From Little to Large: When does Peacebuilding Add Up

April 2015 | Anita Ernstorfer, Diana Chigas, and Hannah Vaughan-Lee

Suggested Citation: Ernstorfer, Anita, Diana Chigas, and Hannah Vaughan-Lee. 2015. “From Little to Large: When does Peacebuilding Add up.” Journal for Peacebuilding and Development 10 (1): 72-77.

Contemporary peacebuilding theory and practices have recognized the need to work at multiple levels of society. Yet with the expansion of the concept of local-level peacebuilding within this, questions have emerged on its effectiveness, including how and when do these “local” or “grassroots” level interventions contribute to or add-up to “Peace Writ Large” – the broader society-level peace?

Drawing on collaborative learning processes, involving a total of 42 case studies and over 40 consultations and feedback processes, this CDA briefing in the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development summarizes some key considerations related to this adding-up process.

It suggests that local peacebuilding, even when effective, does not always contribute to impact at the broader level, but often is undertaken based on untested assumptions that it does.

Focusing on the critical issue of linkages, this briefing highlights three conditions under which “peace writ little” can contribute to, and add up to, Peace Writ Large – the linkages between local and national level dynamics; linkages between local and national level peace work; and the linkages between More People and Key People.

Access: This article is only available to subscribers of The Journal of Peacebuilding and Development (JPD), or those who purchase the article.

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