This book aims to understand the processes and outcomes that arise from frictional encounters in peacebuilding, when global and local forces meet.

Building a sustainable peace after violent conflict is a process that entails competing ideas, political contestation and transformation of power relations. This volume develops the concept of ‘friction’ to better analyse the interplay between global ideas, actors, and practices, and their local counterparts. The chapters examine efforts undertaken to promote sustainable peace in a variety of locations, such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone. These case analyses provide a nuanced understanding not simply of local processes, or of the hybrid or mixed agencies, ideas, and processes that are generated, but of the complex interactions that unfold between all of these elements in the context of peacebuilding intervention. The analyses demonstrate how the ambivalent relationship between global and local actors leads to unintended and sometimes counterproductive results of peacebuilding interventions. The approach of this book, with its focus on friction as a conceptual tool, advances the peacebuilding research agenda and adds to two ongoing debates in the peacebuilding field; the debate on hybridity, and the debate on local agency and local ownership. In analysing frictional encounters this volume prepares the ground for a better understanding of the mixed impact peace initiatives have on post-conflict societies.

This book will be of much interest to students of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, security studies, and international relations in general.

chapter |16 pages


Peacebuilding through the lens of friction
ByAnnika Björkdahl, Kristine Höglund, Gearoid Millar, Jaïr van der Lijn, Willemijn Verkoren

chapter |15 pages

Frictional spaces

Transitional justice between the global and the local
BySusanne Buckley-Zistel

chapter |16 pages

Respecting complexity

Compound friction and unpredictability in peacebuilding 1
ByGearoid Millar

chapter |16 pages

Frictional commemoration

Local agency and cosmopolitan politics at memorial sites in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda 1
ByJohanna Mannergren Selimovic

chapter |20 pages

Escaping friction

Practices of creating non-frictional space in Sierra Leone
ByLise Philipsen

chapter |19 pages

Sites of friction

Governance, identity and space in Mostar
ByAnnika Björkdahl, Ivan Gusic

chapter |17 pages

The imagined agent of peace

Frictions in peacebuilding through civil society strengthening 1
ByWillemijn Verkoren, Mathijs van Leeuwen

chapter |18 pages

Friction over justice in post-war Sri Lanka

Actors in local–global encounters 1
ByKristine Höglund, Camilla Orjuela

chapter |17 pages

The ‘awkward' success of peacebuilding in Cambodia

Creative and incomplete, unsustainable yet resilient, progressing but stalling 1
ByJoakim Öjendal, Sivhuoch Ou

chapter |17 pages

Frictions in illusionstan

Engagement between the ‘global' and the ‘local’ in Afghanistan’s imagination-building
ByJaïr van der Lijn

chapter |16 pages

Connections for peace

Frictions in peacebuilding encounters in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo
BySara Hellmüller

chapter |15 pages

Problematising global–local dynamics in Timor-Leste 1

ByMaria Raquel Freire, Paula Duarte Lopes

chapter |11 pages


Peacebuilding and the significance of friction
ByAnnika Björkdahl, Kristine Höglund, Gearoid Millar, Jaïr van der Lijn, Willemijn Verkoren