In love with a lie? On the social and political preconditions for global peacebuilding governance

Journal article

Lidén, Kristoffer (2013) In love with a lie? On the social and political preconditions for global peacebuilding governance, Peacebuilding 1 (1): 73–90.

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Revisionist responses to the fallacies of liberal peacebuilding presuppose a commitment to the objective of building self-sustainable peace in war-torn countries. If this cosmopolitan commitment is nothing but an alternating motive of states for self-serving agendas, then the revisionists are in love with a lie, tragically confined to the graveyard of idealistic peace proposals. In this essay, the strategic and structural underpinnings of global peacebuilding governance are therefore explored, interpreting the empirical literature on recent operations through the social theoretical perspective of Anthony Giddens. It is argued that while the revisionist debate fails to recognise the subjective and self-serving preconditions for international peacebuilding, a certain strand of the revisionist literature is well attuned to these. Indicating what it would mean to turn the lie of liberal peacebuilding into more realistic and legitimate peacebuilding strategies, this strand also serves as a source of inspiration for revisiting broader debates on the law and ethics of global governance.

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