Peacebuilding and the Limits of Liberal Internationalism

October 1, 1997

International Security 22:2 (Fall 1997), pp. 54-89
 

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 recurrence of civil violence.

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Roland Paris
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

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rparis@uottawa.ca

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