June 21, 2011 • Volume 5, Issue 12
Can it stabilize countries after the fighting stops?
By Jina Moore


A pro-government demonstrator's sign (CQ Press/Jina Moore)
A pro-government demonstrator's sign declares, “No to rebellion, no to division, we want peace, not war,” during a rally outside the National Parliament in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), in May 2010. Tensions had escalated after the presidential election was delayed. The U.N. Peacebuilding Commission and Fund have budgeted $31 million for peacebuilding projects designed to help CAR stabilize after several insurgencies ended. (CQ Press/Jina Moore)

Peacebuilding is the international community's newest approach to ending cycles of conflict in hot spots around the world. It recognizes that even if conflict has officially ended, the risk of violence often remains ever-present. In fact, roughly 40 percent of post-conflict countries have faced renewed violence within a decade. Peacebuilding tries to improve the prospect for lasting peace by helping to stabilize societies, strengthen institutions and reinforce governments. Since 2005, the United Nations has spent $250 million on peacebuilding projects in 19 countries — most of them in Africa but also in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Haiti and Kyrgyzstan. But does this approach work, and can it be replicated in countries with drastically different histories and cultures? Is a democratic society a prerequisite for lasting peace? Critics of peacebuilding say it will take more than a new philosophy to fix the world's most fragile states. Proponents say it is the best attempt yet at dealing with the aftermath of conflict.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Oct. 08, 2021  Erdoğan's New Turkey
Oct. 20, 2017  Democracy Under Stress
Jul. 17, 2012  Myanmar's New Era
Jan. 17, 2012  Emerging Central Asia
Jun. 21, 2011  Peacebuilding
May 03, 2011  Turmoil in the Arab World
Feb. 15, 2011  Sub-Saharan Democracy
Jun. 2010  Democracy in Southeast Asia
Apr. 01, 2005  Exporting Democracy
Jan. 30, 2004  Democracy in the Arab World
Nov. 03, 2000  Democracy in Latin America
Oct. 08, 1999  Democracy in Eastern Europe
Jul. 24, 1998  Democracy in Asia
Aug. 17, 1990  Initiatives: True Democracy or Bad Lawmaking?
Feb. 02, 1990  Free Markets, Free Politics and Growth
Jun. 14, 1967  Greece: Monarchy Vs. Republicanism
Feb. 04, 1959  Revolutionary Ferment and Democratic Processes
Global Issues