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Local peacebuilding in a victor’s peace. Why local peace fails without national reconciliation

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journal contribution
posted on 25.02.2019 by Giulia Piccolino
The literature on peacebuilding has increasingly emphasized the importance of the local level – a trend that has been called the local turn. For some researchers, the local turn can improve international peacebuilding interventions, while for others it is an agenda to promote an emancipatory and legitimate peace. There is however mixed evidence backing the argument that addressing local level issues in peacebuilding can make a substantial difference. The local turn reposes on assumptions that appear particularly problematic in an environment characterised by the lack of an elite-level pact, such as a conflict terminated in a military victory. Looking at the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, which terminated in 2011 with the defeat of former president Laurent Gbagbo, this paper highlights how the lack of elite level reconciliation compromises the effectiveness of actions aiming to promote local ‘social cohesion’. It also shows how the discourse and practices of the local turn can be appropriated by semi-authoritarian post-conflict governments in order to depoliticize the peacebuilding process. It concludes that the popularity of the ‘local turn’ among peacebuilders might be due more to the opportunity that it offers to eschew delicate national-level political issues, than to its supposed emancipatory potential.

Funding

Fieldwork on which this work is based was supported by the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation, through an Alexander Von Humboldt post-doctoral fellowship.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

International Peacekeeping

Volume

26

Issue

3

Pages

354-379

Citation

PICCOLINO, G., 2019. Local peacebuilding in a victor’s peace. Why local peace fails without national reconciliation. International Peacekeeping, 26(3), pp. 354-379.

Publisher

© Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Taylor and Francis

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Peacekeeping on 01 Mar 2019, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/13533312.2019.1583559

Acceptance date

08/02/2019

Publication date

2019-03-01

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

1353-3312

Language

en

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