The Critique of liberal peace building in Iraq (2003-2011)

Sarı, Gamze
The number of scholars has determined that international peacebuilding in post- conflict regions reflects a liberal agenda in the post-Cold War era. However, recent studies on international peacebuilding revealed that liberal peacebuilding had not attained the intended aim of helping post-conflict societies to turn from conflict to self-sustaining peace. Therefore, liberal peacebuilding has created debates and controversies. This thesis reviews the critical approaches to peacebuilding to address the limitations and shortcomings of the liberal peacebuilding agenda. Afterward, this thesis deals with how the universal values and reforms of liberal peacebuilding that were promoted in post-conflict Iraq influenced the democratization, economic, and security transformation of the country. Some questions like what the basis of peace was, what kind of a relationship the intervening actor had with the local actors, whether this peace provided strong state-society relations, are asked. Through an investigation of the US-led peacebuilding activities in the selected case study, this thesis seeks to criticize the lack of local legitimacy in the practice of liberal peacebuilding. This thesis indicates that Iraqi case revealed that liberal peacebuilding strategies did not correspond with Iraqi state-society relationship and it created negative hybrid peace outcome of which was weak state-society relations based on ethnocentric, elitist, technocratic, free-market policies, because interveners implemented their prescriptions without regard to Iraq’s historical background, different religious and ethnic identities. Therefore, this research points out the necessity for an alternative peacebuilding strategy that appreciates the local context profoundly for the creation of sustainable solutions in these post-conflict societies.


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Citation Formats
G. Sarı, “The Critique of liberal peace building in Iraq (2003-2011),” Thesis (M.S.) -- Graduate School of Social Sciences. International Relations., Middle East Technical University, 2019.