International Research Network

Cultures of Intervention

Peacebuilding in Practice

Peacebuilding in Practice

Peacebuilding in Practice: Researching the Interaction of Interveners and Intervened

Research project / 2011 / Bosnia and Herzegovina
Contact: Sarah Riese
Project leaders: Michael Daxner (University of Oldenburg and Free University Berlin) and Christoph Zürcher (University of Ottawa

Peacebuilding in Practice: Researching the Interaction of Interveners and Intervened

The project investigates into the practical process of the implementation of peacebuilding measures. We assume that the outcomes of international peacebuilding missions are not only determined by structural factors within the postwar society and by the footprint of the peacebuilding mission, but also to a large extent by the interaction between intervened and interveners who need to negotiate diverging interests and priorities. Consequently, the outcomes of peacebuilding depend to a large extent on the outcomes of these informal negotiation processes by which interveners and intervened try to sort out these differences and agree (or fail to do so) on  the kind of peace they intend to build. In investigating the interaction processes of interveners and intervened, we focus on three aspects, namely the issues and interests at stake, the resources and strategies employed, and the outcomes of such negotiation processes. Observing the practice of peacebuilding is challenging, as it goes beyond existing accounts of the implementation of peacebuilding measures which usually cover only the result of such endeavors and hence do not provide data on the process that led there.  We will conduct a series of qualitative, semi-structured interviews with the practitioners of peacebuilding (interveners and intervened) which allows gathering insights on the informal negotiation processes which are at the heart of peacebuilding. The project is a pilot study focusing on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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