The Globalization of Responses to Conflict and the Peacebuilding Consensus

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This article explores the relationship of theorizing about responses to ending conflict, more specifically a broad understanding of peacebuilding, with debates about globalization. The tension between aspects of globalization which have raised public and political pressure and awareness in the West to respond to conflicts, humanitarian disasters, and inequalities on their periphery and beyond, challenges previous approaches to dealing with conflict through approaches to peacebuilding and humanitarian intervention. This also has an impact on how those caught up in conflict react to peacebuilding approaches. These discourses and practices tend to be based on developing western liberal norms pertaining to an uneasy collusion between so-called states and non-state actors, the concept of human security and the practices of humanitarian intervention. The globalization of responses to conflict is constituted by conflicting forces that require ever-deeper intervention in conflicts, ultimately requiring the importation into conflict zones of alternative forms of governance. The extent of a ‘peacebuilding consensus’ in terms of discourses is not reflected in the interventionary commitment this liberal ideal entails. This has tested the will and consensus of the international community in ways which merit further examination, especially in the context of the claims and counter-claims associated with globalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-150
Number of pages22
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • conflict
  • globalisation
  • humanitarian intervention
  • liberal peace
  • peacebuilding


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