Internal and External Dilemmas of Peacebuilding in Africa

"As peacebuilding has expanded through practice and a proliferation of research interests, there is a variety of lenses through which one can frame peacebuilding trends and challenges. The focus of this paper is on the relationship between peacebuilding and statebuilding, as the state is the primary vehicle through which domestic and international peace is sought. This approach draws from a range of literature on peacebuilding as stabilisation, avoiding discourses about liberal peacebuilding and peacebuilding as social justice. There are three important reasons for this interpretation of peacebuilding: ■ Among competing values, the maintenance of order and predictability tends to trump other values. Order is, of course, a subjective value and the security of elite compacts drives both interventionist logic and internal post-conflict recovery priorities. ■ There is a certain inevitability to violence, and stability involves regulating the expression of violence. Peacebuilding involves the engineering of societies to reflect nationally and internationally acceptable controls on the expression of violence. ■ Peacebuilding benefits do not accrue equally across or within societies."