What is the nature of the ‘peace’ that is being installed in conflict zones through UN peace operations? It tends to be assumed that UN peace operations contribute to the construction of a liberal international order made up of democratic states. In practice this has often resulted in a ‘virtual peace’ based upon contested attempts to import liberal democratic models. This essay argues that much of the impetus for this type of thinking arises from a liberal desire to ‘resolve’ conflict–to reproduce a positive peace through contemporary peace operations rather than the negative peace that was supported by more traditional peacekeeping. ‘Peace’ in some cases now legitimates and rests upon long-standing and deep interventions in conflict zones via a ‘peacebuilding consensus’. This lies in a peace constituted by a specific form of external governance. Understanding these developments clearly shows how important peace operations are in creating forms of peace as a contribution to the remaking of the global order.