Pathways to Sustainable Peacebuilding in Divided Societies: Lessons and Experiences from Mozambique

Ayokunu Adedokun, UNU-MERIT

Today most armed conflicts occur within states and not between them. These conflicts are more difficult to solve than international conflicts and often reoccur. What factors can help prevent warring parties from reverting to violence and instead create a sustainable peace? Does sustainable peace require support from the “outside”? Or is it most likely to succeed when driven from the “inside”? What lessons can other countries emerging from civil wars learn from successful cases of post-war peacebuilding? These are the broad questions that this research project investigates within the context of Mozambique – a country often portrayed as a “post-conflict success story” by the international community.

Drawing from process tracing, original archive work, interviews and secondary sources, this dissertation offers several theoretical and empirical insights that advance the current state of peacebuilding literature on Mozambique. Whereas previous research emphasised that Mozambique’s peacebuilding trajectory has been a success based on the end of the Cold War, drought, military stalemate, luck, and heavy external peacebuilding operations, this research finds that Mozambique’s relative peace and stability since 1992 is largely due to three complementary factors: (i) local participation in and ownership of the peace process; (ii) credible and impartial international support through the United Nations; and, (iii) an inclusive political settlement. While concerns remain over Mozambique’s peacebuilding consolidation, efforts to build resilience have improved.

In addition to theoretical and empirical contributions, the thesis also makes a conceptual contribution to the analysis and understanding of post-conflict peacebuilding. The thesis draws from, and builds on, the framework of Hybrid Political Orders (HPOs) introduced by Boege et al. (2009a; 2009b). The framework of Hybrid Political Orders is useful as an analytical approach to better understand post-conflict societies. Unlike the dominant approaches to peacebuilding, which claim that interactions between internal and external actors frequently result in conflict, hybrid peacebuilding approaches recognise that peacebuilding is a complex process that requires mutual cooperation and interactions between external and local actors. Overall, the research findings are significant beyond the case of Mozambique, as they provide insights for understanding how and when the international community under the auspices of the United Nations, and in partnership with local actors, is best suited to contribute to sustainable peace in countries emerging from civil wars.



Venue: Room 1.169, Minderbroedersberg 4-6, Maastricht

Date: 20 December 2016

Time: 11:45 - 13:15


UNU-MERIT