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By Sarah Holt (auth.)

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48 Politics and the development of the institutions of some form of representative government play an important role in any peacebuilding programme. 50 These conditions rely on an independent judiciary, free speech, franchise and an active civil society. It is these ‘cultural or institutional structures that coincide with democratic governance’ which are the structures for peace referred to in Galtung’s (1975) essay and which form the building blocks of peacebuilding. Peacebuilding, an exercise predominantly funded by so-called ‘liberal democracies’, is greatly influenced by their principles.

There is no strict or agreed definition for peacebuilding, so based on the preceding discussion, it can be loosely described as any activities undertaken during the period of transition from war to peace, the sum of which amounts to a situation where peace is sustained; and as such, peacebuilding is a process. The broadness of the definitions reviewed reflects what a large and complex problem peacebuilding is trying to span, and the lack of definitional clarity underlines this. For this book peacebuilding will be defined as a process of identification and constructive transformation of the root causes of a conflict in support of establishing positive peace.

57 These perceptions do not necessarily mean that research undertaken by an ‘outsider’ will be less valid than an ‘insider’; an ‘insider’ will be subject to different constraints within their own society. In a divided society there is a danger that all actors are perceived to be partisan 12 Aid, Peacebuilding and the Resurgence of War based on family name, religion or residence. In addition, ‘insiders’ may, in the case of a civil war, expose themselves to danger when attempting to research into the affairs of the ‘other’ and may risk accusations of spying.

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