In the aftermath of civil wars, local elections are often viewed as transformative moments when voices from the margins can be heard and where new, more inclusive political settlements can be forged. However, existing academic research has been more cautious about the peacebuilding potential of local government institutions.
How do local peacebuilding actors develop their own models of post-conflict reconstruction? This question has been subject to extensive academic discussion since the limitations of mainstream liberal peacebuilding models became evident in the late 1990s. Many local peacebuilders in Cambodia and Mindanao have presented strong potential to promote advanced ownership of their programmes as well as limitations that should be addressed to offer good foundations for stable peace and sustainable development.
There is no shortage of challenges to focus on for 2018 when it comes to conflict, peacebuilding, and humanitarian crises. However, one which shouldn’t be forgotten (assuming it ever received much attention) is the war in South Sudan. South Sudan’s conflict highlights the dilemmas surrounding the protection of civilians.
Seventy years since General Assembly Resolution 181 (partition), a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and the emergence of a sovereign and independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel as recognised in that resolution, are yet to be achieved. World leaders have tried – and failed – to achieve a just resolution for the most symbolic conflict in the Middle East. What should they be focusing on now and in the new year?
Statebuilding and peacebuilding discussions increasingly emphasise inclusion as a key ingredient for peaceful states and societies, and marginalisation as a key cause of conflict. However, the persistence of conflict and violence in many borderland regions can defy and challenge these peacebuilding blueprints.
Since the adoption of its Global Strategy in 2016, European foreign and security policy has been in transition. The missions of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) have also been affected.