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Aiding Peace?: The Role of NGOs in Armed Conflict

Jonathan Goodhand
Aiding Peace?: The Role of NGOs in Armed Conflict
ISBN: 978-1-58826-462-6
ISBN: 978-1-58826-487-9
2006/239 pages/LC: 2006020578
A project of the International Peace Institue

"Comprehensive, impressive in scope, and written with great thoughtfulness and attention to detail....  This book does a wonderful job of breaking new ground."—Martha Thompson, Development in Practice

"Effectively blending theory with real world data and a practitioner's insight, Aiding Peace provides solid, comparative research findings on the work and impact of NGO operations in seven war-torn countries."—Christine Mahoney, International Studies Review

"This is an important contribution and will be the starting point for further research."—Lawrence D. Freedman, Foreign Affairs


As nongovernmental organizations play a growing role in the international response to armed conflict—tasked with mitigating the effects of war and helping to end the violence—there is an acute need for information on the impact they are actually having. Addressing this need, Aiding Peace? explores just how NGOs interact with conflict and peace dynamics, and with what results.

Jonathan Goodhand compares the programs of international and national NGOs in seven conflict arenas: Afghanistan, Armenia-Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Moldova, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Well grounded in an analysis of the political-economy context of each conflict, his important and perhaps unexpected results point to essential policy and practice changes in the interest of enhanced NGO peacebuilding efforts. Not least, they also highlight the need for a fundamental adjustment of expectations.


Jonathan Goodhand is professor in the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


  • Introduction.
  • Armed Conflict in Theory.
  • Armed Conflict in Practice.
  • Understanding Responses to Conflict: International Intervention and Aid.
  • NGOs and the Dynamics of Conflict and Peacebuilding.
  • Armed Conflict and the International Political and Policy Landscape.
  • NGO Programming and Capacities for Peacebuilding.
  • Politics, Policy, and Practice.

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