The effectiveness of (neo)liberal intervention in conflict zones remains ambiguous, with supportive and critical camps of scholars and practitioners embracing disparate viewpoints that are each propped up by rigorous empirical analysis. The consequences of this empirical ambiguity have deeply permeated international intervention organizations, who use these unsettled findings for decision- and policy-making. This article argues that the promotion of disparate intervention methodologies is entirely predictable given the existence of contested relationships between prominent underlying themes to the debates around peacebuilding and development intervention: globalization, development aid, inequality, and poverty, and their roles in inciting or preventing violence. These contested relationships justify the cautious selection and interpretation of research findings by decision and policymakers. The concluding discussions explore the impact of biased research production and uptake processes that bolster self-interested intervention practices and outline several recommendations for better aligning evidence-based decision- and policy-making with the needs of conflict-affected populations.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Peacebuilding and Development on 21st March 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15423166.2017.1401486
- research methods
- social justice