Coercion in Peacebuilding

The idea of peacebuilding has gained increasing attention since the 1990s. Multiple actors – international and regional organisations, states and NGOs –  have intervened in conflict-affected and fragile states with the aim of contributing to sustainable peace. The project “Coercion in Peacebuilding” analyses peacebuilding interventions with a view to uncover the coercive character of such interventions. It focuses on the manner in which different types of peacebuilding practices are perceived as coercive by state and societal actors in conflict-affected and fragile states. The role of coercion in peacebuilding is rarely investigated and still poorly understood in current research. It is, however, likely that coercion influences both local reactions (cooperation/­resistance) as well as the legitimacy of external peace­building inter­ventions. 

One field of empirical research is the emergence and implementation of the “New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States” which was agreed upon by state and non-state actors from the Global North and conflict-affected states. The objective of the New Deal is a new kind of peace­building which relies on local owner­ship and mutual accountability. A second field is the activities of non-western donors such as the African Union, Brazil, and China who are increasingly active in peace­keeping and peace­building and whose engagement seems to differ from that of traditional (Western) donors.

The project is currently in planning stage and is jointly developed by PRIF’s research departments II, IV and V.