Introduction: The contradictions of peace, international architecture, the state, and local agency

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscriptpeer-review


This introductory chapter provides an overview of the four cornerstones in the relationship between different forms of conflict and peace. State formation describes the formation of the state through indigenous or internal violence between competing groups and their agendas which often turn the state into a criminal and predatory elite racket. Statebuilding is the resultant externalised process aimed at rectifying this situation. Peacebuilding focuses on external support for liberally oriented, rights-based institutions with a special and legitimating focus on norms and human rights, civil society, and a social contract via representative institutions embedded in a rule of law. Lastly, peace formation processes can be defined as the mobilisation — formal or informal, public or hidden, indigenous — of local agents of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, development, or peace actors in customary, religious, cultural, social, or local governance settings. The chapter then outlines the theoretical debates about state formation and statebuilding as well as the critique of liberal statebuilding/peacebuilding that has emerged.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPost-Liberal Peace Transitions
Subtitle of host publicationBetween Peace Formation and State Formation
EditorsOliver P. Richmond , Sandra Pogodda
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781474402187, 9781474405072
ISBN (Print)9781474402170, 9781474428408
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2016


  • state formation
  • statebuilding
  • peacebuilding
  • peace formation
  • local agents
  • conflict resolution
  • peace actors
  • internal violence


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