1st Edition

Partners in Peace Discourses and Practices of Civil-Society Peacebuilding

By Mathijs van Leeuwen Copyright 2009

    How do international organizations support local peacebuilding? Do they really understand conflict? Partners in Peace challenges the global perceptions and assumptions of the roles played by civil society in peacebuilding and offers a radically new perspective on how international organizations can support such efforts. Framing the debate using case studies from Africa and Central America, the author examines different meanings of peacebuilding, the practices and politics of interpreting conflict and how planned interventions work out. Comparing original views with contemporary perceptions of non-state actors, Partners in Peace includes many recommendations for NGOs involved in peacebuilding and constructs a new understanding on how these possible solutions relate to politics and practices on the ground. Concise in both theoretical and empirical analysis, this book is an important contribution to our understanding of civil society's role in building sustainable peace.

    Chapter 1 Overcoming Conflict: The Importance of Civil-Society Peacebuilding; Chapter 2 Civil Society Building Peace: The Development of an Idea; Chapter 3 Mapping the Peacebuilding Landscape: Policies and Practices of International Development Organizations; Chapter 4 Grounding Local Peace Organizations: A Case Study of Southern Sudan, With Dorothea Hilhorst; Chapter 5 Imagining the Great Lakes Region: Civil-society Regional Approaches for Peacebuilding in Rwanda, Burundi, and DR Congo; Chapter 6 Crisis or Continuity? Framing Land Disputes and Local Conflict Resolution in Burundi; Chapter 7 To Conform or to Confront? Civil Society and Agrarian Conflict in Post-conflict Guatemala; Chapter 8 Conclusion: Civil-Society Peacebuilding – What Does it Mean in Practice?;


    Mathijs van Leeuwen is an Assistant Professor at Centre for International Conflict Analysis and Management (CICAM), Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands