Does Peacebuilding Build Peace? Liberal (Mis)steps in the Peace Process

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

David, Charles-Philippe (1999) Does Peacebuilding Build Peace? Liberal (Mis)steps in the Peace Process , Security Dialogue 30(1): 25–41.

'Peacebuilding' is a popular concept today in UN missions. Elements of this practice have been present in various forms in over a dozen UN operations since the end of the Cold War. However, the solutions proposed and implemented can aggravate rather than alleviate problems. Risks must be weighed before liberal premises are applied to conflict resolution and the promotion of peace. 'Gradualists' and 'synergists' disagree as to the timing, the consent of the parties involved and the proper executors of such missions. The various phases of security, democratic and socio-economic transition all pose problems to peacebuilding in practice. The expectations of peacebuilding must be scaled down to enable the procession through these phases to be accomplished circumspectly and gradually, once the nature of the mission has been established.