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The Concept of Peace Building

The concept of peace building is referred to the series of developmental processes in terms of the constructive areas of personal, group as well as political relationships across the different ethnic, class, and racial, religious, as well as national boundaries. The main motive or the aim of the peace building through different kinds of processes like recognition of the burdens regarding the long-term violence which had occurred in the past, conflict transformation, dealing with the spoilers, and also with the help of identification of the obstacles in order to establish peace in order to resolve the injustice in the most nonviolent manners as well as for the transformation in relation to the structural formation of the conditions which has been generated from the deadly conflicts by looking at the cause of the conflicts by thriving deeper into the results. The concept related to the peace building is sought for the purpose of addressing the issues which are considered to be the underlying reasons for causing the conflicts among different groups. In addition to this, the process of the initiation of the peace building is acknowledged in order to help the people for their purpose of resolving multiple differences in the most peaceful manner as well as help the concerned groups to lay the significant foundations for the purpose of prevention to the various types of potential future violence. From the last 30 years of peace building, some of the already existing notions of the related to the concept have been valuable yet short-sighted, durable but quite optimistic, inappropriately nuanced, and unrepresentative of the global perspectives due to the challenges faced by the lack of a shared vision for maintaining the peace as well as long-term developmental goals.

           The aim of the essay is to focus on the history of the processes of the peace building, on the different types of the initiatives taken by the peace building processes in order to help the concerned people to outgrow their issues of conflict and improve their conditions in order to lay a path towards their development. The sections of the essay like “Peace” and “How the concept of peace did come into existence?” will be discussing the importance of the concept of peace and how this concept became important in wake of the wars of conflict in the nations. In the section on “peace building”, “History of peace building”, and “30 years of Peace building”, the discussion will be based on the actions, challenges, and success of the processes of peace building in the conflicting nations.

Furthermore, the essay will be discussing regarding one case study of Columbia which focuses on the conflicts and peace building of the place in order to deeply understand the role of peace building processes in the thirty years which has been marked with significantly limited number of successes in its journey.

           The concept of peace is considered to be the normal state of being, in contrast to the popular belief, the social Darwinist-type myth that war and the violence are not considered to be the normal state of being. In the past, there have been many references prevalent to the concept of the peace in the history of the mankind (Lopez and Geaghan-Breiner 2022). The belief that Plato had been stuck to regarding the concept of peace was related to the war in between the cities as well as the states in the context of the peace as well as the justice. In addition to this, the concept of peace had been revolved around its prevalence in the classical literature like that of the Aristophanes’ Lysistrata in 411 BC (Isachenko 2020). Also, the prevalence of the peace had been mentioned in the underlined legal documents like that of the Magna Carta in the year of 1215 and in the thirty years of war from 1618 to 1648 as well as it has its mentioned in the Westphalian treaties of peace.

The Importance of the Concept of Peace

           The importance of peace had been emphasized in the writings of Hugo Grotius who had written regarding the topics of peace as well as the treatments of the humanitarian which had been launched on the platforms of the developmental phases in relation to the scientific study related to that of the prevalence of peace. In the book named as “Leviathan”, the famous writer who is named as Thomas Hobbes had set out, in the year of 1651, the importance of the social contract theory which also included the needs and the requirements for the political representation, the individual rights as well as regarding the notions of the civil society (Borlini 2020). Another example can be considered regarding the Project for Perpetual Peace which had been written by Abbe De St. Pierre in the year of 1712 which claimed the peace as ‘no treaty of peace shall be held valid in which there is tacitly reserved matter for a future war’, as per the views and opinions outlined by Abbe De St.Pierre.

           The concept of the peace building is considered to be revolving around the development of the constructive settlements of the personal, national, racial groups, as well as the processes revolve around the violence prevention and the conflict management, providing valuable resolutions or the transformations to the concerned groups (Paffenholz et al. 2019). The process of the reconciliation of the related of the trauma pertaining to the post-conflict phases of the groups before the conflict, during the time of the conflict as well as the after-effects of the conflicts of the violence is also taken care of by the initiatives of the peace building rituals.

           As the World War II had ended in the years of 1940s, the international initiatives like the creation as well as the establishment of the Bretton Woods Institutions as well as The Marshall Plan which has the responsibility to be consisted of a long-term post-conflict kind of the interventional programs in the countries of Europe along with which the United States of America, as well as its allies, had the aims to build up the continents for the destructions which had been caused due to the initiations of the World War II (Ali and Pincus 2018). The initiatives of this focus had evolved to be around the narratives of the peace keeping and the peace making. However, after the several decades of the establishment of the peace in the world, it was only after the year of 1975 that the Norwegian sociologist named as Johan Galtung had coined the term of “peace building” in his one of the pioneering works named as "Three Approaches to Peace: Peace keeping, Peace-making, and Peace building” (Jütersonke et al. 2021). In one of his articles, he claimed that “peace has a structure different from, perhaps over and above, peacekeeping and ad hoc peace-making... The mechanisms that peace is based on should be built into the structure and be present as a reservoir for the system itself to draw up. ... More specifically, structures must be found that remove causes of wars and offer alternatives to war in situations where wars might occur” (Richmond and Visoka 2020). In the book, he had catalyzed the major shift towards the post era of the world war II in its global narrative by the way of emphasizing the legitimate political, economic as well as social, and the local support in its capacity for the peace management as well as the conflict resolutions in the settlement of the peace in the conflicting oriented countries (Lemay-Hébert 2019).

Initiatives of Peace Building Processes

           At the time of the Cold War as well as some of the alike phenomena of the same nature had come to closure like the civil wars taking place in between the Third World countries, the Reaganomics as well as the “Bringing the State Back In” and so on, the famous American sociologist named as John Paul Lederach had once again reintroduced the concept of the peace building through the different types of the publications during the years of 1990s which had completely focused on the engagement of the grassroots, the NGOs, the locals as well as the internationals in order to create a type of the sustainable peace processing (Richmond and Visoka 2020). Since that time, the concept of the peace building had been expanded manifolds in order to include a lot of different dimensions like that of disarmament, reintegration, as well as demobilization, had also been included in the scenario in order to rebuild the government, civil as well as economic societal institutions. The concept of peace building had been popularized during the sessions of the international communities through the United Nations Secretary-General considered as the report of the Boutros Boutros-Ghali of the year 1992 named as the report of “An Agenda for Peace” (Lemay-Hébert 2019). The report had defined the concept of post-conflict peace building as “action to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict” (Richmond and Visoka 2021).

           The research successfully initiated by the Institute for Economics & Peace had the purpose of demonstrating the efforts in order to build peace in the concerned countries. The research had been able to prove for showing the measurable results of the process of peace building which had able to lead to the success in the reduction of the violence as well as the process is also responsible for the meaningful improvement and growth in the lives of the people (Distler, Stavrevska and Vogel 2021). The concept of peace building had been assumed by the liberalism as to be the throne in the unrivalled ideology during the time of the ending of the famous Cold War as well as it has been recognized as the new role of the United Nations which was responsible for allowing for contributing a part of huge importance for the purpose of dealing with the conflict in the countries due to the wars (Lee 2018). In the thirty years, the United Nations peace keeping operations had been initiated in the countries like Namibia, Angola, El Salvador, and Mozambique as well as Cambodia in order to be focussing on the extension of the democratization, development, economic reforms as well as had taken actions to improve the functions of the human rights (Swain and Öjendal 2018). In addition to this, the process of peace building had also emphasized on the governance from each of the levels like top to down, as well as the elite-led processes of the officials in the countries (Wallensteen 2018).

Challenges and Successes of Peace Building Processes in the Last 30 Years

In the liberal peace building, the claims by Newman said that, “the promotion of democracy, market-based economic reforms and a range of other institutions associated with “modern” states as a driving force for building ‘peace’” (Firchow 2018). The liberal peace building had been applied in the initiation of Westphalian states, the purpose of the market developmental plans, and the establishment of the rules of laws in the countries to implement peace building, the growth in the civil societies, development as well as the recruitment of the security and the human rights, and the universal applicability of the states as well as its institutions (Buba 2020). In these kinds of the liberal peace building, the mainstream ways had been in use for establishing the prominent role of the International Financial Institution for the orthodox structural programmes of the adjustments as well as neoliberal peace building and the establishment of peace to be incorporated in the everyday needs and requirements of life, culture, traditions, welfare which had been largely neglected in the lives of the people because at that point of time, the local had never been in focus, thus, in the liberal peace building, the local had been in the main priority list of the establishing the peace (Collison et al. 2019).

           The agenda of the peace building interventions had been co-opted by the local actors for the beneficial purposes of the community groups. There have been four stages of the peace formation in the thirty years of time like the following-

  1. Parallelism (in the countries of Afghanistan and in Palestine)- here, the function of the peace formation had been related to the undercover and was present in a parallel way with the existing as well as in the new power structure
  2. Bridging (in Timor Leste)- the peace formation had been helpful in order to translate the local forms of the legitimate authority as well as in order to make the states into a more legitimate form (Rutazibwa and Shilliam 2018).
  3. Co-opting (in Bosnia)- in this case, the processes of the peace formation had been taken care of as well as controlled by the state formation actors in a partial way.
  4. Takeover (Kosovo)- in this case, the processes related to the peace formation as well as the state formation actors intrigued by the peace had been taking the control over the state in order to propagate the peace building systems in the states which will have been affected the peace building processes of the country.

Through the research by the “Institute for Economics & Peace”, there have been several countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Peru, Georgia, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Gambia which have been able to demonstrate the results of the peace building which was considered to be a success in these countries. In the countries like that of Peru, Georgia as well as in Cote d’Ivoire had been considered to be the most improved countries among all in the Global Peace Index in the list of Institute for Economics & Peace in the years of efforts of peace building. In these countries, which had been struggling to establish peace in the past years before the initiatives of peace building were taken up as a serious approach, the peaceful environment in the countries had been improved after the several sustained years of the improvement on the initiation of the Positive Peace indicators. From the years of 2005 to the year of 2014, countries like that of Peru, Georgia as well as in Cote d’Ivoire had faced a lot of improvement in the aspects of almost every Pillars of the Positive Peace as well as, most importantly, the countries Peru, Georgia as well as in Cote d’Ivoire did not have faced any kinds of the deterioration as well for all these years in the terms of peace keeping and peace building (Väyrynen 2018).

The countries like that of Peru, Georgia as well as in Cote d’Ivoire had experienced improvement due to the process of peace building in the terms of the governance in the countries, corruption in the society, and relationships between groups of minority as well as among the majority of the groups. In the country of Gambia, the experience of one of the most prevalent as well as striking improvements occurred during the pillars related to the sound business environment, the high levels in the human capital of the economy, the free flow of the information as well as the well-functioning of the government which had played an important as well as significant role in the establishment of peace in the country of Gambia (Richmond 2005). The country had been considered to have faced one of the rapid growth as well as improvement in the journey of the peacefulness because the peace building as well as stabilization had been able to gain a strong foothold after the successful presidential election in the year of 2017. The country had been able to rise up to the 35 places in the Global Peace Index in the list of Institute for Economics & Peace in the years of efforts of peace building.

Relevance of Peace Building Processes in Resolving Conflicts

Peace building is acknowledged as a process of dynamism. The features of peace building unfold as well as interact at the national level are different and are dependent to a greater extent on the context of the specific countries. In the same country also, the perceptions of priorities might change as per the different regions or the concerning actors. These impacts in the making of the decisions as to how to the best priorities as well as the sequences of support are to be provided to the country-level peace building and the state-building efforts are particularly difficult for both the national and the international actors (Schliesser 2020). The process of identification of the most significant risks of the instability is considered the most significant driver of the peace building which can be a helpful manner of addressing the challenge, and thereafter, it appears to guide strategies of the peace building and the state-building.

The most common challenges in the peace building and the state-building processes include:

  1. The lack of a shared vision for peace and for the long-term development-this lack is considered one of the key challenges of the operation of peace building. The factors which have been acknowledged as the limitation to the shared vision are- the lack of knowledge of the concerning context, the absence of any agreed theories of the change for a longer-term, the struggle in the integration of the different countries, and the real picture into one single vision, as well as the tendency for focusing over the important priorities and the interventions unsuited for addressing the multiple dimensions in the peace building challenges.
  2. The difficulty in balancing in between the short and the long-term objectives- It has been found that there is the existence of the trade-offs among the short-term and the long-term peace building objectives. The struggle in making the fruitful choices which can risk undermining some of the facets of the state-building while holding up to the immediate cause of the importance of the peace building, and vice versa. Tough choices which are made by the actors in between aligning with support to the various long-term political settlements versus the deals of short-term which are brokered in between the elite as well as the power-sharing arrangements which could secure peace initially. The result is related to the decisions for supporting the compromised and the inefficient governance (Richmond and Visoka 2020). Tensions emerged from that of the impetus to the delivery services quickly for meeting the urgent needs and for maintaining the stability, as well as the longer-term objectives for building the capacity of the state.
  3. The inefficient financing practices- the poor as well as inefficiency in the financing practices of the donor have been acknowledged as the crucial challenges regarding the peace building processes. The most usual problems seemed to be: i) the presence of the short-term horizon and the absence of the ease in the donor funding ii) the weak alignments of the funding to the processes which are nationally owned regarding the planning as well as the set priorities, and iii) specific aid forms of modalities (Paffenholz et al.2019).
  4. Poor institutional arrangements- The weak arrangements of institutions within and in between the national governmental departments have had their effects on the strategic planning processes as well as on the implementation, leading to the compartmentalized approaches towards addressing the challenges peace building. The practice of the donors' in supporting with the single institutions like that of the ministries department on the bilateral basis, instead of aligning with the cross-departmental capacities, it has contributed to these kinds of problems (Rutazibwa and Shilliam 2018). The proliferation of the structures of the institutions are promoted by the donors is one of the factors which affect the building of the state's capacity. The absence related to the clarity of the roles and the responsibilities among the governmental actors as well as the donor practices in connecting with the individual ministries are also the other reasons for the weak implementation of the supporting priorities and for the disjointed interventions.
  5. Lack of citizen participation due to poor strategic communication-The enhancement of the participation of the citizens and for ensuring that the citizens are able to gain the ownership of the governmental policies in the formulation and implementation of the peace building processes are considered to be the important components of any renewed governmental system as well as for the social contract which underpins it (Collison et al. 2019). However, effective involvement by the civil society into the process of key decision-making, as well as planning for the contexts, is rarely seen. Civil society, the community-based organizations, and the ordinary citizens happen to be not fully involved in the programs peace building, which created for a situation where the government does it alone. Ensuring the participation of the citizens throughout all the stages in the design as well as in the application of the interventions in support of the peace building and the broader developmental objectives are considered to be seen as challenging key area for the stability of long-term.

           The armed conflict of the country of Columbia had been considered to be one of the long-lasting as well as one of the most violent conflicts in the world which was started back in the years of the 1940s (Barash and Webel 2014). There had been forty years of the conflict due to the prevalence of the wars. There had been a huge number of losses of lives and bloodshed in the warfare which had resulted in the failure of victory to any of side of the involved countries. In the country of Columbia, there had been several numbers of the conflict-resolution projects as well as approaches that had been acknowledged to have been adopted in the prevalent of the last twenty-five years of the time, which had also experienced huge failure and loss in the country (Jacoby 2006). However, the great combination of all the armed forces, violence, humanitarian emergencies as well as the political crisis had been considered to have demanded the initiation of the numerous peace building processes.

           The case study of Narino of Columbia and along with it the eight municipalities of El Charco, La Tola, Mosquera, Santa Barbara, and Olaya Herrera (on the Pacific Coast) and Cumbal, Ipiales, and Cuaspud (on the Andean border) had been on the top listed places of the violence and the poverty which had only worsened over the years which forced the huge number of people to be displaced (Wallensteen 2021). The program of the peace building had focused on the conflict prevention as well as management, strengthening the rules and the laws, and the recovery of the livelihoods as well as the promotion of the socio-economic developmental programmes. The main motive of the program was to build the peace in the country which would be able to guarantee as well as work for the protection of the rights of the communities as well as the restoration of peace for the victims of the violence. The peace building had been able to strengthen the 101 local institutions for assisting the victims of the armed conflicts. At the same time, the initiatives of the food security had been established the 18 productive models of the food security for the people and developed the employability generation which had been able to support around 4000 families of the minor communities (Simoncini 2020).

One Case Study: Columbia

Conclusion

           The paper has discussed the history of the processes of the peace building, regarding the different types of the initiatives which had been taken by the peace building processes in order to help the concerned people to outgrow their issues of conflict and improve their conditions in order to lay a path towards their development. The peace building of the world had been able to play a successful role in countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Peru, Georgia, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Gambia which have been able to demonstrate the results of the peace building which was considered to be a success in these countries. Furthermore, the essay has discussed regarding one case study of Columbia which focuses on the conflicts and peace building of the place in order to deeply understand the role of peace building processes in the thirty years which has been marked with a significantly limited number of successes in its journey and also discussed how the processes of peace building could help in the generation of employability and food security in the violence-prone areas of Columbia like Narino, El Charco, La Tola, Mosquera, Santa Barbara and Olaya Herrera (on the Pacific Coast) and Cymbal, Ipiales and Cuaspud (on the Andean border).

References 

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