Fixing Haiti

MINUSTAH and Beyond

image of Fixing Haiti
References to the land of the black Jacobins are almost always followed by the phrase the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere”. To that distinction, on 12 January 2010, Haiti added another, when it was hit by a devastating natural disaster, a 7.0 Richter scale earthquake. Since 2004, the United Nations has been in Haiti through MINUSTAH in an ambitious attempt to help Haiti raise itself by its bootstraps. This effort has now acquired additional urgency. Is Haiti a failed state? Does it deserve a Marshall-planlike programme? What will it take to address the Haitian predicament? In this book, some of the world’s leading experts on Haiti examine the challenges faced by the first black republic, the tasks undertaken by the United Nations, and the new role of hemispheric players like Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as well as that of Canada, France and the United States.



Reforming the Haitian national police: From stabilization to consolidation

Passing judgement about success, failure or even progress amid “the fog of peacebuilding” is never easy (Barnett et al., 2003). It is especially difficult in the case of contemporary Haiti. The country’s recent past has been marked by both hope and despair; periods of relative stability have been punctuated by episodic crises, the most dramatic of which was the devastating earthquake of January 2010 which left over 200,000 dead and more than two million displaced. As Haitians struggle to recover from the most devastating natural disaster in their history, the longerterm implications of the quake in terms of political stability, economic recovery and peacebuilding remain difficult to predict. On the security side as well, recent trends have been anything but clear. While gang violence and kidnapping, the most visible manifestations of Haitian insecurity, have been reduced in recent years, overall levels of criminality remain high, spoilers continue to threaten the tentative and uncertain advance of the rule of law and the escape of half the country’s prison population in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake remains cause for concern.


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