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Peacebuilding Through Community-Based NGOs: Paradoxes and Possibilities

Max Stephenson and Laura Zanotti
Peacebuilding Through Community-Based NGOs: Paradoxes and Possibilities
ISBN: 978-1-56549-427-5
ISBN: 978-1-56549-426-8
2012/98 pages/LC: 2012006920
A Kumarian Press Book
"Illustrates the positive perverse or unintended consequences of NGO involvement in peacebuilding.... This is hardly a new argument, but this iteration is one that deserves attention."—Oliver P. Richmond, International Peacekeeping

"Make[s] an important contribution to the field of peacebuilding by calling for an evaluation of the implications and consequences of the increased role of NGOs in international governance."—Ashley Feasley,


Max Stephenson and Laura Zanotti explore the contested, but increasingly relevant, role that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) play in resolving conflict and bringing about peace and security in the global arena.

The authors draw on case studies from Haiti, Serbia, and Northern Ireland to highlight the range of ways that NGOs are involved in postconflict reconstruction efforts. In the process, they not only explore the outcomes and effects of various past strategies, but also caution strongly against one-size-fits-all approaches to peacebuilding and offer food for thought about the complexities facing NGOs and international donors as they engage in postconflict situations.


Max Stephenson Jr. is professor in the School of International and Public Affairs and Laura Zanotti is associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


  • NGOs, International Governance, and the Neoliberal Peacebuilding Consensus.
  • Providing Services and Building the State Amid a Cacophony of International Aid: Partners In Health, Haiti.
  • Implementing the Liberal Peace, Hardening Conflict Identities: Women in Black–Serbia.
  • Revealing Conflict Narratives in Pursuit of Peace: Exploring the Peacebuilding Efforts of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.
  • Conclusions.