Toward a culture of peacebuilding and complex identity in the post‐COVID world

Peace & Change, EarlyView.


This article addresses the questions of what is new about complex identity and what it means for peacebuilding. I begin with the notion that scales and identity must be considered in their totality, as part of a complex bundle of technological, economic, and socio-cultural forces. I also point out that peacebuilding is a process that gradually evolves and not a thing that suddenly appears. While every new age holds marked change, it also contains elements of continuity. Peacebuilding is then defined as holding five essential components: (1) building self-sustainable peaceful societies, (2) democratic transition processes, (3) economic reform and development, (4) institution-building, and (5) structural adjustment. The last section of the article lists both the positive and negative implications that post-COVID world portends for peacebuilding. The good news includes rising prosperity, development cooperation and aid, and increased democracy. The bad news consists of sharpening imbalances, increased social disorder, and greater people’s expectations. Finally, I suggest some ways of coping with these prospects.

This was originally published on Wiley: Peace & Change: Table of Contents.