Building Peace in a Complex World
It used to be that a peace agreement was enoughthe mediators relaxed, congratulated themselves, maybe moved on to the next projectuntil they looked back and started to notice how few of the agreements lasted. Hence the need for the peacebuilding field to reassess their approaches to resolving conflicts and recognise that they need to be much more comprehensive than existing conflict resolution approaches sometimes imply. It is all too easy to assume that the prime requirement for solving a conflict is to work with those people who are apparently key to any peace process, such as the politicians, military or paramilitary leaders. To prioritise these groups for attention is the strategic temptation for those wishing to see a speedy end to a conflict. However such political agreements will often prove to be insufficient unless they contain, and are complemented by, a wide variety of interrelated social and economic development processes, many of which are connected. Without economic development, redressing inequality will be seen as a win/lose situation, particularly for those who currently have most resources. Without increasing employment possibilities young men can be more easily seduced into engaging with ethnic or religious ideologies. Without developing new community leadership, it is often impossible to shift a detrimental political system to a more amenable one. Where military and paramilitary violence has reigned, it is often difficult to lessen it without security sector reform. To be effective, decommissioning and demobilisation need trusted security institutions, as well as the provision of alternative employment, which needs better economic development, etc. etc.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 June 2015
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