A Crucial Link : Local Peace Committees and National Peacebuilding
In places as diverse as South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Nepal, negotiators of national peace plans have for years sanctioned the creation of local peace committees (LPCs) to address community-level sources of grievance and thereby to build peace from the bottom up. Peace practitioners working with LPCs around the globe have operated in the hope that such a robust peace infrastructure that facilitates collaboration between all sectors and levels of society, including government, would finally bring lasting peace to societies entrenched in conflict.Yet LPCs themselves and their contribution to larger peacebuilding efforts have to date been poorly understood and little analyzed. In "A Crucial Link: Local Peace Committees and National Peacebuilding," longtime practitioner Andries Odendaal engages in the first comparative study of LPCs and asks where and if the committees have actually succeeded. Odendaal weaves together practical experience, peacebuilding theory, recent cases, and practical guidelines for setting up and supporting the work of these local committees.Odendaal finds that LPCs can be critical in establishing social cohesion, facilitating dialogue, and preventing violence. Through their unique ability to engage the particular local aspects of conflict not shared throughout a country in conflict, LPCs can foster the success of national agreements, especially hen they are formally supported and embedded in a larger peace infrastructure.In-depth case studies provide keen insights into the successes and potential challenges to implementing LPCs. Explaining the dynamics of LPCs and their relationship to national efforts, Odendaal makes a compelling case for increased use of LPCs across conflicts. Building on two decades of theory on the necessity of society-level approaches to peacebuilding, this volume is a must read for anyone working to promote peace in divided societies.
- Paperback | 183 pages
- 152 x 224 x 13mm | 299g
- 31 Oct 2013
- United States Institute of Peace Press
- United States
A convincing case for the centrality of local peace initiatives in securing the sustainability of national peace agreements. Odendaal provides a lucid practitioner s perspective on the process of local peacebuilding and critically reflects on the interconnections between the local and national peace processes. He combines personal experiences as a peacemaker with a thorough review of comparable international experience to provide both a conceptual mapping of the challenges of local peacebuilding and nuanced assessment of the practical lessons that can be drawn from these varied experiences. --Hugo van der Merwe, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation"