Social Reconciliation, Just Peace, and Development Research Group
srs@ustpaul.ca
Telephone: 613-236-1393
Ext. 2483
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Social Reconciliation, Just Peace, and Development Research Group – Noon Seminars 

Since Boutros-Boutros Gali’s 1992 Agenda for Peace, “peacebuilding” has been understood as a transformation of “structures” enabling societies coming out of violent conflict to avoid a return to violence and engage in “positive peace.” As such, peacebuilding is in a symbiotic relationship with reconciliation. In fact, scholar-practitioners attentive to the traumatic effects of violent conflict have noted that unless trauma and other underlying factors of conflict are addressed, post-violent conflict communities have a tendency to revert to violence. There is a growing realization that top-down (political leadership and policy) approaches to peacebuilding need to be complemented by bottom-up, community-driven initiatives (note the work of Bruno Charbonneau and Geneviève Parent). Finding the right balance is an ongoing challenge. Likewise, there is a paradox in that anything that will have lasting and sustainable effectiveness needs to resonate with Transitioning societies; however, often these societies need help from Intervening societies. Again, finding the right balance is a challenge; Séverine Autesserre’s ethnographic analysis of “Peaceland” attests to the pitfalls facing many peacebuilding initiatives.

The Peacebuilding Series brings in people working on peacebuilding from grassroots, academic, and policy perspectives. All have their place. What they present collectively will open up new and creative understandings of what might be possible and lessons about what needs to be avoided.

Noon Seminar Reports