Strategies of Peace: Transforming Conflict in a Violent World

Strategies of Peace: Transforming Conflict in a Violent World

Strategies of Peace: Transforming Conflict in a Violent World

Strategies of Peace: Transforming Conflict in a Violent World

Synopsis

How can a just peace be built in sites of genocide, massive civil war, dictatorship, terrorism, and poverty? In Strategies of Peace, the first volume in the Studies in Strategic Peacebuilding series, fifteen leading scholars propose an imaginative and provocative approach to peacebuilding. Today the dominant thinking is the "liberal peace," which stresses cease fires, elections, and short run peace operations carried out by international institutions, western states, and local political elites. But the liberal peace is not enough, the authors argue. A just and sustainable peace requires a far more holistic vision that links together activities, actors, and institutions at all levels. By exploring innovative models for building lasting peace-a United Nations counter-terrorism policy that also promotes good governance; coordination of the international prosecution of war criminals with local efforts to settle civil wars; increasing the involvement of religious leaders, who have a unique ability to elicit peace settlements; and many others--the authors advance a bold new vision for peacebuilding.

Excerpt

Daniel Philpott

The most recent generation in global politics might well be called the “age of peacebuilding.” What merits the moniker is an intense, diverse, and global wave of efforts to end the violence and colossal injustices of civil war, genocide, dictatorship, and large-scale poverty and to foster justice and prosperity in their stead. Since 1988, the United Nations (UN) has undertaken peacebuilding operations in revolutionary number and frequency. Since the end of the Cold War, an unprecedented number of civil wars have ended through negotiated settlements. a “third wave of democracy,” beginning in 1974, has seen some eighty societies move toward human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. Everyone, it seems—from the un to the World Bank to the World Social Forum to relief and development agencies—has pursued ambitious quests to end poverty. Transitional justice has become a global pursuit, involving variously national trials, vetting practices, international criminal tribunals, a permanent International Criminal Court, over thirty truth commissions, an outbreak of reparations and public apologies, and sometimes forgiveness in the political realm. Western states have struggled to establish security and the rule of law in sites of violence and anarchy—the United States in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq; Germany in Afghanistan; and the European Union (EU) in Kosovo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Human rights organizations, religious institutions, tribal elders, and citizens of domestic societies have sought to resolve and transform conflict in innovative ways, too.

But if this montage of energies describes a trend, so too it evokes urgent questions. Are all of these efforts truly ones of peacebuilding? Which have been successful? Under what conditions are they . . .

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