Partners in Peace: Discourses And Practices of Civil-Society Peacebuilding

Mathijs van Leeuwen looked into images, and assumptions, of civil-society peacebuilding and its support by international development organizations, and how this relates to politics and practices of peacebuilding on the ground. It is built principally on a series of case studies of peacebuilding interventions and organizations working in southern Sudan, Burundi and the African Great Lakes Region, and Guatemala.

This research underscores the importance of implicit assumptions in contemporary peacebuilding work. To arrive at better peacebuilding practices, it is necessary to know more about what civil society is, how it works, and how the assumptions motivating its support work out in practice. This requires exploring the everyday peacebuilding practices of civil-society organizations. In particular, attention needs be given to the organizing practices of peacebuilding organizations, how they operate and develop, to the different meanings attributed to peacebuilding by the diverse parties involved, and to how understanding peacebuilding is part of organizational politics.

Promotor: Dorothea Hilhorst