According to, while “policymakers and practitioners often admit that many standard peacebuilding techniques are ineffective. In the absence of compelling alternatives, these faulty templates continue to be used all over the world by default. Further, “effectiveness can be improved significantly if foreign peacebuilders avoid three widespread assumptions:
Assumption No. 1) Good things promote peace and bad things undermine peace.
Democracy, liberalization and education may actually fuel conflict. Conversely, corruption, the drug-trade and other illegal activities can foster stability -at least in the short term.
Assumption No. 2) It takes formal peace efforts to control violence.
“ordinary people can engage in everyday actions to reduce tensions, such as avoiding topics that might be contentious. Or they focus on being polite to members of other groups — or they reach out to local civil-society organizations, rather than state law enforcement, when there is a problem.”
“In these cases, formal, externally led peace initiatives may not be necessary because local people are already coping on their own. In fact, external support may actually jeopardize local efforts rather than support them.”
Assumption No. 3) Inhabitants of conflict zones aren’t capable of resolving their own predicament.
“outsiders don’t necessarily have the knowledge to build peace in host countries. They may not speak local languages, understand local customs or have the in-depth knowledge of local history necessary to comprehend and resolve the deep sources of tensions. And all societies — even those at war — tend to have local systems and skills to resolve conflicts.”
In the final analysis, its all about context: “peace efforts must draw on the knowledge, competencies, perspectives, networks, assets and leverage of both insiders and outsiders.”