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  • 2018ferreirophd

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The discursive construction of identity and legitimation in the UN mission in Haiti (2004 - 2015)

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2018
Number of pages269
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) took place between 2004 and 2017, with a mandate to establish a secure and stable environment in the aftermath of a coup that ousted President Jean Bertrand Aristide. In this thesis, I investigate how the leaders of MINUSTAH discursively constructed legitimation and a Latin-American identity in the context of the mission.
To analyse these processes, I develop a comprehensive analytical framework, drawing in critical discourse studies (CDS), theories of identity, international interventions, peacekeeping and postcolonialism. This framework analyses a set of discursive strategies through which legitimation and identity are constructed.
This study comprises a total set of 18 interviews with leaders of MINUSTAH collected on four different fieldtrips, across three different countries and a total span of 11 year. Additionally, it also analyses 18 UN Security Council resolutions for MINUSTAH. My analysis combines different CDS frameworks to study the discursive strategies used by these leaders to legitimise their actions and construct a Latin-American identity.
My analysis finds that the Latin American identity constructed within MINUSTAH is rather problematic and subject to geopolitical power struggles. It also finds that core concepts for a peacekeeping mission such as ‘security’ and ‘stability’ are also problematic and subject to discursive strategies. It is possible to find different strategies of legitimation and argumentation among the leaders of MINUSTAH when it comes to legitimising the mission or how its major challenges were faced.