Peacebuilding: What is in a name?

Michael Barnett, Kim Hunjoon, Madalene O'Donnell, Laura Sitea

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

200 Citations (Scopus)


This article surveys and analyzes twenty-four governmental and intergovernmental bodies that are currently active in peacebuilding in order to, first, identify critical differences in how they conceptualize and operationalize their mandate, and, second, map areas of potential concern. We begin by briefly outlining the various terms used by different actors to describe their peacebuilding activities and correlate these terms with differing core mandates, networks of interaction, and interests. We then identify the divisions regarding the specific approaches and areas of priority. Thus far most programs have focused on the immediate or underlying causes of conflict - to the relative neglect of state institutions. We conclude by raising concerns about how peacebuilding is institutionalized in various settings, including at the UN's Peacebuilding Commission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-58
Number of pages24
JournalGlobal Governance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Peacebuilding
  • Peacekeeping
  • Postconflict reconstruction
  • United Nations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


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