Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
peacekeeping can be an effective instrument in maintaining peace, but little systematic knowledge exists on the roles that other types of peace support can play. International peacebuilding encompasses a broad range of activities beyond peacekeeping. It includes non-military support to increase security through disarmament, demobilisation, the reintegration (DDR) of former combatants, as well as security sector reform (SSR) and demining; support for governance to strengthen political institutions and state capacity; support for socioeconomic development to create a peace dividend through reconstruction, basic services, jobs and macroeconomic stability; and support for societal conflict transformation, including reconciliation, dialogue and transitional justice programmes.
This briefing paper presents the results of a comprehensive analysis of disaggregated external support in post-conflict situations, undertaken recently within the DIE research project “Supporting Sustainable Peace”. Analysing combinations of peace support provided during the first five years of 36 post-civil war episodes since 1990, we find that international peacebuilding can clearly make a difference. More specifically, our findings show that
international peacekeeping is one, but not the only, means of support associated with sustained peace;
In light of these findings, we recommend the following to the international community when faced with post-civil war situations:
Engage substantially in post-conflict countries. Our results show that international peacebuilding can be effective, even where there is a high structural risk of conflict recurrence. While success will never be guaranteed, countries that receive substantial international support often remain peaceful, whereas all countries that were neglected by the international community experienced conflict recurrence.