Peacebuilding: who needs a model?
Élise Féron

Over the past few decades, the field of peacebuilding has been in turmoil, at both the theoretical and the empirical levels. At the theoretical level, the concept of peacebuilding has faced a continuous and sustained critique, on various grounds, such as accusations of neglecting local actors’ voice and agency, of advancing hegemonic interests and neocolonial agendas, or of reproducing pre-existing hierarchies of power in post-conflict societies. In the face of these critiques, the meaning and practices of international peacebuilding, in particular UN-led peacebuilding, have somewhat evolved, notably as more attention is paid to local processes and actors (what has been called the ‘local turn’ in peacebuilding), and as the attempt is made to build synergies with local ‘cultures of peace’.

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