Building Capacity for Peace
The principal challenge in building peace and democracy in all divided societies, lies not in abstract, sector-specific institutional ‘fixes’, but, rather, in bringing key leaders together in a long-term process designed to resolve the tensions and mistrust that are the inevitable by-product of conflict and war, and to build (or rebuild) their capacity to work effectively together across all of the country’s lines of ethnic and political division. Failing that, institutional transformation will have little substance and no sustainability.
The Round Table
Vol. 97, No. 394, 137 – 145, February 2008 Democracy and Peace-building:
Re-thinking the Conventional Wisdom Howard Wolpe and Steve McDonald
Several phases exist in both pre- conflict and post- conflict societies and deep transformational change is required, rather than instant solutions. However, reality requires an immediate response. The tension exists between the urgent and the sustainable. Pragmatic approaches require early intervention.
Building Capacity for Peace intends to position the intervention in the early stages and by realigning the players, to shift the negative outcomes. It is not a problem solving strategy; it is one of fundamental realignment leading to sustainable engagement, empowerment and capacity building through local ownership.