building true community means going deeper, wider, higher...
Establishing little islands of peace...
Peacebuilding is not meeting all of its objectives - as can easily be seen by watching the news on television on any evening. Many theories have been propagated surrounding the processes of aid, relief, recovery and reconstruction in countries suffering the effects of political emergencies and conflict - most are critical of current approaches.
The resounding calls for a new attitude towards conflict resolution and peacebuilding as complex, long-term processes - requiring multi-level actors and holistic solutions - are indicative of a new wave of pluralist thinking in the field (“deeper”). Even those who still assume the dominant neoliberal paradigm is the only alternative, admit that it needs to be deeper and broader - with significant compromises in terms of its administration.
The most inspiring peace theorists summon us to higher levels of spirituality, regarding vision as the most important factor in guiding humanity towards the goal of peace and harmony (“higher”). Balancing the need for a new state of consciousness, is the need for practical approaches to be developed organically, involving local actors in bottom-up processes (“wider”).
This multi-faceted model would redefine the role of peacemakers and Peacebuilders - as visionaries who facilitate the realisation of locally-initiated social and political change, garner international support for programs, and maintain solidarity with the people as they journey towards peace.
This piece is an attempt to review and reflect upon some of the main theories in conflict resolution, reconstruction and peacebuilding - beginning with the debate surrounding the various stages in the recovery process, and an attempt to categorise some of the terms applied to each step. In this respect, theoretical analysis has greatly contributed to deeper levels of understanding in the field, and can be applied to the design and implementation of clear strategies.
The necessary elements of long-term Peacebuilding are then briefly discussed, followed by an elaboration on the main reasons for the current failure of Peacebuilding to achieve all of its goals. The factors often mentioned are a lack of resources, and the problematic nature of external intervention - due to the internationally revered concept of state sovereignty - and neoliberalist views.
In addition, intervention is not always welcomed by recipient states, or those who reject concepts like universal human rights and globalism, seeing these as excuses for cultural domination by the West. Other issues to be faced are the dominance of donor interests and agendas in post-conflict situations, and the need for an ethical framework and other reforms.
Finally, and despite much lip-service paid to this issue, there is a need for greater local participation, capacity-building, education and research into the unique local conditions and needs in every country. Peacebuilding is a mammoth task, and there is no shortage of theories about the best methods and models, but there is a common thread of hope running through even the most realistic critic's work.
This hope is what inspires all who wish to make a difference, taking the plunge into a world of conflict, and establishing little islands of peace along the way. We must keep swimming - helping others to keep their heads above water until land is in sight.
The contribution of theory to Peacekeeping, Peacemaking and Peacebuilding
· Conflict Transformation
Classical Conflict Resolution focused on enabling participants to resolve their differences by nonviolent means, through the negotiations which lead to a peace settlement (Miall et al. 1999:18). However, this approach has broadened in recent years to include efforts made to prevent conflict being expressed in violent ways, through the negotiation process, to the continuing resolution and management of issues in the post-settlement phase (Miall et al. 1999:18).
In this way violent conflict is transformed into social change by a process which includes prevention of conflict formation, peacekeeping to end violence, and peacemaking to transform conflict into a compromise viable enough to usher in the slow process of peacebuilding or social change (Miall et al. 1999:18).
Ryan distinguishes between "Peacekeeping, which aims for a reduction in violent conflict behaviour, and Peacemaking, which aims to resolve conflicting interests" (Miall et al. 1999:187).
These theoretical definitions have been useful for designing and discussing programs for post-conflict situations, however in practice these phases overlap and the borders of responsibility are blurred - resulting in confusion, gaps in implementation and administrative difficulties.
· Continuum - from Relief to Development
White & Cliffe discuss the problems encountered when attempting to define or categorise the various stages in recovery or Peacebuilding. "Relief" is seen to encompass the five essentials of protection, rescue, health, food, water, and shelter (White & Cliffe 2000:322). "Development" is considered to be a movement towards peace, justice, social equity; and a decline in ignorance, disease and poverty (White & Cliffe 2000:322).
The "Continuum from Relief to Rehabilitation and Development", as it is called by the UN in its 1991 General Assembly Resolution 46/182 (White & Cliffe 2000:316), states that emergency assistance must support long-term recovery, and international support should continue after the initial relief stage, as an opportunity to improve facilities and services (White & Cliffe 2000:316).
For this reason, the World Bank focus since the mid-90s has been on post-conflict reconstruction to "close the gap between relief and development" and ensure a "sustainable peace" (World Bank 1998 in White & Cliffe 2000:318). The challenge seems to be to overcome the distinctions of agencies and integrate relief, rehabilitation and development within a long-term strategy (OECD 1997 in White & Cliffe 2000:319).
· Peacebuilding Contiguum
Peacebuilding is mentioned in a 1996 UN Report, stating that post-conflict recovery programs supporting peace by linking relief and development are essential, and at the same time can address the immediate needs of the community (White & Cliffe 2000:317).
The European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) prefers to use the term "Contiguum" when discussing the Peacebuilding process – "reflecting the fact that operations in relief, rehabilitation and development may all be ongoing simultaneously within any given country” (ECHO, 1996 in White & Cliffe 2000:318).
Simpler models underestimate the chronic nature of political, economic and social instability, and therefore "peacebuilding must be an intrinsic element of development co-operation strategies" (White & Cliffe 2000:318). For White & Cliffe, "Rehabilitation" is the bridge between relief and development, and "Peacebuilding" is the process of developing local capacity and structural programs or processes which strengthen peace, and "decrease the likelihood of the outbreak, recurrence or continuation of violence" (White & Cliffe 2000:322).
This definition "cuts across the conflict/peace and relief/ development axes" (White & Cliffe 2000:322), resulting in a more holistic approach to Peacebuilding. While it is true that often conflict will be continuing even as development programs are implemented, undermining efforts at Peacebuilding, and potentially legitimising those guilty of human rights abuses, there is still a need to find an "entry point" to do whatever good can be done (White & Cliffe 2000:323,325).
· Peacebuilding as a complex system
Lederach also feels that Peacebuilding must be planned with the whole system in mind - looking at the bigger picture or context within which each component or stage should be understood (Lederach 1998:178). He compares this system to a building design, to be completed within a certain timeframe, defining levels of activity in stages, and understanding its complex nature (Lederach 1998:178).
Lederach's model of the timeframe required for peacebuilding covers four stages in a complex system, with some overlapping between the stages (Lederach 1998:180):
Action (first 2-6 months) is the first response to an emergency or crisis (Lederach 1998:180); but to avoid remaining in a “permanently emerging crisis”, we need to respond to, but not be driven by, this crisis mentality (Lederach 1998:183).
Preparation (lasting 1-2 years) is the next phase we should progress towards, involving training and equipping of participants in projects designed to develop local capacity (Lederach 1998:179). To extend the view beyond the life of the project requires constant linking of immediate action with long-term goals (Lederach 1998:179).
Design is required at this point, ushering in the third phase of five to ten years, where every step should be practical and evaluated in terms of its contribution to social change (Lederach 1998:179).
The Outcome, or final phase, is at least a period of twenty years from the emergency or crisis, and involves major structural and social change (Lederach 1998:179). Here the importance of "dreamkeepers" is emphasised - those who will keep the vision alive to usher in generational change (Lederach 1998:179).
These are idealistic but inspiring theories to guide Peacebuilders towards a brighter future, and keep us all motivated throughout the long, demanding journey. "Today we demand instant reconciliation" (Rees 2000 2000:16), as in the case of Rwanda, where one commentator noted:
"The most lamentable example was the rush to promote reconciliation over the understandable resistance of those who had suffered immensely" (Miall 1996 1996:8).
However post-conflict situations are complex and require patience and long-term vision from Peacebuilders. It is becoming increasingly obvious, for example, that
"We can't put a peacekeeping soldier behind every Burundian...Should foreign troops be deployed in Burundi, one can only hope that they will stay for fifty years, in other words, the time that it would take to teach two generations of Burundians how to live in peace"
(Abdallah in Trintignac 1999 1999:59).
The necessary elements of Peacebuilding
a) A Web of micro and macro levels
Lederach emphasises the need for Peacebuilding to move beyond its current frontiers, to something more sustainable - beyond short-term, to generational change; beyond hierarchy, to organic and broad-based participation; beyond political transition alone, to a web of "whole body politic" in a radically changing environment; beyond fear, to hope! (Lederach 1998:189).
Lederach's pyramid of actors and approaches to peacebuilding, illustrates a comprehensive multi-levelled effort, with society and grass-roots leaders taking part in local peace commissions, middle-level leaders being involved in problem-solving workshops, and high-level negotiations carried out by the top leaders or elite members of society (Miall et al. 1999:20).
Although the conventional approach to peacebuilding has been top-down, with energy centered on the top-level leaders and their political or military activities, Lederach calls for an "organic" model to replace hierarchy (Lederach 1998:183,185). This model should encourage the formation of what Saunders refers to as the "whole body politic" - a web of interdependent activities and people, cutting across all levels of the society (Lederach 1998:185).
This system would have a binding effect, holding people and processes together; and would take into account the reality that changes in one component system affect all the others; while no one part controls the whole process (Lederach 1998:185).
Pugh describes the World Bank's assistance as concentrating on civil society and enabling a country to resume commercial activities (Pugh 2000:113). The OECD, in turn, focuses on the state, giving priority to
"Restoring internal security and the rule of law, legitimising state institutions, establishing the conditions for economic growth, and improving food security and social services" (Pugh 2000:113).
This reflects the different goals followed by various institutions - for example the state or government actors are on the macro level of society, and have very different activities or goals to NGOs, who are on the micro level (Pugh 2000:113). These conflicting goals often result in organisations working against each other, ignoring the bigger picture - the common vision of peace.
Conventional approaches have also caused local people to experience a "process paradox" because the official negotiating table is perceived as a measure of group validation or identity needs, and after years of struggle, the results may be disappointing (Lederach 1998:185). As the marginalised have no direct access to the process, there is little ownership or responsibility for the final agreement, and feelings of powerlessness are inevitable (Lederach 1998:185). In addition, some leaders may manipulate the political context for personal gain, as there is no accountability (Lederach 1998:185).
Instead, Lederach's "infrastructure for peace" is the "foundation that will ultimately hold up the house" (Lederach 1998:185) - genuine participation and empowerment should be a priority through all stages of the process if it is to have long-term success.
b) Transformation and the Web of Reconciliation
Brown summarises the common causes of internal conflict in countries as "irresponsible leaders driven by intensifying elite competitions; problematic group histories; and economic problems" (Brown 1996 in Miall et al.1999:91).
It appears that usually all three factors are present before the conflict results in violence, therefore to avoid conflict and build peace, sustained efforts must target all levels: developing good systems for political governance and increasing the capacity of leaders; building community capacity for forgiveness, compromise and tolerance; and developing ways of boosting and managing the economy of the country wisely.
Lederach views Peacebuilding as a complex process which gradually evolves through various phases, from the immediate Agenda or Task, to Transition and Transformation, and finally resulting in Reconciliation (Lederach 1998:186-8).
These phases involve many overlapping aspects, such as the socio-economic, socio-political, socio-psychological and spiritual changes which together compose a "Web of Reconciliation" (Lederach 1998:187). Again, the emphasis is on the interlinked, organic nature of the processes, making the recurring imagery of a "web" the most appropriate and inspiring descriptive model.
The socio-economic activities required include financial aid, retraining, employment and development (Lederach 1998:186-7). Socio-political aspects to address involve demobilising, disarming, and integrating troops back into society, as well as repatriating refugees (Lederach 1998:186-7). Socio-psychological needs must be met at the same time, and ways devised to deal with identity issues, emotions, grief and trauma (Lederach 1998:186-7).
Finally, Reconciliation must be seen as not only the end goal, but also a journey, which opens a social space for dialogue, relationships and building, forgiveness and healing, self and other (Lederach 1998:186-9). Kriesberg elaborates on these intangible stages of reconciliation - stepping through truth and acknowledgement, to justice and restitution, then mercy, forgiveness and healing, and finally arriving at peace, security and well-being (Miall et al.1999:209).
This process requires an acknowledgement of the truth, and the pain of past injustices, but must pave the way to start afresh with former enemies -
"This is not forgive and forget. This is not remember, justify and repeat. True reconciliation is to remember and change...Spiritual is the best term to describe this search that goes beyond the political, economic, and psychological...toward self, enemy, and God...transformation and the restoration of relationship"
Why does Peacebuilding not meet its objectives?
1. “Resources are limited”
Lofty ideals aside, the present system is failing - as it appears to favour what Ottaway 2003 refers to as the "bargain-basement imperial solution" - an "attempt to rebuild a collapsed state according to a favourable model but with minimal resources" (Ottaway 2003:265). Even more damaging, Pugh points out that arms exports to conflict-prone areas have continued, while development assistance has decreased over the last decade (Pugh 2000:114).
Aid organisations struggle to obtain funding for social development programs like human rights education, because these do not deliver instant and visible results (Pugh 2000:115). Humanitarian agencies are increasingly expected to deliver welfare, but where government structures and funding do not exist either, this is an unrealistic expectation by the international community (Pugh 2000:116). Peacebuilding programs therefore suffer from a lack of allocated resources within aid packages, and are prone to rapidly fading interest as new causes receive the attention of the donor community (Pugh 2000:116).
White & Cliffe also feel there has been "an attack on humanitarianism" - the idea that relief aid harms and is failing to build peace - which is being used to justify not intervening in non-strategic countries around the world (Macrae 1998 in White & Cliffe 2000:320).
Furthermore, it has been observed that
"Those requiring humanitarian assistance must make sure that they, and especially their leaders, subscribe to the right attitudes if they are to be eligible" (Duffield 2003 :307).
There is considerable consensus on this point amongst peace theorists, and Yannis laments:
"It is therefore worth asking whether it is only the machinery to deal with state collapse that is missing from the international system today, or also the community values that are required in order to develop adequate international responses?" (Yannis 2003:76)
Clearly the international system is not lacking dollars, but love and compassion.
2. External Intervention is problematic
2.1 Tension between State Sovereignty and Human Rights
In the absence of an international framework, the tension between the long-revered concept of state sovereignty and the modern concern with protection of human rights prevents decisive, well co-ordinated intervention policies by the international community (Yannis 2003:71).
A fresh approach is required - realising that the idea of “sovereignty” could be broadened to become an inclusive value –
"Such a view unites people beyond borders...and would focus attention on the needs of people seeking assistance and protection. A sovereignty of universal values would be reflected in the practices of democracies whose leaders regarded boundaries as porous not impenetrable...a creative exercise of power to enhance dialogue and to contribute to a culture of tolerance and hospitality"
(Rees 2003 2003:259).
Assumptions about the very nature of states need to be re-evaluated in light of the increasing number of states suffering collapse since the end of the Cold War - pointing beyond countries' particular histories and circumstances, to deeper problems with the concept of the Westphalian State system itself (Milliken & Krause 2003:14).
Some even proclaim this is the "birth of a genuinely post-colonial order", as the previous externally imposed style of governance implodes through lack of internal support, and is gradually replaced by organic structures (Doornbos 2003:46, Ottaway 2003:247).
These "novel forms of government" should be supported wherever possible, rather than clinging determinedly to the current statist system (Doornbos 2003:53-54). Many have also argued that areas like sub-Saharan Africa should be allowed to evolve into new "non-state" political structures, which better suite the regional circumstances (Paris 2002:19), but Peacebuilders are determined to continue to support an institutional form of the "Westphalian state" in many areas where this ideology and the state itself have "no roots" (Paris 2002:20).
This is similar to the behaviour of the US and Russia during the Cold War, Paris reminds us (Paris 2002:20). The International system is itself constantly propagating the norm that the principle units of the international system are states, and that the territorial security of each of these is fundamental to the security of the whole world (Paris 2002:20).
Recently, the challenge to universalism has also been raised resoundingly from countries objecting to the Western conception of human rights, due to
"Their individualist underpinnings, these rights entail dissolving the very foundations of cultures which are organised around the notions of communal obligations, commitment and service"
(Esteva 2003 & Prakash 2003:282).
It is therefore no surprise that counter-cultures are rising up around the globe, to "successfully oppose globalism with radical pluralism, conceived for going beyond Western monoculturalism - now made up and disguised as ‘multiculturalism'" (Esteva 2003 & Prakash 2003:286).
An idea that seems to be receiving popular support, is one of "reducing the body politic" to the level of community, where it is once more accessible and human in scale (Esteva 2003 & Prakash 2003:287).
As an example of this approach, White& Cliffe argue that the UN focus on restoring the centralised Somali state to power has prevented them from seeing the opportunities for supporting long-term stability in areas like Somaliland and Puntland (White & Cliffe 2000:332,333). The Somalia Aid Co-ord Body (SACB) has, instead, adopted a strategy of differentiation between zones of crisis, transition and recovery, and its programs are planned accordingly, impacting the manner in which aid is offered (White & Cliffe 2000:334).
2.2 Neoliberal Internationalism
Paris presents the view that Peacebuilders attempt to bring war-torn states into conformity with internationally accepted standards of "good governance", which he likens to the colonialism or "mission civilisatrice" of previous centuries (Paris 2002:1). Although now the “civilised” and “uncivilised” parts of the globe are defined according to their acceptance or rejection of liberal market democracy - considered the superior model of governance (Paris 2002:1).
This process of the globalisation of market ideology does not undermine the state as commonly thought - rather, it presupposes the existence of a strong state, otherwise these institutions must first be built (Paris 2002:2). In fact, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have made aid contingent on recipient states adopting economic and political liberalisation and democratic institutions (Paris 2002:3).
NGOs also mostly support the transformation of states to liberal market democracy, and assume that this is the best model, although even the idea of "grassroots participation" is a Western idea (Paris 2002:4).
Multilateral agencies appear to use post-conflict situations to introduce market-friendly frameworks and democratic values, as it is assumed that these "can eventually provide the means for any nation to resolve internal conflicts peacefully and fairly" (Stremlau 1998 in Doornbos 2003 2003:56-57).
However, little attention has been given to erradicating the deeper underlying causes of global conflicts, like poverty, injustice and discrimination (Yannis 2003 2003:76). Both recovery and peace should be pursued simultaneously, as they effect each other.
Conventional structural adjustment programs should not be rigidly implemented - allowances should be made for larger public spending in initial stages, consideration of distributional implications of aid conditions and performance criteria included for peace-related commitments (Patrick 1999:47).
The existence of "shadow networks" must also be taken into account, as these "alternative forms of existence" ensure a constant flow of food, medicine and other goods across borders, despite official development efforts (Duffield 2003:299). This "reflexive modernisation" is viewed by Duffield 2003 as a process of
"Dissolution, redeployment and reintegration [into]...liberal globalisation [where]...new non-liberal forms of protection, legitimacy and rights to wealth have been created" (Duffield 2003:300).
Instead, most reconstruction and development programs aim to facilitate the participation of the poor in a market economy - rather than providing alternatives to this system of governance (Paris 2002:5). Paris reminds us that this is because the most powerful International organisations all have a Western bias, as the most powerful and richest states have the most voting power, and most of the member countries are liberal market democracies (Paris 2002:4).
2.3 Is this a new form of Colonialism or Exploitation?
As Rees points out in a book about his first-hand experience of the last ten years of UN peacekeeping operations,
"Increasingly the UN is being asked to take on the functions of government. First in Cambodia...then in both Kosovo and East Timor. [Yet] It had become very clear how hard these tasks were and how ill-prepared the UN is to govern" (Rees 2000: 382).
Rees adds that this new role is similar to that of a "colonial administration" - yet "with none of the resources of empires gone by" " (Rees 2000: 383).
Peacebuilders shape the content of peace agreements while they are being drafted (Paris 2002:6), and by providing "expert" advice on the implementation of settlements to parties of war-torn states (Paris 2002:8). In addition, aid conditionalities imposed by International agencies include specific economic and political reforms - such as privatisation, the removal of subsidies and wage or price controls, lifting of barriers to foreign goods and investment, and certain democratic political practices (Paris 2002:9).
The most obvious intervention in the post-conflict recovery process of a country, has been through the performance of quasi-governmental functions, called "proxy governance" by Osler, where International actors stand in for locals who are unable or unwilling to perform these administrative tasks (Paris 2002:9).
It is widely accepted that these interventions are not purely altruistic, but are determined by the national security interests of dominant countries like the permanent members of the UN Security Council (Paris 2002:17). However, Peacebuilding missions are usually at the request of local parties - for a limited period of time, with the approval of International organisations, and with the goal of establishing self-government in the afflicted country (Paris 2002:17).
The poorest countries have also been targeted, and "the balance sheet of peacebuilding simply does not sustain the economic exploitation thesis" (Paris 2002:18). The exploitation of these recipient countries is usually in the form of the ideological strings attached to aid and development programs - considered to be
"a new phase in the ongoing and evolving relationship between the core and the periphery of the International system, with the core continuing to define the standards of acceptable behaviour, and International Peacebuilding agencies serving as 'transmission belts' that convey these standards to the periphery" (Paris 2002:18).
The most dominant of these ideologies are neoliberalism and democracy, covering the very idea of what states should look like and how they are expected to act (Paris 2002:18). Most NGOs, however, feel that they have no choice but to work with unrepresentative faction leaders, because as outsiders they do not feel free to judge local authorities (White & Cliffe 2000:334).
Donors must acknowledge and support the role of local government and existing structures in peacebuilding initiatives wherever possible (Patrick 1999: 53). External intervention should also facilitate and build local capacity for long-term change, including training and technical assistance, raising funds for important projects and ensuring debt relief (Patrick 1999: 54-56).
3. NGO/Donor Agendas
3.1 Donor Interests and Aid Conditionality
Boyce 2003 notes that Donor interests - the strategic or trade interests of Western Industrialised states - dominate most International agencies and their policies (Boyce 2003:276-7). These interests include short-term commercial advantage and company contracts, and the hasty repatriation of refugees residing in donor countries (Boyce 2003:277).
But balancing this self-interest, is the fact that nowadays "public opinion can make a 'necessity of virtue'" (Sherman 1998 in Boyce 2003:278). This accountability of leaders causes them to at least attempt to justify their policies in ethical terms, using concepts like "good governance" and "human rights" in applying conditionality to aid packages, albeit inconsistently and according to their own agendas (Boyce 2003:278).
Peacebuilding is well suited to ethical conditionality, as it causes no conflict of interests - commercial ties and security are weakened by war or state collapse (Boyce 2003:278). Peace accords also contain specific benchmarks to judge performance, and therefore have a greater chance of success, as well as usually being supported by local movements - rather than being imposed by donors, in their own interests (Boyce 2003:278).
Public opinion in donor countries can make peacebuilding the dominant aim of policies, and “Smart Aid” can be applied selectively to benefit vulnerable groups, rather than the elite and leaders, as is often the case with other forms of developmental aid (Boyce 2003:279).
There appears to be agreement in current peacebuilding theory, that aid conditionality can be a potential tool to minimise the negative effects of aid and maximise access to those most affected by political crises - as long as it is not being used for political leverage instead (White & Cliffe 2000:337-8).
3.2 An Ethical Framework – Co-ordination and Accountability
Boyce 2003 concludes that it is essential to improve inter-donor co-ordination, transparency and accountability, as important steps toward sustainable Peacebuilding - without these reforms, aid conditionality would be ineffective (Boyce 2003:284-5), and selective application will create loopholes to be exploited by those with ulterior motives (Patrick 1999:49).
What is apparently required is no less than the reconstruction of aid itself - with conditionality being the best way to deal with multiple actors and competing interests in both the recipient and donor countries (Boyce 2003:286).
Even the UN is "a fragmented configuration of competing organisations" - the competition between the different organs for resources and responsibilities prevents effective co-ordination of Peacebuilding (Joint Inspection Unit in Patrick 1999:44).
Closer collaboration of NGOs is necessary to design aid interventions, mobilise resources, realise institutional reform, harmonise aid conditions, co-ordinate assistance locally, build recipient capacities and extend accountability (Patrick 1999:35).
There have also been calls to develop an international ethical framework or code of conduct for NGOs to separate political from humanitarian concerns, and support human rights struggles against states, territorial concerns and global capital (White & Cliffe 2000:337). Boyce 2003 advocates the need for Incentive Structures, where donors aim for quality not quantity alone, because currently the quality of aid initiatives is not evaluated, as recipients will have to repay IMF loans even if the money failed to promote development or peace (Boyce 2003:282-3).
There is also a desperate need for the mechanisms to write off past debts, and evaluate the effectiveness of aid in long-term peacebuilding (Boyce 2003:282-3). The ideology of a "level playing field", aimed for by privatisation and other neoliberal reforms, has actually caused unemployment, poverty and social polarisation (Boyce 2003:283). It is obvious that the distribution of the benefits and costs of rebuilding a nation affects both the vertical (class) and horizontal (ethnicity, race, religion, and region) strata of society (Boyce 2003:283).
This Peace conditionality should be introduced alongside the current developmental conditions, and according to Boyce 2003, involves "the use of formal performance criteria and informal policy dialogue to encourage the implementation of peace accords and the consolidation of peace" (Boyce 2003:267). The World Bank and IMF should incorporate criteria into their lending practices to monitor the effects on Peacebuilding and social tensions - similar to the current attention given to "good governance" and "sustainability" (Patrick 1999:48).
Currently, most organisations - like the World Bank - follow narrow economic approaches to investment (Boyce 2003:271). Peace conditionality is another dimension in international responsibility, and needs to be used alongside diplomatic pressure, trade sanctions, and peacekeeping forces (Boyce 2003:273).
The main challenges in realising relief-development synergies are seen by some as funding, timing and understanding (Smillie 1998 in White & Cliffe 2000:337). Another important obstacle is the "lack of institutional memory" - as workers are on short-term contracts, and emergency funding is influenced by media attention - when there should be more continuity and a building of relationships locally (White & Cliffe 2000:337).
This may be a result of the traditional value placed on remaining neutral as an aid organisation, but this concept must be replaced with solidarity if peacebuilding is to succeed (White & Cliffe 2000:337). Maximising the role of local staff and encouraging closer open relationships with local organisations and beneficiaries is essential (White & Cliffe 2000:338). It has been pointed out that this
"Softer value - [Solidarity/ Fraternity is] a social capital that enables people to work together, to trust each other, to commit to common causes - [and is] ...absolutely critical to societal success"
(Mulgan 2003 2003:18).
4. Facilitating Local Participation
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) identifies five levels of public participation in activities: information disclosure, which appears to happen on a need-to-know basis; public consultation, which is part of a pre-defined process driven by external actors who may not genuinely incorporate this feedback into the project; procedural participation, where people are encouraged to actively engage in project activities to achieve goals set for them; interactive partnership, which truly involves local actors, from planning to implementation and evaluation of projects; and self-mobilisation, when local proactive initiatives are merely facilitated by external actors to achieve locally defined goals (Pugh 2000:126-7).
In most cases, community participation is currently limited to the level of procedural participation and later evaluations are carried out by the implementing organisations, focusing on funding allocation rather than qualitative measurements (Pugh 2000:128). There are also concerns that global capital, in minimising state activity, interferes with national capacity building, income redistribution and community welfare (Pugh 2000:113).
International NGOs often create and train local NGOs, so even local organisations are influenced by the dominant neoliberalist paradigm, and subject to the "project-centered, donor-driven hierarchy" (Pugh 2000:119-120).
The result of limited local participation in projects, states Pugh, is that interventions are focused on stability, law and order and entry into the global capitalist market, rather than achieving security, justice and empowerment (Pugh 2000:117).
As Duffield 2003 has observed, neoliberalism aims for a diminishing state, yet at the same time, development and welfare programs are dependent on a strong and proactive state (Pugh 2000:117).
The focus on creating a healthy civil society - the "alternative political arena" - has been criticised by Unvin and others, because of the superficial results generated by excessive external intervention (Pugh 2000:121-2). Civil society emerges from the slow historical processes of trust building, co-operation, compromise, inclusion and pluralism through many different non-state actors and organisations (Pugh 2000:121-2).
Externally-driven and enforced democratic reforms, including new constitutions and election processes, cause similar superficial results, and will not succeed unless local populations perceive their leaders to be accountable and legitimate, according to their own criteria and standards (Pugh 2000:124).
5. Research and Education, Capacity building and Preparation
There needs to be a flexibility in matching aid operations to ever-changing circumstances, which in turn requires an improvement in systems used for information and contextual analysis (White & Cliffe 2000:338). International policies need to "de-generalise" about the causes of state collapse, and their solutions - instead thorough research and analysis needs to precede recovery programs and Peacebuilding initiatives (Doornbos 2003 :58).
The Neoliberal interpretation of conflict as a temporary interference with development, could be counter-balanced by further research to analyse whether conflict is instead a product of the development process, as many believe (White & Cliffe 2000:337).
In addition, White and Cliffe feel that the failure to address the International dimension of political conflicts "normalises" crisis and simplifies the causes into internal factors - the solution is then seen as a need for sustainable development even during war (White & Cliffe 2000:320).
A standardised, transparent system is also necessary to track pledges and commitments, monitor the progress of reconstruction, and evaluate effectiveness (Patrick 1999: 61). It is clear to many that there is
"an abyss between the aims proclaimed by the United Nations and its resources for action, between the ambitiousness of its programs and the reality!" (de Senarclens 2003 2003:200).
Although much effort and money has gone into development of countries' economic, political and health sectors, the social aspects of development have been neglected - probably due to their unquantifiable nature (de Senarclens 2003 2003:200). However, development programs are political, and involve working with a government or military who are usually part of the problem - resulting in further abuse if the capacity building is targeted at these individuals (White & Cliffe 2000:320).
Peacebuilding, according to the current paradigm, is too narrow, shallow and exclusive. It needs to be deeper, longer, higher and wider - deeper analysis and understanding, longer-term vision and planning, higher levels of consciousness and spirituality, and wider processes of solidarity and pluralism to include all participants across the board.
The International system appears to focus exclusively on economic and temporary solutions, resulting in a disappointing failure to extend compassion to victims of conflict, and strive for true peace.
Yet there is hope - as the former UN Security General, Annan, once declared:
"In today's world, given the technology and the resources around, we have the means to tackle...poverty, wipe out disease and forge peace...If we have the will, we can deal with them. You may think I am a dreamer. But without the dream you do not get anything done" (Rees 2000: 383).
Peacebuilders need to look to the past, and through this research, design practical programs to be implemented in the present, igniting the fire of a future vision to guide travellers towards social change and peace.
This change must involve everyone - each individual must be inspired and strengthened by the internal fire, contributing to the shared fire - realisation of the common vision depends on it.
Peace and conflict theorists are contributing towards this awakening by stirring the glowing embers of the fire, and exhorting Peacebuilders everywhere to rise up and take on the challenges with renewed vigour.
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