The empirical translation of narrated ownership: a case study of localized peacebuilding in Lebanon
Noticing the increasing relevance of the topic in both academic discussions and international policies, this research intends to contribute to the debate on ownership and localization in peacebuilding, by investigating how ownership is shaped within a localized program. It builds on critical and relational reflections in the second local turn in peacebuilding, which have posited the necessity to overcome top-down approaches and reflect on how outcomes are shaped by power dynamics and produced by negotiations or interactions. Importantly, ownership is treated as an idea informing localization strategies, and being translated and reshaped by involved actors according to contextual opportunities. In order to assess such process, an interpretivist qualitative approach has been adopted to examine one critical case study, represented by the collaboration between a Dutch INGO, the Dutch MFA and four Lebanese NGOs working on the INGO’s Lebanon program. The findings suggest a threefold narrative around ownership, which translates into specific practices in different aspects of a program’s development. Despite a positive impact of individual actions, contextual obstacles associated with the incompatibility between a European and a post-conflict settings show the inadequacy of current peacebuilding structures to foster full ownership (however conceived) and effective localization on a large scale. Key words: localization, peacebuilding, ownership, donors, local.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen