Local peacebuilding

The reflexive encounter between a subaltern view and a practitioner in Côte d'Ivoire

Authored by: Jeremy Allouche , Patrick Zadi Zadi

Routledge Handbook of African Peacebuilding

Print publication date:  May  2022
Online publication date:  May  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367181949
eBook ISBN: 9780429060038
Adobe ISBN:


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The aim of this chapter is to focus on the local turn in peacebuilding. The use of the local as a rhetorical tool is, in part, rooted in a functionalist argument. That is, peacebuilding does not work, because the local is not considered enough in creating and maintaining national political settlements (an analytical judgment); but the local turn as a rhetorical tool is also part of a broader agenda, which is that the local represents an alternative path beyond the states and national elites (a normative judgment). The local turn peacebuilding theorists consider that there is an increased assertiveness by local actors, who are embodying critical and resistant agencies. These agencies have a stake in a subaltern view of peace as opposed to the dominant one, which is the liberal, state-centered peace paradigm. While much of the scholarship has highlighted how peacebuilding practitioners see the limits of the liberal peacebuilding paradigm, much less has been explored about the practical meaning of the alternative paradigm. This chapter is a reflexive attempt to understand what this subaltern view of local peacebuilding means in practice for a francophone West African practitioner.

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