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New Perspectives on Liberal Peacebuilding

New Perspectives on Liberal Peacebuilding
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Peacebuilding in conflict-prone or post-conflict countries — such as East Timor, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone — aims to prevent the re-emergence or escalation of violent conflict and establish a durable peace. This volume explores and critiques the ‘liberal’ premise of contemporary peacebuilding: the promotion of democracy, market-based economic reforms and a range of other institutions associated with ‘modern’ states as a driving force for building peace. If a liberal peace is viable, is it also legitimate? Or is it, as some claim, a new form of hegemonic control or neo-imperialism? What is the relationship between statebuilding, liberal peacebuilding and the more emancipatory agendas of peacebuilding? Insofar as peacebuilding resembles statebuilding, what or whose vision of the state is being promoted? Is peacebuilding a realist strategic enterprise meant to contain conflict and its international repercussions, or can it resolve the underlying sources of conflict and engage with grassroots actors and issues? Should it address objectives such as emancipation and social justice, and if so how?New Perspectives on Liberal Peacebuilding provides fresh insights into these debates. Whilst focusing mainly upon cases of major UN peacebuilding, it also considers the implications and record of liberal peacebuilding through a wider range of experiences. It goes beyond the narrow focus on democracy and market economics by interrogating a wider area of peacebuilding activities, including the (re)construction of state institutions. It applies ‘critical’ analysis to the study of peacebuilding, exploring the implications of peacebuilding activities for broader debates about power, legitimacy and international order. It also takes the debate beyond the realms of liberal Western academia by involving scholars and analysts from conflict-prone and post-conflict societies.
United Nations University Press; December 2009
405 pages; ISBN 9789280871432
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