Peacebuilding describes an array of practices and actors, from state level and track two diplomacy to grassroots inter-communal activism and even interpersonal reconciliation or restorative justice. It is often thought of in terms of the direct intervention of third party actors such as international NGOs or UN peacekeeping missions in the aftermath of conflict, or the war to peace transition. Increasingly, local grassroots peacebuilding is gaining traction in policy and practitioner circles.


Morocco, UN myopia and the Libyan crisis

It may be understandable that the UN should clutch at any straws to address the miasma in Libya. But Morocco shouldn’t be one of them.

The Iraqi crisis: rethinking the narrative

An approach to Iraq focused on military intervention, with some humanitarian assistance, has defied the complexity of the domestic and regional kaleidoscope. No wonder it is failing.

Burundi teeters on the brink of civil war following coup attempt

Burundi looks like it is entering a vortex of renewed violence. It's in a troubled region, we have been here before—and the president's determination to pursue an unconstitutional third term is blocking any democratic alternative.

Yemen at war

With a humanitarian crisis mounting in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has eased its military pressure—for the moment.

Central African Republic: the long and winding road

The good news is that the violent factions in the Central African Republic have agreed to ban child soldiering. The bad news is that a viable CAR state remains a long way off.

Nepal: chronicle of a disaster foretold

The Nepalese earthquake was a product of natural causes. But the full death toll and slow recovery are not.

Turkey and the Armenian genocide: the next century

For the Armenian diaspora, today is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day—but not in Turkey. Perhaps members of the country’s Kurdish minority can help shake up a polarised narrative.

Yemen: dialogue must replace war

The Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen have failed to stem the Houthi advance. Time for jaw-jaw, not war-war.

Palestinian options after the Israeli election

Six ways Palestinians can change the rules of the game after Netayanhu's comments during the election made a just and equal peace even more elusive.  

Libya: the pressing need for dialogue

The western intervention in Libya in 2011 failed to recognise the complex warp and weft of its pre-democratic tribal fabric. Only a regionally facilitated dialogue can repair the shattered state left behind.

An irresistible force? Arab citizens of Israel after the elections

Binyamin Netanyahu may have returned to power by disowning the two-state solution and scaremongering about Arab voters pre-election. But Palestinians in Israel have become a force to be reckoned with.

Karabakh truce shaken by gunshots and tough talk

OSCE mediators urge an end to attacks after a month in which the 20-year-old ceasefire was broken in thousands of incidents.

Colombia: the year of peace?

The unilateral ceasefire signed by the FARC last December is a historic and positive step towards a permanent peace, but questions remain. 

Yemen: descent into anarchy

With the resignation of its president and prime minister, Yemen lacks the capacity to steer its political transition towards the goal of greater stability. The alternative, however, does not bear thinking about.

Lebanon is cracking under the pressure from Syria and Iraq

Hizbullah's attack today on Israeli forces near the Shebaa Farms area contested by Lebanon highlights how the country is a fragile mosaic close to shattering.

A long road ahead: integrating gender perspectives into peacekeeping operations

A spate of violence against women in the eastern DRC shows that there is still a long way to go on effective implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, 14 years after its adoption. 

“There was so much fear”

The outworking of the eight-year-old peace agreement in Nepal has embraced the government and its Maoist opponents. The women who were victims of sexual violence from both sides during the conflict have, however, been left out.

Turkey bombs Kurdish forces as violence threatens to spill over

The law of unintended effects is in evidence as the rise of Islamic State threatens a potential resolution of Turkey's Kurdish question.

After the war: Jewish-Arab relations in Israel

The war in Gaza did not only wreak huge damage on the strip—it added to the polarisation of Israeli society too.

Alternatives to military intervention: a commando team of mediators

The Ammerdown Invitation has initiated here a debate on an alternative security policy for the UK. Mediation is a key alternative to the “militarism” the signatories bemoan.

Crisis brewing in Macedonia

Events over the summer in Macedonia revealed just how fragile interethnic relationships remain. The EU and the US must address their responsibilities as guarantors of the country’s peace accord.

Fear and loathing in Kirkuk

Summary killings are taking place amid growing sectarian tension in the contested, oil-rich city.

Organized crime, Colombia's peace spoiler?

Now that the main potential impediment to a peace deal–a change in government–is out of the picture, it is time to start tackling other threats, not just to securing the agreement, but also to its implementation.

Uncovering Colombia's systems of macro-criminality

While transitional justice initiatives have traditionally shied away from dismantling the system, Colombia's Justice and Peace Law has taken the first steps towards exposing the political and economic roots of paramilitarism, and the deep state tangled around them. Español.

Syria and Gaza: a false equivalency

Though the indiscriminate violence in Syria and Gaza is becoming indistinguishable, unlike Syria, the west can take relatively simple measures to end the war on Gaza. 

Macedonia on the brink

It’s quiet again in Skopje after violent Albanian protests in early July—deceptively so.

Yemen: a state born of conflict

Yemen has slipped well down the global agenda—behind Israel-Palestine, Syria and Iraq—but, as security deteriorates, significant international effort is needed to renew its stalled transition.

As Israel-Palestine descends into violence, what should Europe do?

The latest effort by the Israel-aligned US to renegotiate the asymmetric power relationships of the Middle East has inevitably failed, with brutal violence following; it is time, as an alternative, for the EU to generalise the rule-based constraint on Israeli action it has tentatively essayed.

Burundi, une démocratisation génératrice de violence

La communauté internationale a indirectement contribué à faire du Burundi une démocratie de façade, aujourd’hui en proie à une crise politique, voire sécuritaire. English

Burundi: a democratisation from which violence may stem

The international community has indirectly contributed to making Burundi a facade democracy, now prey to a political and even a security crisis. Français

Drugs and the peace process in Colombia: a moderate radical step

The third point of agreement reached in the Havana negotiations may finally pave the way for the gradual end to the “war on drugs”, and defuse one of the issues – the drug trade – that has most hindered peace in Colombia.

Nepal's Truth and Reconciliation Commission: revised, but revitalized?

Nepali citizens have long been denied justice, but continued civil society pressure on the new, long-delayed Constituent Assembly will hopefully improve parliamentary efforts to give the dragging peace process and long-awaited Truth and Reconciliation Commission some resolution. 

The energy boom in Cyprus: pipeline to peace?

With energy supply in Europe a renewed concern, will the large reserves of natural gas in Cyprus become a peacemaker in the long-standing conflict, or become part of a larger game for regional stability? 

The conflict horizon

The last two decades have seen a growing global appetite for peace but unless concerted, informed action is taken the next two could bring darker times

Israelis and Palestinians: time to acknowledge the other’s trauma

The US-sponsored peace negotiations on a two-state solution have failed, again, as they will always do until monopolistic narratives of victimhood are abandoned.

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