Monday, November 23, 2015

Infrastructure for Peace: My Wikipedia Entry

In June 2015, a coffee meeting of the students and academics at the Centre for Peace Studies, University of New England-Australia requested me to take a lead in creating a Wikipedia entry on 'Infrastructure for Peace' because there was no such initiatives in this important genre of peacebuilding. On 13 June 2015, I created an entry with a username 'UNE-PeaceStudies'; the original version of the page is included in this blog whereas the current Infrastructure for Peace page in Wikipedia may have undergone a number of edits thereafter.
Infrastructure for Peace is a new approach in peacebuilding which gained momentum after locally led and participatory peacebuilding practices tended to yield effective results in some countries beset by conflicts. It underpins the ideas of conflict transformation and stresses on under-girding the politically negotiated settlements at top level by peacebuilding efforts at the grassroots.

Definition[edit]

In 2010, governments, political parties, civil society and United Nations country representatives from 14 African countries in Kenya agreed upon a working definition of infrastructures for peace as a ‘dynamic network of interdependent structures, mechanisms, resources, values and skills which, through dialogue and consultation, contribute to conflict prevention and peacebuilding in a society’.[1]

Examples[edit]

Studies exemplify National Peace Council (Ghana), Department on Ethnic, Religious Policy and Civil Society Interaction (Kyrgyzstan)[2] and economical approaches in Guyana, Bolivia and Kenya and the United Nations Development Programme contributes to about 30 infrastructures for peace projects around the globe.[3]

Criticisms[edit]

Critical studies on the infrastructure for peace mainly see this as a fuzzy concept because peacebuilding cannot be guaranteed only by local efforts. Such local infrastructures are prone to suffer from political upheavals,[4] they still rely on external funding and cannot do well under strictly autocratic regimes.[5]

Contributions[edit]

Academic conferences, special editions of journals, issue-specific books and websites dedicated to this topic have begun to emerge including the UNE Peace Studies Conference (2015) on questioning 'peace formation' and 'peace infrastructure', I4P International website, Berghof Handbook[6] and a Journal of Peacebuilding and Development Special Edition in Vol. 7, No. 3.

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ JPD Editors (2012). "The Evolving Landscape of Infrastructures for Peace". Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 7 (3): 1–7. doi:10.1080/15423166.2013.774793.
  2. Jump up^ Kumar, Chetan; de la Haye, Jos (2012). "‘Hybrid Peacemaking: Building National "Infrastructures for Peace"’" (PDF)Global Governance 18 (1): 13–20.
  3. Jump up^ Ryan, Jordan (December 2012). "Infrastructures for Peace as a Path to Resilient Societies: An Institutional Perspective". Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 7 (3): 14–24. doi:10.1080/15423166.2013.774806.
  4. Jump up^ Chuma, Aeneas; Ojielo, Ozonnia (December 2012). "Building a Standing National Capacity for Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Kenya". Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 7 (3): 25–39.doi:10.1080/15423166.2013.774790.
  5. Jump up^ Odendaal, Andries (December 2012). "The Political Legitimacy of National Peace Committees". Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 7 (3): 40–53. doi:10.1080/15423166.2013.767601.
  6. Jump up^ Unger, B; Lundström, S; Austin, B; Planta, K (2013). Peace Infrastructures: Assessing Concept and Practice (Berghof Handbook Dialogue Series, No. 10) (PDF). Berlin: Berghof Foundation.

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