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By Séverine Autesserre

- Winner of the 2012 Grawemeyer Award for ideas bettering international Order
- Winner of the 2011 Chadwick F. Alger Prize, foreign experiences Association

The hassle with the Congo indicates a brand new cause of overseas peacebuilding disasters in civil wars. Drawing from greater than 330 interviews and a 12 months and a 1/2 box examine, it develops a case research of the foreign intervention throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo's unsuccessful transition from battle to peace and democracy (2003-2006). Grassroots rivalries over land, assets, and political energy stimulated frequent violence. notwithstanding, a dominant peacebuilding tradition formed the intervention approach in a manner that precluded motion on neighborhood conflicts, eventually dooming the foreign efforts to finish the deadliest clash on the grounds that global struggle II. such a lot foreign actors interpreted persisted scuffling with because the final result of nationwide and neighborhood tensions on my own. UN employees and diplomats seen intervention on the macro degrees as their in basic terms valid accountability. The dominant tradition developed neighborhood peacebuilding as such an unimportant, strange, and unmanageable activity that neither stunning occasions nor resistance from pick out members may possibly persuade foreign actors to reevaluate their realizing of violence and intervention.

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Extra resources for The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding

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This culture influenced the interveners’ understanding of the causes of violence. Because of earlier socialization and training processes, UN officials, diplomats, and the staff of most nongovernmental organizations interpreted continued fighting and massacres as the consequence of national and regional tensions. They viewed local conflicts as the result of insufficient state authority and of the Congolese people’s inherent propensity to violence. The dominant peacebuilding culture also shaped the international actors’ understanding of their role and of the paths toward peace.

18 Alao, Mackinlay, et al. 1999; and Stedman 1997, p. 51. 19 De Waal 1997; and Rajasingham 2003. 16 The Peacebuilding World 17 power and their shortcomings. 20 The most popular explanation for the lack of international involvement in local conflict resolution among Congolese civilians and a handful of non-Congolese activists emphasizes Western actors’ stake in the continuation of violence. 21 Western countries failed to support bottom-up peacebuilding projects because it would have counteracted their assumed war-making efforts.

46 These studies provide us with fascinating insights, but explaining how culture influences action in the field also requires a consideration of all of the peacebuilders involved in a postwar setting, including the staff of various international and nongovernmental organizations, diplomats of Security Council and non-Security Council countries, and top policy makers based in headquarters as well as embassy secretaries and peacekeepers deployed in the field. ╅╇ ╇ See, among others, Avruch 2004; Duffey 2000; Fetherston and Nordstorm 1995; and Rubinstein 2008.

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