IPI HomePublicationsMeeting NotesPeacebuilding and Postconflict Recovery: What Works and What Does Not?

 

print print  |  share share back back

Meeting Notes - July 08, 2014

Peacebuilding and Postconflict Recovery: What Works and What Does Not?

Robert Muggah and Christian Altpeter, rapporteurs

 

 

More than 600 peace agreements have been concluded since 1990, and nearly 120,000 peacekeepers were deployed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Interventions based on Chapters VI and VII of the UN Charter have correlated with reductions in violence and conflict, yet our knowledge is still very limited about why, how, and which instruments and tools available to peacebuilders work on the ground. The major challenge for peacebuilding is to find out what works and what does not.

This meeting note addresses this challenge of rebuilding peace in countries and societies emerging from conflict and the role external actors play in supporting these processes. It draws on the fourth International Expert Forum (IEF) held at IPI on May 23, 2013, in collaboration with the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the SecDev Foundation, and the Center for International Peace Operations. Researchers, practitioners, and decision makers at the forum reflected on UN activities over the past two decades and initiatives undertaken independently by governments alongside multilateral, bilateral, and nongovernmental entities. A key question posed by the organizers was whether peacebuilding writ large has contributed empirically to improving safety, security, justice, democratization, and economic recovery and development.

After exploring the track record of peacebuilding to date and the difficulties of defining successful peacebuilding and its end point, the note examines postconflict political and economic transition processes, as well as the rule of law and transitional justice. It offers a number of recommendations for policymakers and researchers:

• Clarify what is included in the “universe” of peacebuilding.
• Review internal and external types of peacebuilding, being mindful of foreign versus locally driven peacebuilding processes.
• Recognize varied temporal and spatial scales of impacts and the short-, medium-, and long-term goals of peacebuilding, adjusting expectations accordingly.
• Ensure that metrics are focused on objective and subjective markers of peacebuilding, capturing perceptions, attitudes, and levels of confidence.
• Learn from the general lessons and insights emerging from practice and academia, including the role of inclusive and responsive processes at the national and subnational level; the central role of politics, institutions, and resilience; and the importance of homegrown and locally owned peacebuilding.

The Global Observatory

Year in Review: Top 10 Peace and Security Reads
The International Peace Institute and its Global Observatory offered research and analysis on a range of topics in peace and security in 2014.

Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

December 12, 2014
Effective Governance Key to Africa’s Rise
Good governance is the key to Africa’s rise, but structural challenges are pulling the continent back, according to a new report launched at a December 12th IPI policy forum entitled “Effective Governance in Challenging Environments.”

December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.

View More