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Mediation and Liberal Peacebuilding: Peace from the Ashes of War?

ISBN: 9780415638357 | 0415638356
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Routledge
Pub. Date: 2/5/2013

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This book offers a state-of-the-art examination of peacemaking by looking at its theoretical assumptions, empirical applications and its consequences. The intention is to contribute to the debate on the character and problems of contemporary interventions, in particular of the dominant Western models of peacemaking, by linking the motives, discourses and practices of interveners during the negotiation and implementation phases. To that end, a number of interlinked shortcomings regarding peacemaking efforts are addressed here. First, despite the wealth of findings on external interventions and practices of Western peacebuilding, many scholars tend to rely on findings in the so-called 'post-agreement' phase of interventions. As a result, most mainstream peacebuilding literature pays limited or no attention to the linkages that exist between mediation practices in the negotiation phase and processes in the post-peace agreement phase of intervention. An additional limitation is a general lack of reflection on whether the policies pursued in the mediation phase of intervention are suitable for the states and societies involved. By linking the motives and practices of interveners during negotiation and implementation phases into a more integrated theoretical framework, we hope to make a unique contribution to the on-going debate on the so-called Western 'liberal' models of peacebuilding, its applications in different cases and contexts, and available alternatives. This is done both by providing theoretical rigour and by the strong empirical backing of in-depth cases from different regions of the world. Empirical evidence is drawn from negotiations and peace agreement implementation in a number of cases, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Sierra Leone. These cases combine experiences of external exclusive power mediation, inclusive mediation, and domestically managed peace processes without direct external intervention. Each builds on unique interview material with participants in various peace negotiations and peace agreement implementation. The book is innovative as it examines a variety of political motives behind third party interventions, thus challenging the very founding concept of mediation literature that mediators are primarily impartial and neutral, without preconceived visions about a just, durable and fair peace for the warring parties. This book will of much interest to students of peacebuilding, statebuilding, peacemaking, war and conflict studies, security studies and IR in general.

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