Peacebuilding is the international community’s newest approach to ending cycles of conflict in hot spots around the world. It recognizes that even if conflict has officially ended, the risk of violence often remains ever-present. In fact, roughly 40 percent of post-conflict countries have faced renewed violence within a decade. Peacebuilding tries to improve the prospect for lasting peace by helping to stabilize societies, strengthen institutions and reinforce governments. Since 2005, the United Nations has spent $250 million on peacebuilding projects in 19 countries — most of them in Africa but also in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Haiti and Kyrgyzstan. But does this approach work, and can it be replicated in countries with drastically different histories and cultures? Is a democratic society a prerequisite for lasting peace? Critics of peacebuilding say it will take more than a new philosophy to fix the world’s most fragile states. Proponents say it is the best attempt yet at dealing with the aftermath of conflict.
The full article on peacebuilding by Jina Moore can be purchased on the CQ Press website. The article can be found in volume 5, number 12, pages 291-314.