Partnering for Peace: Practitioner Stories of Global North-South Peacebuilding Partnerships

dc.contributor.advisorCobb, Sara
dc.contributor.authorCohen, Seth Benjamin
dc.creatorCohen, Seth Benjamin
dc.description.abstractPeacebuilding and conflict resolution interventions often require partnerships between local experts who are from those conflict settings and skilled professionals who are "outsiders." Efforts to resolve or transform protracted social conflicts must be carefully planned and implemented in any conflict setting, but such interventions arguably require extra sensitivity and awareness when outsider-Northerners partner with insider-locals in the global South. This study investigates how these North-South partnerships develop and unfold through an in-depth process of narrative research that profiles the lived experiences of both Northern and Southern based "peacebuilding" practitioners. Their stories teach us about instructive cases of partnership that unfold in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor), Colombia, Argentina, Zanzibar, Kenya, Nigeria, and Israel/Palestine. The practitioners' narratives are presented through an interpretive morphological analysis of North-South partnerships. The morphology of partnerships reveals the shape and stages of these partnership cases and examines critical moments and turning points that unfold in the course of partnership. The contributions of this study include new insights about the beginning, middle, and end stages of partnership while also detailing how seasoned practitioners make sense of their goals, actions, and interactions with their partners as they address "critical moments" that arise from various dynamics of identity, culture, and power that shape conflict intervention and peacebuilding work. Their stories reveal that strong interpersonal relationships built on trust and reciprocity provide the basis for solid partnerships. Yet despite many success stories, the pervasive asymmetry in power and funding resources between Northern and Southern partners creates dependency and numerous other challenges. The study concludes with a discussion of several considerations for how practitioners and organizations might improve partnership practices, including ways they might decolonize peacebuilding efforts and balance asymmetries in funding by shifting more control to local partners.
dc.format.extent430 pages
dc.rightsCopyright 2013 Seth Benjamin Cohen
dc.subjectPeace studies
dc.subjectInternational relations
dc.subjectSocial psychology
dc.titlePartnering for Peace: Practitioner Stories of Global North-South Peacebuilding Partnerships
dc.typeDissertation Analysis and Resolution Mason University


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