Misunderstanding, ignorance and a lack of restraint: A qualitative study into the failure of hybrid peacebuilding in post-conflict societies

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This thesis examines the difference between the theory and the empirical reality of hybrid peacebuilding. Hybrid peacebuilding has become a popular alternative to liberal peacebuilding. Yet, when used in practice, it has not been successful. The aim of this thesis is to shed light on the challenges that hybrid peacebuilding is facing, as well as to find the underlying causes that explain why hybrid peacebuilding is failing. For this purpose, a qualitative research method, which utilizes three case studies, is used. The three cases that are analyzed are Afghanistan, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The findings highlight important insights into hybrid peacebuilding. From all three cases, it becomes clear that the biggest factors that are causing hybrid peacebuilding to fail are interveners’ ignorance and overinvolvement. The first means that interveners often do not have adequate knowledge of the place they are intervening in, which results in ineffective or counterproductive attempts at peacebuilding. This is especially problematic because it was something that hybrid peacebuilding was supposed to improve. This, coupled with overinvolvement of interveners, causes failure in hybrid peacebuilding. Overinvolvement happens when interveners try too hard to push their own agenda. In order for hybrid peacebuilding to be more successful, interveners should take a step back and let the process be dictated more by local actors. The implications of the conclusion is that there is a bigger need for context-specific approaches, as well as more sensitivity towards local culture, traditions and customs in order for hybrid peacebuilding to be more successful.
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