Disentangling International and Local Understandings in Peacebuilding. Insights from the ‘Laboratory’ of Bougainville

23 June 2016

In the context of the workshop entitled 'Disentangling International and Local Understandings in Peacebuilding. Insights from the "Laboratory" of Bougainville', Dr. Volker Boege (Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia) presented some findings from his field research on peacebuilding in Bougainville in the Pacific Ocean, where one of the bloodiest conflicts since the end of World War II had taken place. His findings highlighted, among other things, the importance of culture and spiritual and emotional dimensions of peacebuilding, as well as various difficulties, ambiguities and surprises he encountered during his research. Next to the findings from Bougainville, workshop participants also had the chance to comment and discuss experiences from other peacebuilding cases, including Somaliland, Sierra Leone and Timor Leste. All in all, the workshop provided essential insights into international-local relationships in peacebuilding.

With the workshop, the Centre continued its research on ‘relational peacebuilding’ that was one research focus in 2013/2014. This goes back to a workshop on 'Democratic Interventionism and Local Legitimacy', which was jointly organised by the Centre for Global Cooperation Research and the School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland, in May 2013 (see Global Dialogues 2 'Relational Sensibility and the "Turn to the Local": Prospects for the Future of Peacebuilding', edited by Wren Chadwick, Tobias Debiel and Frank Gadinger, 2013). In the context of this research cooperation, a new project was developed, with the goal of better understanding and disentangling these different international and local understandings in peacebuilding. In this project, which is funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research and conducted by Volker Boege, Tobias Debiel and Patricia Rinck at the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), the relationships and interactions of international and local actors in post-conflict peacebuilding interventions are in the focus. It does so primarily through an in-depth case study of post-conflict peacebuilding on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea.

Venue: Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Schifferstr. 44, 47059 Duisburg