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Disentangling the impact of peacebuilding: intentionality, consequences, and responsibility

Visoka, Gëzim (2014) Disentangling the impact of peacebuilding: intentionality, consequences, and responsibility. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

This thesis disentangles the impact of peacebuilding in post-conflict societies, focusing on the intentionality, consequences, and responsibility that underline current peacebuilding practices. An examination of the consequences of peacebuilding has largely been ignored by peacebuilding organizations and is insufficiently explored by peace and conflict scholars. The overall argument of this thesis is that liberal peacebuilding is not fit for purpose. Peacebuilding organizations do not engage sufficiently with the spectrum of consequences that their actions produce. They are not capable of reaching intended goals, anticipating and preventing the consequences of their actions, and taking responsibility for their consequences. This makes peacebuilding a camouflaging enterprise. Peacebuilding organizations are preoccupied with immediate impact, are motivated by self-interest, and operate with short-sightedness. However, the very ignorance of the long-term impact and consequences of peacebuilding conditions the failure of peacebuilding efforts in the short term, thereby delaying the consolidation of peace at the expense of prolonging human insecurity and local inertia into structural disadvantages and uncertainty. Accordingly, this thesis highlights an underexplored aspect of peacebuilding practice, and opens up space for peacebuilding critiques to explore new frontiers. It argues that local agency in its institutional, public and everyday forms counts and plays a crucial role in shaping, negotiating, and determining the prospects of peacebuilding. In this regard, the thesis shows that peace is also shaped by dislocated and dissociated events and interactions within and beyond peace infrastructure, as well as being determined by local agents directly and indirectly involved in peacebuilding endeavours. In undertaking this complex task, this thesis develops a new integrated typological framework, which examines the following aspects of peacebuilding: the declared intentions; critical turning points; the spectrum of unintended, unanticipated, and unprevented consequences; and responsibility in the form of attributability, answerability and accountability. To facilitate this process, this thesis introduces ‘critical practice tracing’ as a new qualitative mixed method to guide the identification, examination, and evaluation of peacebuilding intentionality, consequences and responsibility in post-conflict situations. The typological framework is utilized to examine the unintended consequences of police reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the unprevented consequences of the emergence of Serb parallel structures in Kosovo, and the unanticipated consequences of security sector reform in Timor-Leste. To cope with complexity, uncertainty, and to reduce and avoid the potentially negative consequences of peacebuilding, acting and knowing about peace-building should create space for emancipatory, reflective, and precautionary peacebuilding. Accordingly, the main contribution of this thesis is to promote a critical local perspective on peacebuilding, problematize the ethos and agency of peacebuilding and expand critical epistemologies to capture the complexity of con-temporary peacebuilding in post-conflict societies.
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:November 2014
Supervisor(s):Doyle, John
Uncontrolled Keywords:Peacebuilding; Liberal peace; Kosovo; Bosnia; Timor Leste; East Timor
Subjects:Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences > International relations
Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:Research Institutes and Centres > Centre for International Studies (CIS)
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:19999
Deposited On:04 Dec 2014 13:43 by John Doyle . Last Modified 19 Jul 2018 15:03

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