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Civilian peacebuilding: peace by bureaucratic means?

Goetschel, Laurent and Hagmann, Tobias. (2009) Civilian peacebuilding: peace by bureaucratic means? Conflict, Security and Development, 9 (1). pp. 55-73.

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Abstract

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 research 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 policy-makers. 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.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Politikwissenschaft > Politikwissenschaft (Goetschel)
08 Cross-disciplinary Subjects > Europainstitut > Ehemalige Einheiten Europainstitut > Europäische Politik (Goetschel)
UniBasel Contributors:Goetschel, Laurent
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1467-8802
e-ISSN:1478-1174
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:15 Jun 2018 13:37
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:10

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