Yasmine Shamsie
Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University





Yasmine Shamsie of Wilfrid Laurier University discusses the current state of affairs, shifting nature of political mandates, and historical record of multinational intervention in the small island nation of Haiti. Referring to some of her recent in-country fieldwork, Shamsie notes that various institutionalized challenges remain on the governance front. In particular, the relative inability of elites to align as part of broad-based political projects has fostered a cyclical dynamic of fragmentation, ultimately producing both instability and insecurity. Historical understandings of nationalism, critical perceptions of multinational engagement, and localized manifestations of violence have further compounded this problematic state of affairs. Shamsie suggests that the comparatively unique character of multinational intervention – especially in regards to questions of demobilization and reintegration – has enabled critical learning experiences in mandate development. Although the inherently complex challenges of popular support and economic development certainly remain, positive applications of regional political engagement and long-term donor commitment must not be forgotten.

Works by Dr. Yasmine Shamsie

  • Boniface, D. (Ed.)., Lean, S. (Ed.)., Legler, T. (Ed.)., Shamsie, Y. (2007). The International Political Economy of Democracy Promotion: Lessons from Haiti and Guatemala. Promoting Democracy in the Americas.
  • Cooper, A. (Ed.), Heine, J. (Ed.)., Shamsie, Y. (2009). The Haitian Imbroglio. Which Way Latin America? Hemispheric Politics Meets Globalization.
  • Cooper, A. (Ed.)., Rowlands, D. (Ed.)., Shamsie, Y. (2006). It’s Not Just Afghanistan or Darfur: Canada’s Peacebuilding Efforts in Haiti. Canada Among Nations 2006: Minorities and Priorities.
  • Shamsie, Y. (2004). Building ‘Low-Intensity’ Democracy in Haiti: The OAS Contribution. Third World Quarterly, 25(6), 1097-1115.
  • Shamsie, Y. (2008). Canadian Efforts to Build Democracy in Haiti: Some Reflections for the Coming Years. Canadian Foreign Policy, 14(3).
  • Shamsie, Y. (2009). Export Processing Zones: The Purported Glimmer in Haiti’s Development Murk. Review of International Political Economy, 16(4).
  • Shamsie, Y. (2008). Haiti: Appraising Two Rounds of Peacebuilding Using A Poverty Reduction Lens. Civil Wars, 10(4), 415-432.  
  • Shamsie, Y. (2004). How the Organization of American States Tackled Impunity in Haiti. Journal of Haitian Studies, 10(1), 165-180.
  • Shamsie, Y. (2008). Short- And Medium-Term Perspectives for the Haitian Economy: Fostering Pro-Poor Economic Development. Prepared for the United Nations Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
  • Shamsie, Y., Thompson, A. (Ed.). (2006). Haiti: Hope for a Fragile State.

Additional Resources

  • Castor, S., Jones, S. (Ed.)., McCaughan, E. (Ed.). (1994). Democracy and Society in Haiti: Structures of Domination and Resistance to Change. In Latin American Faces the Twentieth Century.
  • Dumas, R. (2008). An Encounter with Haiti: Notes of a Special Adviser.
  • Dupuy, A. (2007). The Prophet and Power.
  • Farmer, P. (2005). The Uses of Haiti.
  • Fatton, R. (2002). Haiti’s Predatory Republic. The Unending Transition to Democracy.
  • Fatton, R. (2007). The Roots of Haitian Despotism.
  • Hallward, P. (2008). Damming the Flood. Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment.
  • Maguire, R., et al. (1996). Haiti Held Hostage: International Responses to the Quest for Nationhood 1986 to 1996. P

Yasmine Shamsie
Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University

Recorded on September 2009