“Is Peacebuilding Dead? What Next?” by Dr. Achim Wennmann (19/04/2019)


Over the last three decades, peacebuilding practice has been dominated by a set of assumptions that set countries onto the pathway towards a ‘liberal’ peace. Yet the ‘liberal’ project to rebuild societies after armed conflict has become increasingly dysfunctional, orphaned and cashless. These changing strategic landscapes highlight that peacebuilding has reached a critical juncture. What’s next? If ‘liberal’ peacebuilding was a project to achieve participation, prosperity, and stability all at once and at the same time, has the new common denominator become to prioritize stability and prosperity first, and leave participation for later? What does this sequence mean for the notion of inclusive transformation processes and participatory politics? What expertise and know-how in the broader peacebuilding constituency may need to be re-calibrated so that peacebuilding practice remains relevant in managing an ever more turbulent world? The talk will reflect on these questions while providing a glimpse into the diversification of peacebuilding practice over the last two decades, especially in contexts where peace is built without calling the process to get there ‘peacebuilding’.