International media has established an image of Haiti as a disorganised and violent society. However, this article argues that—and reveals why—this characterisation is incorrect. The article explores how the structures and traditions of Haitian local communities react and respond to the needs of the communities and to the disputes that arise within them. It explores the causes of local conflicts and their relationship with the larger conflict picture in Haiti, and furthermore investigates the challenges faced by local models of conflict prevention and how these are affected by national policies as well as by the presence of foreign actors in the country. The analysis is based on a survey and on fieldwork carried out in different regions of Haiti during the period 2007–2013. The article concludes with recommendations to pay more attention to the challenges that local conflict prevention efforts face—as a result of the larger liberal peace-building framework.
Hauge, Wenche Iren; Rachelle Doucet & Alain Gilles (2015) Building peace from below – the potential of local models of conflict prevention in Haiti, Conflict, Security & Development 15 (3): 259–282.