218 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    218 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Combining the insights of a seasoned practitioner with the academic rigor of a meticulous policy and risk analyst, del Castillo discusses the major obstacles to peacebuilding that need to be removed before war-torn countries can move towards peace, stability, and prosperity. As Secretary-General António Guterres assumes leadership in January 2017, a top priority must be to address the bleak peacebuilding record where over half of the countries under UN watch relapse back into conflict within a decade.

    While policy debate and the academic literature have focused on the security, political, and social aspects of the war-to-peace transition, this book focuses on "the economic transition"—that is, "economic reconstruction" or "the political economy of peace"—which, in the author’s view, is the much-neglected aspect of peacebuilding. The book argues that rebuilding war-torn states effectively has acquired a new sense of urgency since extremist groups increasingly recruit people by providing jobs and services to those deprived of them due to government and economic failures.

    Based on past lessons and best practices of the last quarter of a century, the author makes recommendations to move forward and improve the record. It will be of great use to students and scholars of peacebuilding, as well as policymakers in national governments, donor countries and international organizations involved in peacebuilding, statebuilding, and development.

    Foreword by Alvaro de Soto


    1 Peacebuilding: Conceptual Framework—From An Agenda for Peace and its Supplement to An Agenda for Development

    2 Economic reconstruction amid the multidisciplinary transition to peace

    3 The economics of war, the economics of conflict resolution, the economics of peace, the economics of development

    4 Economic reconstruction vs development: Evolving conceptual views

    5 Peacebuilding at the UN—From conceptualization to operationalization

    6 The peacebuilding record, lessons, and challenges

    7 Specific economic issues affecting peacebuilding in selected countries

    8 Policymaking premises for effective economic reconstruction

    9 Moving forward: Thinking outside the box


    Graciana del Castillo is senior fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of several boards. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University where she was adjunct professor, senior research scholar, and associate director of the Center for Capitalism & Society. She has published extensively and is the author of Rebuilding War-Torn States (2008). 

    Alvaro de Soto (author of the Foreword) held senior positions at the United Nations for twenty-five years (1982-2007). He discharged a number of missions, including as mediator of the peace agreement that ended the 1980-1991 war in El Salvador, and special envoy for Myanmar, Cyprus, Western Sahara, and the Middle East. He has been teaching conflict resolution at Sciences Po in Paris since 2011. Among other affiliations he is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation and a senior fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies. At Columbia University he hosts "Conversations with Alvaro de Soto," a series of public interviews with distinguished negotiators and mediators.

    "Graciana del Castillo's books have demonstrated that peace is far too difficult to leave to the generals, diplomats, peacekeepers, lawyers and political scientists. She shows that sustainable peace without economic transformation is close to impossible. This volume advances that important body of work, drawing crucial distinctions among the phases of economic transformation and proposing novel solutions to the persistent failure of the international community to play its proper role in the design and implementation of the political economy of peace." - Michael Doyle, University Professor, Columbia University and author of "The Question of Intervention" (Yale, 2015)

    "Peacebuilding is much lionized, but rarely lives up to expectations. This is doubly puzzling as the UN has been engaged in peacebuilding for several decades. This excellent, admirably compact volume explains the need for active UN peacebuilding and the multiple challenges it faces. Graciana del Castillo is an economically literate, politically acute analyst committed above all to positive results on the ground. She is uniquely qualified to decode the objectives and challenges involved having been a lead actor in peacebuilding." - Dr. David M. Malone, Rector of the United Nations University and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

    "Accessible and unencumbered by jargon, Obstacles to Peacebuilding is an authoritative, hard-hitting and unvarnished assessment of the UN’s underwhelming record when it comes to helping countries recover from war and protracted conflict. It is an excellent and timely study, covering a broad canvas of cases and pregnant with policy implications. Of interest to practitioners, scholars and students alike, this is a contribution to the literature that deserves a very wide readership." - Mats Berdal, Professor of Security and Development, King’s College London and author of "Building Peace After War" (Routledge, 2009)

    "Much has been learned about building peace, stability and prosperity in countries undergoing security and political reform, national reconciliation, and economic reconstruction. With her critical eye, Graciana del Castillo pulls it all together in this tightly written, insightful and compelling book." - Ambassador Enrique ter Horst, former SRSG in El Salvador and Haiti and Assistant Secretary-General in the Office of the Director-General for Development and International Economic Cooperation