Abstract: Liberal peacebuilding has become the target of considerable criticism. Although much of this criticism is warranted, a number of scholars and commentators have come to the opinion that liberal peacebuilding is either fundamentally destructive, or illegitimate, or both. On close analysis, however, many of these critiques appear to be exaggerated or misdirected. At a time when the future of peacebuilding is uncertain, it is important to distinguish between justified and unjustified criticisms, and to promote a more balanced debate on the meaning, shortcomings and prospects of liberal peacebuilding.
Special commendation, British International Studies Association-RIS Best Article Prize
Reprinted in David J. Francis, ed., When War Ends: Building Peace in Divided Communities (New York: Routledge: 2012)
Reprinted in Susanna Campbell, David Chandler and Meera Sabaratnam, eds., A Liberal Peace? The Problems and Practices...
Co-edited with Edward Newman and Oliver Richmond (UNU/Brookings, 2009)
This volume explores and critiques the "liberal" premise of contemporary peacebuilding: the promotion of democracy, market-based economic reforms, and a range of other institutions associated with modern states as a driving force for building peace.
"A 'must read' for scholars and practitioners alike."
--Richard Caplan, Oxford University
Abstract: There are crucial differences between classical and contemporary conceptions of the liberal peace thesis, or the proposition that liberally constituted states tend to be more peaceful in domestic affairs, in their relations with other states, or both. Classical liberals such as Locke and Kant believed that peace depended not only on liberal political and economic arrangements but also on a functioning state apparatus, capable of upholding the rule of law and containing societal competition within peaceful bounds. By contrast, modern liberal peace scholars have tended to treat functioning state institutions as a given, focusing instead on the relationship between violent conflict and different types of (already constituted) regimes. As a result, findings from modern scholarship do not necessarily apply to states just emerging from civil wars with damaged, dysfunctional, or nonexistent governmental institutions. Give...
Development in Practice 15:6 (Nov. 2005), interview conducted by Alina Rocha Menocal and Kate Kilpatrick
Since the early 1990s, the international community has become increasingly involved in efforts to (re-)build states that have been torn by war and violent conflict. Today, the UN alone is engaged in more than ten political and peace-building missions around the world, building on a record that has included post-conflict reconstruction efforts from Cambodia to Guatemala to Mozambique. With the massive operations underway in Afghanistan and Iraq, peace building represents a major global growth industry. Yet how much do we really know about its effectiveness in reducing conflict and supporting post-conflict reconstruction?
Roland Paris’s most recent work, At War’s End: Building Peace after Civil Conflict (2004) (which has won several awards, including the Chadwick F. Alger Award for best book on international organisation), examines 14 of the major UN peace-building miss...
Winner of the 2007 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, the 2005 Chadwick F. Alger Award (International Studies Association) and the 2004 Eugene M. Kayden Award (University of Colorado)
"Few studies of peacekeeping and peacebuilding merit the description 'breakthrough.' This is one of them." --Michael Pugh, Director, University of Plymouth and Editor of the International Peacekeeping journal
Excerpt: The proliferation of peacebuilding operations in recent years has given rise to a burgeoning academic literature on the subject. Although many of these studies have helped identify the strengths and weaknesses of particular operations, scholars have devoted relatively little attention to analyzing the concept of peacebuilding itself, including its underlying assumptions. What paradigm, or paradigms, of conflict management inform the work of peacebuilding agencies? How do these paradigms shape the conduct of peacebuilding operations in practice? Are current approaches to peacebuilding well suited to the task of consolidating peace in war-shattered state? Is there a better alternative? By addressing these questions, this article investigates the conceptual foundations of peacebuilding, and analyzes the relationship between these conceptual foundations and the actual effectiveness of peacebuilding as a method of preventing the r...