Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Evaluated against its ambitious goals, peacebuilding has generated more failure than success over the last 25 years. Instead of having been able to solve conflict and contribute to a reconstruction of an inclusive political settlement after violent conflict, the most common outcome of peace processes has been the formalisation of existing political unsettlement. The answer peacebuilding wanted to give was to contextualise through knowledge and embrace the consequences of complexity in peace processes. However, these efforts proved too much to handle. Overwhelmed by its ambitions, peacebuilding reached a state of affirmation, in which reality has taken over and the belief in the feasibility of effective peacebuilding action vanished. A pragmatic transitional perspective may offer an opportunity to reclaim agency in this challenging yet partly accommodating context. Based on an empirical investigation into the everyday of peace processes, a heuristic typology of practices is developed that characterises pragmatic transitions: the provision of hooks, creative non-solutions, and disrelation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeace in Political Unsettlement. Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies
EditorsJan Pospisil
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030043186
ISBN (Print)9783030043179
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRethinking Peace and Conflict Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
ISSN (Print)1759-3735


  • Peacebuilding
  • Affirmation
  • Inclusion
  • Peace processes
  • Formalised political unsettlement
  • Pragmatic transitions
  • Pragmatism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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