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Mediating Across DifferenceOceanic and Asian Approaches to Conflict Resolution$
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Morgan Brigg and Roland Bleiker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834593

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834593.001.0001

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Local Conflict Resolution in the Shadows of Liberal International Peacebuilding

Local Conflict Resolution in the Shadows of Liberal International Peacebuilding

(p.57) Chapter 3 Local Conflict Resolution in the Shadows of Liberal International Peacebuilding
Mediating Across Difference

Oliver P. Richmond

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter shows how prevalent liberal approaches to peacebuilding and conflict resolution fail to draw upon local culture. In many parts of the world, peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding activities are framed in terms of Western understandings of peace. As a result they often miss the opportunity to learn from and employ important local knowledge. Drawing from personal experience as well as scholarly research, this chapter argues that local knowledge is accepted only if they are presented in Western terms — an assumption and corresponding political practice that seriously devalues both this knowledge and the people who convey and practice them. As a result, local needs and knowledge are being ignored by a top-down version of neoliberal marketisation, wealth creation, and state-building. It is thus not surprising that many international peacebuilding efforts face considerable local resistance.

Keywords:   local culture, Western understandings of peace, peacebuilding, local knowledge, local needs, conflict resolution

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