Reconstruction after conflict



In Lesson 9 we saw some of the risks and difficulties associated with terminating a protracted social conflict, and began to judge the contributions that third party military forces might make.  In this lesson, you will describe peacebuilding processes that work from bottom-up and from top-down, and analyse potential third-party military roles in these processes.  How do such contributions help to prevent relapse into violence?  How are sustainable peace processes achieved, and what constitutes “transformation” of a conflict?  Can military forces contribute to this in any way?

Learning Objectives

On completing this Lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe peacebuilding in the context of the contingency approach to conflict resolution
  • Define the elements of post-settlement peace-building
  • Analyse UN involvement in post-settlement peacebuilding
  • Analyse top-down peacebuilding processes
  • Analyse bottom-up peacebuilding processes [lederach, NFP]
  • Explain military contributions to peacebuilding [nato pfp, instit-instit, ldrshp, sm-unit-xchg, int’l engagement etc]

Required Reading

Weekly Activities

  • Complete the on-line questionnaire on Moodle
  • describe Fisher and Fetherstone’s contingency approach to conflict resolution
  • define the elements of post-settlement peacebuilding
  • discuss top-down peacebuilding processes in the context of devices like the OHR Roadmap

Optional Reading

Levinger, Chapter 5 (peacebuilding as listening)


Potts, Hayden, and Campbell, (2008) “Women and Peace” Chapter 13 in Potts and Hayden (2008) Sex and War. Dallas, TX: Benbella Books.


Wallensteen, chapter 10,


Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Perspectives and Prospects.  A Report for the World Bank Post-Conflict Unit.  April 20-21, 1998.  “As part of a global workshop series on the transition from war to peace, the World Bank Post-Conflict Unit, in collaboration with the World Bank’s Paris Office, held a workshop focusing on conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction in Paris, France between April 20-21, 1998… This report, prepared by the World Bank Post-Conflict Unit, seeks to capture the ideas and issues that flowed from discussions during the two days of deliberations in Paris. The intent is not to be totally inclusive of all points made, nor to reflect a consensus, but rather to summarize the main points made by keynote speakers and other participants.” This summary is 53 pages.

Fetherston, A. B. (1994). Towards a theory of United Nations peacekeeping (p. 132). London: Macmillan.


Last – from PK to PB, theory, cases, experiments, solutions


coutts – managing security challenges in post-conflict PB


kumar & cousens – peacebuilding in haiti


Kaldor and Rangelov ch. 15 state building, nation building, and reconstruction


Kaldor and Rangelov ch. 16 security sector reform and democratic governance


Dayton and Kriesberg (2009) “Introduction” Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding provides an overview of the concepts and contents of the text.

Zeliger (2013) “Introduction to Integrated Peacebuilding” from Integrated Peacebuilding: Innovative approaches to transforming conflict. One of the significant advances in the last few years has been the concept of integrating peacebuilding into a variety of hitherto separate activities, such as development, humanitarian assistance, private sector investment and so on.  In the chapters on these individual subjects, you’ll find evidence that these fields have sometimes included peacebuilding concepts in the past. The introduction provides a useful summary of the book, and you’ll note that there are lots of documents in the references that are available online. We’ll return to problems of peacebuilding at the end of the course. (52 pp).


UNDESA (2008) Framework for Peacebuilding


Atha (2008) transtions to peace: effects on internal security forcesThis is a masters thesis from the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California. Comparing the impact of peace processes on internal security forces in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Colombia, this is a good place to start for a practical insight into the problems of security sector reform.


Democratic Centre for Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).