Transforming understandings of the merging of development and security
Submitting InstitutionUniversity of Bristol
Unit of AssessmentPolitics and International Studies
Summary Impact TypeSocietal
Research Subject Area(s)
Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration, Political Science
Summary of the impact
Professor Mark Duffield's research on the relationship between
development and security has
had a significant impact on the understandings and work of practitioners
in many agencies
worldwide, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
sans Frontières (MSF), the UK Department for International Development
(DfID), the Norwegian
Refugee Council (NRC), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the
organisations (NGOs) Independent Diplomat in South Sudan and the Enough
genocide and other crimes against humanity.
The body of research relating to the impact set out in this case study
refers to the period from
2006 when Duffield was Professor of Development Politics and Founding
Director of the Global
Insecurities Centre at the University of Bristol until his retirement in
After his return to academia in 1989, Duffield's research drew on his
as Oxfam's Country Representative for Sudan (1985-1989) and almost a
decade of consultancy
work in conflict zones in Africa, the Balkans and Afghanistan. Adopting a
methodology and working directly in the field, Duffield's driving concern
has been to understand
the nature and implications of Western humanitarian and development
interventionism in the post-Cold
War era, a theme explored in his 2001 book Global Governance and the
New Wars: the
Merging of Development and Security (1,876 citations). This seminal
contribution opened up what
is now an extensive field of reflection on the interconnections between
development and security.
Duffield then explored the idea of development as a liberal strategisation
of power that governs in
the name of people, freedom and rights (principally in Duffield 2005 in Conflict,
Development: 81 citations).
Upon his arrival in Bristol in 2006, Duffield embarked upon the second
landmark phase of
his research, this time on the emerging international security
architecture, which Duffield argues
has the development-security merger at its core. This new research enabled
a more advanced
level of theorisation about development as a relation of security. In
these outputs Duffield
explored how development functions as a tool of governance, and how
crises, poverty and fragile states provide opportunities to deepen this
policy framework. This work
highlights the risk-averse way that aid agencies approach the management
of security in the field
and its impact on their ability to fulfil their humanitarian functions.
His research bridges the
academic and policy worlds, bringing critical theory to bear on current
policy debates. Since 2007
he has identified the very tight, almost annual, time frames of the twists
and turns of global liberal
governance as the actors within it re-evaluate and revise their engagement
with the global South.
The key unfolding themes it has identified are:
Unending war: The merger of development and security has
produced unending war to
govern the global South .
Containment: This unending global civil war is increasingly
taking the form of efforts by
the global North to prevent the non-insured people of the global South
from circulating into the
global North, and to prevent them doing so less by intervention than by
containment   .
Implausible self-reliance: The contained peoples of the global
South are expected to be
self-reliant, even though this self-reliance is implausible and actually
reinforces a global life-chance
divide   .
The bunkerisation of aid: The institutions of the global North
tend to assume that, for
containment of the global South to function, aid must be delivered but
the merging of
development and security has resulted in aid workers coming under
increasing attack. As a result
major aid programmes have to a significant degree retreated to fortified
aid compounds, out of
touch with the societies they are meant to be assisting  .
Resilience and pervasive risk: Despite the spatial propagation
of the bunker (gated
communities, green zones, tourist enclaves, etc.), the pervasiveness of
environmental risk for
global North and South has fed into the pervasiveness of the notion of
resilience, in which living
with risk and coping with its realisation are increasingly normalised
and yet beyond many  .
Remote management of aid: The failures of bunkerised aid,
implausible self-reliance and
the demand to be resilient have led to a mostly fruitless search for
methods of remote
management in order to deliver effective aid while limiting the risks to
aid workers  .
References to the research
 Duffield, M. (2007) Development, Security and Unending War:
Governing the World of
Peoples, Cambridge: Polity Press. 497 citations. Submitted to RAE
2008. Can be supplied
 Duffield, M. (2008) `Global Civil War: The Non-Insured, International
Containment and Post-Interventionary
Society', Journal of Refugee Studies, 21(2), 145-165. doi:
Peer reviewed. Impact Factor: 0.383. 5-Yr Impact Factor: 0.956. 46
 Duffield, M. (2010) `The Liberal Way of Development and the
Exploring the Global Life-Chance Divide', Security Dialogue, 41
doi: 10.1177/0967010609357042. Peer reviewed. Impact Factor: 1.612.
Ranking: 12/82 in
International Relations. 68 citations.
 Duffield, M. (2010) 'Risk Management and the Fortified Aid Compound:
Every-day life in Post-Interventionary
Society', Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 4 (4)
10.1080/17502971003700993. Peer reviewed. 29 citations.
 Duffield, M. (2011) `Total War as Environmental Terror: Linking
Liberalism, Resilience and the
Bunker', South Atlantic Quarterly, 110 (3): 757-769. doi:
reviewed. 9 citations.
 Duffield, M. (2012) `Challenging Environments: Danger, Resilience and
the Aid Industry',
Security Dialogue, 43(5), 475-492. doi: 10.1177/0967010612457975.
Peer reviewed. Impact
Factor: 1.612. Ranking: 12/82 in International Relations. 7 citations.
 Duffield, M. (Principal Investigator — PI) (2007-08) On the Edge
of `No Man's Land': Chronic
Emergency in Myanmar, Office of UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
 Duffield, M. (PI) (2008) Evaluation of UNHCR's Reintegration
Operation in Southern Sudan,
Geneva: UNHCR, £12,000.
 Duffield, M. (PI) and Collinson, S. (Co-Investigator) (2010 - 31
January 2013) Achieving Policy
Coherence in Challenging Environments: Risk Management and Aid Culture
in Sudan and
Afghanistan, ESRC-DfID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research,
Details of the impact
Duffield's impact since 2008 has its foundations in his directly relevant
experience in the field. From 1985-1989, he was Oxfam's Country
Representative in Sudan,
responsible for managing under challenging conditions what was, at the
time, its largest overseas
humanitarian and development programme. In 1991 Duffield was commissioned
to write an
internal agency report, Oxfam's Emergency Response to the Gulf War.
In 1993 Norwegian
Church Aid appointed Duffield PI on a project investigating humanitarian
intervention in Ethiopia
and Eritrea. In 1994 he produced a report for the United Nations
Children's Fund on Complex
Political Emergencies in Angola and Bosnia. In 1994-95 Duffield was
appointed Team Leader by
the Catholic Association for Development to evaluate the Sudan
Consortium. In 1995-96 he was commissioned by the United Nations
Department of Humanitarian
Affairs to coordinate the Evaluation of the UN's Operation Lifeline
Sudan. In 1996 the Swedish
International Development Co-operation Agency employed Duffield to work on
its Evaluation of
Social Reconstruction in Croatia and Bosnia. In 1998 DfID appointed
him to lead an evaluation
team on the DfID Contribution to Poverty Reduction in Mozambique.
In 1999-2000 he was Team
Leader (North Sudan) on the Evaluation of European Commission
Assistance to Sudan. In 2001 he led a research team to evaluate the
UN's Strategic Framework
for Afghanistan. Thus, over nearly two decades Duffield had extensive
exposure to humanitarian
and aid agencies and donor governments, allowing him to develop formal and
informal ties with a
wide range of key actors. This close, sustained involvement with diverse
agencies, issues and
crises brought the merging of development and security to his attention.
The thinking developed in Duffield's research  was brought to bear on
missions   at the start of this period which in turn led to a
further research output . In 2007-08
he headed a research team examining how development agencies operate in
environment' of Myanmar and in 2008 he ran the evaluation of UNHCR's
programme in South Sudan and Blue Nile State. Through these engagements
two new themes of
his work came into focus — implausible self-reliance and aid
bunkerisation. This led directly to
Duffield's 2010-13 ESRC-DfID project  on achieving aid policy coherence
environments. It was conducted in conjunction with the Overseas
Development Institute (ODI)'s
Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) which has members in over 130
countries. It also had an
International Reference Group (IRG) throughout as a platform for two-way
learning. The IRG was
exceptionally high level and wide-ranging including the following and
their representatives: UN
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; European Inter-agency
Coordinator; WFP; US Agency for International Development Senior Adviser
Transformation and Bureau of Policy Planning and Learning; Senior Advisor,
Danish Church Aid; Humanitarian Director, Oxfam; Policy Development and
UNHCR; US Social Science Research Council; Director, Humanitarian Policy;
Save the Children
Fund, Somalia; Director, Humanitarian Practice Group, ODI; DfID
Stabilisation Unit; Director,
Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International; Head of
Humanitarian Section, Danish
Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Interpeace; Peace Training and Research
This degree of buy-in is indicative of the attention paid by top
practitioners to his research.
The ESRC-DfID project has brought to the attention of practitioners
Duffield's two latest
themes — the problems for resilience posed by pervasive risk  and the
difficulties faced by
attempts at the remote management of aid as a response to the risks faced
by aid workers .
They and others are trying to think through its implications. Duffield
spoke in March 2010 at a
Wilton Park conference supported by the Australian Agency for
International Development, Royal
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development
and Foreign Office with senior figures from the International Security
Assistance Force in Kabul,
DfID, the UN Mission in Afghanistan and the US Department of Defence.
These issues, including
explicit reference to Duffield's work, formed part of the discussion of
the High Level Expert Forum
on Food Security in Protracted Crises at the headquarters of the Food and
Organisation in Rome on 13-14 September 2012 [j]. In May 2013, Duffield
presented at the
Danish Institute for International Studies on the rise of humanitarian
remote management and the
respondent was the Secretary General of the Danish Red Cross
Policymakers and aid workers of many kinds report that Duffield's
research has had a
major impact on their thinking and practices. An independent consultant
advising DfID on conflict
analysis and formerly of Oxfam has described how Duffield's groundbreaking
practitioners aware that aid was being managed from a security
perspective. The consultant
highlighted how specialists in the field refer to Duffield's work since he
is considered one of a
small number of key worldwide experts on the relationship between aid and
security, and the
politicisation of aid more generally [b]. The WFP has highlighted the
importance and relevance of
Duffield's work on issues related to humanitarian space, in particular the
politicisation of aid and
the bunkering of the aid industry, and its impact on access and the
relationship between aid
workers and beneficiaries. The WFP concurs with Duffield's position that
practitioners are not as
close to the community as they need to be in order to understand
Furthermore, the WFP anticipates that Duffield's research on the
security/development nexus and
the containment of populations will likely inform future work undertaken
by WFP on the complexity
of forced migration [b]. Independent Diplomat's Representative in Juba,
South Sudan, has
highlighted the importance of Duffield's work , which he valued enough
to disseminate widely to
contacts in the aid community and to Government of South Sudan officials.
Representative stated that he delivered a lecture recently at the Danish
Defence Academy in
which he had cited Duffield extensively [e]. The co-founder of the Enough
Project on ending
genocide and crimes against humanity in Africa has said that Duffield's
work has been central to
the NGO's understandings of conflict dynamics. Duffield's search for
answers that go beyond
conventional explanations has influenced Enough in its endeavour to seek
answers to structural
causes, rather than simply proximate reasons for conflict [c]. According
to the Research Director
at Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) `Mark Duffield is one of the most
writing on humanitarian practices. His work has been very influential
within MSF especially to
understand the evolution of our operational environment and the policies
we are dealing with ...
one can legitimately claim [that] Mark Duffield is among the key thinkers
that helped MSF to
autonomise itself from the liberal peace agenda' [d].
Duffield is frequently interviewed by journalists, including radio and TV
researchers. In 2011 Duffield's insights were featured extensively in The
Development Poverty Matters blog, generating 27 comments. The article
included this point: `It is
not hard to see why it is becoming ever more difficult for aid-workers to
do what they got into the
industry to do. How can they, Duffield challenges us to consider, in a
world where they are taught
in countless security training courses: "If you see an accident, don't
stop, think carjack!"' Duffield
helped in the production of a two-hour television documentary `The Trouble
With Aid' that was
broadcast by BBC Four on 9 December 2012 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p8tkm).
In sum, as a 2012 report from the Feinstein International Centre put it:
`The terminology of
"the securitization of aid" and much of its intellectual underpinning has
been provided by
Professor Mark Duffield' [j] (p. 9 n. 3).
Sources to corroborate the impact
[a] Factual statement, Independent Consultant advising DfID (formerly of
the impact of  creating widespread awareness of aid being managed as a
[b] Factual statement, Policy Officer, World Food Programme. Corroborates
the impact of  on
donor understandings of stabilisation and  and  on their
understandings of bunkerisation.
[c] Factual statement, Co-founder, Enough Project. Corroborates the
impact of  and  on the
Enough Project's focus on underlying issues.
[d] Factual statement, Research Director, MSF. Corroborates the impact of
- in motivating
MSF's efforts to become autonomous from the liberal peace agenda.
[e] Factual statement, Juba Representative, Independent Diplomat.
Corroborates the impact of
- in incrementally, indirectly but still importantly shaping how
donors see 'fragile states'.
[f] Collinson, S. and Elhawary, S. (2012) `Humanitarian Space: A Review
of Trends and Issues',
Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) Report, no. 32
Corroborates the impact on humanitarian policy thinking of  regarding
unending war and 
regarding the bunkerisation of aid.
[g] Fishstein, P. and Wilder, A. (2012) Winning Hearts and Minds?
Examining the Relationship
between Aid and Security in Afghanistan, Feinstein International
Corroborates the impact of
 on humanitarian and security actors' understandings of their actions.
[h] Phillips, M. (2011) Living Hand to Mouth: Protection Funding and
Coordination in South Sudan,
Policy Development and Evaluation Service, UNHCR, http://www.unhcr.org/4e576b399.pdf.
Corroborates the impact of  on UNHCR thinking about the bunkerisation
[i] Reid-Henry, Simon (2011), `Why Western Aid Workers are Coming Under
Guardian, Poverty Matters Blog, 27 May, http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/may/27/western-aid-workers-under-threat.
Corroborates the impact of  and  on awareness of the issue and
implications of the bunkerisation of aid.
[j] Keen, D. (2012), Aid and Development in the Context of Conflict:
Some Problems and Pitfalls,
High-Level Expert Forum, Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Corroborates the impact
of  on high level discussions at the Food and Agricultural