Emancipatory peacebuilding: critical responses to (neo)liberal trends
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AbstractThe world community has responded to civil violence and war across the globe with complex peacebuilding projects incorporating a diverse troupe of UN, military, and other governmental and non-governmental actors. Recent peacebuilding projects such as those in Afghanistan, Kosovo, East Timor, and Sierra Leone have been large scale multi-dimensional ventures, incorporating approaches aimed at rapid liberalization and the establishment of the ‘liberal peace’ through (neo)liberal peacebuilding strategies. This chapter will briefly survey the (neo)liberal peacebuilding project and the emerging critique of its methodology, ethics, and values. Initial efforts at identifying and elaborating upon an alternative, viable, and localized peacebuilding paradigm have highlighted the centrality of local participation and ‘emancipation’ for local war-affected populations. This emerging paradigm, labelled here as ‘emancipatory peacebuilding’, has been primarily defined in the literature by what it is not. Thus, this chapter ventures beyond the critique of the (neo)liberal peacebuilding project and investigates some philosophical underpinnings to the emerging emancipatory peacebuilding alternative, and explores its implications for peacebuilding practice and coordination.