Peacebuilding in Crisis: Rethinking Paradigms and Practices of Transnational Cooperation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Peacebuilding in Crisis

Rethinking Paradigms and Practices of Transnational Cooperation, 1st Edition

Edited by Tobias Debiel, Thomas Held, Ulrich Schneckener


264 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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The 1990s saw a constant increase in international peace missions, predominantly led by the United Nations, whose mandates were more and more extended to implement societal and political transformations in post-conflict societies. However, in many cases these missions did not meet the high expectations and did not acquire a sufficient legitimacy on the local level. Written by leading experts in the field, this edited volume brings together ‘liberal’ and ‘post-liberal’ approaches to peacebuilding. Besides challenging dominant peacebuilding paradigms, the book scrutinizes how far key concepts of post-liberal peacebuilding offer sound categories and new perspectives to reframe peacebuilding research. It thus moves beyond the ‘liberal’–‘post-liberal’ divide and systematically integrates further perspectives, paving the way for a new era in peacebuilding research which is theory-guided, but also substantiated in the empirical analysis of peacebuilding practices.

This book will be essential reading for postgraduate students and scholar-practitioners working in the field of peacebuilding. By embedding the subject area into different research perspectives, the book will also be relevant for scholars who come from related backgrounds, such as democracy promotion, transitional justice, statebuilding, conflict and development research and international relations in general.


[Peacebuilding in Crisis: Rethinking paradigms and process of transnational cooperation] provides a detailed and precise overview of the abundance of literature which has mostly been published in the Anglo-Saxon region. … The strength of the publication lies in its critical analysis. It presents the current status of academic discussion in a persuasive way. … Not only the practice of peacekeeping, but also the academic debate depicts the challenges and shortcomings of international commitment to cope with crises and conflicts. This contribution is undoubtedly vital and makes the publication well worth reading. - Translated from the German, W&F Wissenschaft und Frieden, 3/16, 55-56

Table of Contents

Preface Tobias Debiel, Thomas Held and Ulrich Schneckener 1. Peacebuilding in Crisis? Debating peacebuilding paradigms and practices Ulrich Schneckener Part 1 Reflecting Peacebuilding Paradigms2. Peacebuilding and Paternalism Michael Barnett 3. The Future of Peacebuilding David Chandler 4. Relational Peacebuilding: Promise beyond crisis Morgan Brigg Part 2 Revisiting Peacebuilding Practices5. Peacebuilding and Democracy Promotion: What current challenges to the latter might tell us for rethinking the former Jonas Wolff 6. Adapted instead of Imported: Peacebuilding by power-sharing Andreas Mehler 7. Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in Research and Practice: Achievements and shortcomings Martina Fischer 8. Truth Commissions, Human Rights and Gender: Normative changes in transitional moments Susanne Buckley-Zistel 9. Reforming the Security Sector and Rule of Law: The hidden transcripts of local resistance Keith Krause 10. Corporate Peace: Crisis in economic peacebuilding Michael Pugh Part 3 Rethinking Promises and Pitfalls of ‘the Local’11. What do we mean when we use the term ‘local’? Imagining and framing the local and the international in relation to peace and order Roger Mac Ginty 12. Understanding the "local" in Peacebuilding: Conceptual discourses and empirical realities Thania Paffenholz 13. False Promise: ‘Local ownership’ and the denial of self-government Pol Bargués-Pedreny 14. Rethinking the Local in Peacebuilding: Moving away from the liberal/post-liberal divide Tobias Debiel and Patricia Rinck

About the Editors

Tobias Debiel is Professor for International Relations and Development Policy, at the University of Duisburg-Essen, where he is the Director of the Institute for Development and Peace as well as Director of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Germany.

Thomas Held is the Managing Director, German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF) which was founded in 2000 to strengthen peace research in Germany.

Ulrich Schneckener is Professor of International Relations and Peace & Conflict Studies,University of Osnabrück, and Director of the University’s Center for Democracy and Peace Research as well as Member of the Governing Board of the German Foundation for Peace Research, Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Global Cooperation Series

The Routledge Global Cooperation series develops innovative approaches to understanding, explaining and answering one of the most pressing questions of our time – how can cooperation in a culturally diverse world of nine billion people succeed?

We are rapidly approaching our planet’s limits, with trends such as advancing climate change and the destruction of biological diversity jeopardising our natural life support systems. Accelerated globalisation processes lead to an ever growing interconnectedness of markets, states, societies, and individuals. Many of today's problems cannot be solved by nation states alone. Intensified cooperation at the local, national, international, and global level is needed to tackle current and looming global crises.

This interdisciplinary series welcomes proposals from a wide range of disciplines such as international relations and global governance, environment and sustainability, development studies, international law, history, political theory or economy which develop theoretical, analytical, and normative approaches concerning pressing global cooperation questions. We favour books that take an interdisciplinary approach and appeal to an international readership comprised of scholars and postgraduate students.

To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (

Tobias Debiel, Claus Leggewie and Dirk Messner are Co-Directors of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Their research areas are, among others, Global Governance, Climate Change, Peacebuilding and Cultural Diversity of Global Citizenship. The three Co-Directors are, at the same time, based in their home institutions, which participate in the Centre, namely the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE, Messner) in Bonn, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF, Debiel) in Duisburg and The Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI, Leggewie) in Essen.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy