The U.S. response to terrorism, both domestic and transnational, has been rooted in ontological security, meaning that a state will seek to protect and perpetuate its own national identity, resulting in the U.S. government historically overlooking terrorism perpetrated by right-wing groups that aligned with a dominant American national identity.
Since relationships are so critical to peacebuilding processes and outcomes, peacebuilding practitioners should focus on building strong relationships with local partners and stakeholders informed by genuine dialogue, cultural sensitivity, and self-reflection.
Because the United Nations (UN) places higher value in the career advancement process on professional skills like business management than on local knowledge, and the career trajectory of peacebuilders often includes rotations through various UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the broader field of peacebuilding is discouraged from valuing and integrating local knowledge.
Many international peacebuilding actors operate according to “unsupported, untested, and potentially flawed assumptions about peace, peacebuilding, and the role of outsiders and insiders” that fundamentally shape their interventions and can lead to less successful and even counterproductive local peacebuilding outcomes.
Local peacebuilding risks being co-opted by national-level elites who may benefit from a depoliticized focus on the local level—“interpersonal harmony and everyday interaction”—as it takes pressure off the need to address difficult national-level issues.
A Western ideal of “the local” can be a site of exclusion where local actors have different levels of power, enabling some locals to govern the conduct and participation of other, less powerful locals.
The type of violence characterizing mass atrocities—ethnic identity-based violence or violence against political opponents—influences the effectiveness of different forms of intervention to mitigate mass atrocity violence.
Leadership decapitation is only effective at terminating a civil war without risk of recurrence when coupled with a military victory by the government, otherwise there is a good chance the rebel group will regroup and continue fighting at a later dat
Peacebuilding efforts always take place within—and are deeply constrained by—the global conflict system, whereby violence and peace coexist and mutually reinforce one another both within and between countries, privileging the few (“at peace”) at the expense of the many (subject to “rampant” structural violence and cultural violence, as well as the direct violence to which these often give rise).
In Afghanistan, some women from “liberal democracies” report experiencing a “third gender”—whereby, if they act as equals to their male counterparts, they “are masculinized, and not real women but something else,” providing them with a measure of freedom and access in this context.