Assessing Interventions Stalled in Negative Peace: A Model for Peace & Stability Operations




Adams, James R.

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International peace and stability interventions have evolved into complex multi-sector multi-level, enterprises usually achieving a negative peace status. However, in some "post-conflict" environments, conflict party sentiments that precipitated the intervention remain largely unchanged, despite intense diplomatic and reconstruction efforts. The overall aim of this research is to assess the problem of a peace and stability intervention and environment stalled in negative peace and to explore parameters for achieving and maintaining sustainable positive peace. The research design includes composite frameworks and analytical tools created or adapted for the study utilizing an exploratory approach and abduction theory. The study is a mixed-method but largely qualitatively driven exercise in conceptualizations aided by a survey, using a scheduled-structured interview format, involving 50 Bosnian nationals and 50 intervenors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 1990s conflict and subsequent intervention was taken as a case study. Findings were assessed for the perceived status of conflict transformation structural and relational elements, and inferred association with a War- to-Sustainable Positive Peace Continuum containing key intervention thresholds. Implications and recommendations for theory, research, practice, and policy, are discussed. By building on and departing from Johan Gultung's original concepts of negative and positive peace, and utilizing a variety of other concepts, the study concludes that it is possible to assess peace and stability operations and environments in structural and relational and negative and positive peace terms, and make compelling conclusions and recommendations regarding implications for peace and stability interventions and research, theory, practice, and policy. The different perceptions of Track 1 and Track 2 - 9 intervenors on what constitutes conflict transformation, were explored as an integral dynamic of the inquiry.



Conflict analysis, Negative peace, Peace and stability operations, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Positive peace