Civilian Peacebuilding: Peace by bureaucratic means?

Laurent Goetschel, Tobias Hagmann

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This article draws attention to the shortcomings of civilian peacebuilding, which donors, aid agencies and NGOs have adopted in their policies and projects in
recent years. It argues that government sponsored peacebuilding propagates a
conception according to which peace can be achieved by bureaucratic means. Although peacebuilding is committed to what peace esearch considers positive peace, its discourses and practices tend to depoliticise peace. Hence, peacebuilding represents a top-down variant of liberal peace, the meanings, substance and causal beliefs of which are taken for granted and less and less
debated among practitioners and policymakers. Reviewing a growing body of
literature that takes a critical stance towards peacebuilding, this article identifies
some of the conceptual and ethical problems shared by contemporary peacebuilding activities. It calls upon policy-makers and peace researchers to pay more attention to the prescriptive and instrumentalist logic of peacebuilding and encourages academics to rejuvenate a critical peace research tradition
that offers alternative and more participatory approaches to peace.
TidsskriftConflict, Security & Development
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)55-73
StatusUdgivet - 2009
Udgivet eksterntJa

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