Jonas Wolff | 2022

The local turn and the Global South in critical peacebuilding studies

in: PRIF Working Papers No. 57

The local turn in peacebuilding studies represents an explicit and important attempt to
transform both the research on and the practice of international peacebuilding. The aim,
generally speaking, is to incorporate views, experiences and practices from the Global
South and, thereby, overcome the predominance of Northwestern concepts and
templates in the practice and scholarship of international peace operations. This PRIF
Working Paper empirically assesses this attempt by systematically analyzing the existing
scholarship that represents the local turn in peacebuilding. It specifically addresses the
three questions (1) whether and how scholars that aim at giving agency and ownership to
“the locals” rethink their own concepts and normative premises; (2) to what extent they
do so by incorporating views and approaches from the Global South; and (3) to what
extent and in what ways scholars from the Global South are an active and relevant part of
this scholarly debate.

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