureaucratic dysfunction and the preferences of their headquarters. In reality, the hundreds of IO, INGO, and donor offices established in conflict-affected countries have a high degree of independent decision-making power. Global Governance and Local Peace argues that international peacebuilding performance occurs only when independent staff empower local populations to hold their organization accountable. Without this local-level accountability, intervening organizations are likely to fail at peacebuilding. Their focus on global accountability, alone, undermines their chances at local-level performance. Through in-depth case studies into the behavior of five intervening organizations over a fifteen-year period in Burundi (1999-2014), this book provides an unprecedented examination of the country-level successes and failures of international interveners. Contrary to the existing peacebuilding literature, which focuses on failure, Global Governance and Local Peace shows that intervening organizations can achieve their country-level peacebuilding aims, but only when individual staff sidestep bureaucratic and hierarchical incentives and empower local populations.

(2011) A Liberal Peace? The Problems and Practices of Peacebuilding, Zed Books

Tags: Peacekeeping

Moving beyond the binary argument between those who buy into the aims of creating liberal democratic states grounded in free markets and rule of law, and those who critique and oppose them, this timely and much-needed critical volume takes a fresh look at the liberal peace debate. In doing so, it examines the validity of this critique in contemporary peacebuilding and statebuilding practice through a multitude of case studies – from Afghanistan to Somalia, Sri Lanka to Kosovo. Going further, it investigates the underlying theoretical assumptions of liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding, as well as providing new theoretical propositions for understanding current interventions. Written by some of the most prominent scholars in the field, alongside several new scholars making cutting edge contributions, this is an essential contribution to a rapidly growing interdisciplinary area of study.

Book Chapters:

(2016) The Impact of the Peacebuilding Architecture in Burundi, Routledge

Since its establishment, the UN's Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA) has been involved in peacebuilding processes in more than 20 countries. This edited volume takes stock of the overall impact of the PBA during its first decade in existence, and generates innovative recommendations for how the architecture can be modified and utilized to create more synergy and fusion between the UN's peace and development work.

(2015) The Burundi Leadership Training Program, Columbia University Press

The Burundi Leadership Training Program (BLTP) was proposed in late 2002 “to increase the ability of the country’s ethnically polarized leadership to work together in consolidating its post-war transition and advancing Burundi’s post-war economic reconstruction.” It was conceived by Howard Wolpe, the former US Special Envoy to the African Great Lakes Region, during his tenure at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWICS). It was funded for eighteen months by the World Bank’s PostConflict Fund, with ad-hoc contributions by the US Agency for International Development, the European Union (EU), and the UK Department for International Development. The authors evaluated the BLTP for the World Bank’s Post-Conflict Fund in 2004.

(2015) Regional Humanitarian Organizations, Routledge

The Companion on Humanitarian Action addresses the political, ethical, legal and practical issues which influence reactions to humanitarian crisis. It does so by exploring the daily dilemmas faced by a range of actors, including policy makers, aid workers, the private sector and the beneficiaries of aid and by challenging common perceptions regarding humanitarian crisis and the policies put in place to address these. Through such explorations, it provides practitioners and scholars with the knowledge needed to both understand and improve upon current forms of humanitarian action.

(2013) Statebuilding, Routledge

This new Routledge Handbook offers a comprehensive, state-of-the-art overview of the meanings and uses of the term ‘peacebuilding’, and presents cutting-edge debates on the practices conducted in the name of peacebuilding.

(2011) Routine Learning? How Peacebuilding Organizations Prevent Liberal Peace, Zed Books

Moving beyond the binary argument between those who buy into the aims of creating liberal democratic states grounded in free markets and rule of law, and those who critique and oppose them, this timely and much-needed critical volume takes a fresh look at the liberal peace debate. In doing so, it examines the validity of this critique in contemporary peacebuilding and statebuilding practice through a multitude of case studies - from Afghanistan to Somalia, Sri Lanka to Kosovo. Going further, it investigates the underlying theoretical assumptions of liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding, as well as providing new theoretical propositions for understanding current interventions. Written by some of the most prominent scholars in the field, alongside several new scholars making cutting edge contributions, this is an essential contribution to a rapidly growing interdisciplinary area of study.