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The commodification and commercialisation of peace operations and security operations : a case study of Operation Rachel

Theron, Jenny (2005-03)

Thesis (MA (Political Science. International Studies))--Stellenbosch University, 2005.


Peace operations and security co-operations are expensive. Even though there are a variety of factors that influences peace agents when they consider approving a new, expanding an existing, or closing down a peace operation or security co-operation, one of these factors is the cost factor. If we were to isolate the cost factor it would follow that a reduction in the cost of peace operations and security co-operations, are likely to contribute to peace agents being more willing to approve new, expand existing or to give existing missions more time to consolidate before closing them down. There are a variety of ways how the cost of peace operations or security co-operations can be lowered. This thesis suggests an alliance with the private sector in the form of corporate sponsorships. In short, that peace operations and security co-operations be commodified and commercialised. This would entail introducing corporate sponsorship of some of the commodities that are used in peace operations and security co-operations, followed by the corporate sponsor using their involvement in the peace operation or security co-operation to their commercial advantage. The commodification and commercialisation of peace operations and security co-operations should result in the relevant operations and co-operations benefiting in a cost-effective as well as practical effectiveness sense, whereas the private sponsor should benefit in either or both a financial (profit) or an image-making sense. The psychological theory supporting such an argument is that of social identity theory. This theory explains how positive connotations made with peacemaking in warlike conditions will motivate industries to use this opportunity to show that their products can succeed in such demanding circumstances. Accordingly, social identity theory provides us with evidence as to how the commercialisation and commodification of peace operations and security co-operations can succeed. We also support our argument by providing a case study, Operation Rachel, which serves as a successful example of an operation that was (partially) commodified and commercialised. Operation Rachel, which can be seen as either or both a peace operation and security co-operation, shows that in the case of security co-operations, these operations should be presented as peace operations during the commodification and commercialisation processes.

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