Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Two-Level Games in Complex Emergencies: Aid and the Sudanese Civil War
by McKitrick, Victoria Lynn, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2013, 78; 10305834
Abstract (Summary)

A complex emergency is a crisis arising from extensive political violence, often including high death rates, large displacements, and societal upheaval. Humanitarian operations in complex emergencies have a political context and undergo complicated negotiations at the national and international levels. Robert Putnam’s theory of two-level games provides a lens for analyzing these interactions, stating that fractionalization in negotiating parties can cause improbable alliances. Because policy makers and negotiators in complex emergencies often do not have a complete picture of domestic or internal politics, they risk operating out of a series of assumptions that could harm vulnerable citizens when making these improbable alliances.

This thesis analyzes the interactions between agencies involved in the UN Operation Lifeline Sudan and the Government of Sudan through Putnam’s lens of two-level games. This study found that fragmentation in UN agencies led various parts of the operation to ally with Government of Sudan policies, unintentionally advancing Government of Sudan war goals. At a more general level, this thesis argues that political resolutions to humanitarian problems should not be systematically delegitimized even though they may be susceptible to manipulation. Both neutral humanitarian aid and political responses have exploitable weaknesses, but both can bring about helpful outcomes. Leaving room for political responses gives policy makers the ability to respond to causes in addition to symptoms of humanitarian problems.

Keywords: Operation Lifeline Sudan / two-level games / humanitarian aid / complex emergency / famine

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Golub, Philip
Commitee: Perry, Susan
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: African history, International Relations
Keywords: Civil wars, Famine, Humanitarian aid, Operation Lifeline Sudan, Sudan, Two-level games
Publication Number: 10305834
ISBN: 978-1-369-49398-6
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