The Power of Perceptions: Localizing International Peacebuilding Approaches

Hellmüller, Sara Anna. (2013) The Power of Perceptions: Localizing International Peacebuilding Approaches. International Peacekeeping, 20 (2). pp. 219-232.

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Perceptions of peace and conflict differ among various actors. Exploring them can enhance our understanding of meanings that international and local actors ascribe to a conflict, and what strategies are chosen to respond to it. Drawing on academic literature and empirical data gathered in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this article analyses how perceptions of the conflict in the DRC influenced the different local and international peacebuilding strategies and the outcomes of their interaction. The international community's priority was the restoration of the state because they saw the conflict as a breakdown of authority at the national level. The liberal state that the international community had foreseen was however hybridized with local authority structures in the course of its interaction with local perceptions and experiences. At the same time, international strategies eschewed or only belatedly included local priorities, such as reconciliation between antagonistic communities and land conflicts. The article thus argues that the interplay of priorities - the space where friction occurs - remains dominated by international actors. As a consequence, it suggests exploring more carefully and pragmatically the potential intermediary role that local peacebuilding actors can play in rendering international strategies more relevant at the local level.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Politikwissenschaft > Politikwissenschaft (Goetschel)
UniBasel Contributors:Hellmüller, Sara Anna
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:19 Jun 2020 12:14
Deposited On:19 Jun 2020 12:14

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