Rising Powers & Peacebuilding

Rising Powers and Peacebuilding: Breaking the Mold?, edited by Charles T. Call and Cedric de Coning (Palgrave, 2017) is available for free (open access) on: http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319606200


This edited volume examines the policies and practices of rising powers on peacebuilding. It analyzes how and why their approaches differ from those of traditional donors and multilateral institutions. The policies of the rising powers towards peacebuilding may significantly influence how the UN and others undertake peacebuilding in the future.

Over the last decade, setbacks in places like Burundi, Libya, South Sudan and Yemen have undercut the credibility that peacebuilding enjoyed in the international system. These failures have combined with a push from rising powers against Western dominance to produce a turn to the Global South for more legitimate and effective responses to mass organized violence in the world. Onto this stage new actors like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and other regional powers in the Global South, like Indonesia and Turkey, have emerged as new ‘donors’ that advance their own political and technical approaches to peacebuilding. These rising powers seek to influence how the UN, other multilateral organisations, traditional donors and recipient countries view and do peacebuilding. Their entry may fundamentally alter peacebuilding a decade from now. This book seeks to answer the following central questions: What exactly is new and innovative about the peacebuilding approaches of rising powers from the Global South, and what are the implications of these new approaches?

This book analyzes the peacebuilding concepts, policies and practices of five key rising powers – Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey.  It finds that these countries’ approaches share some key features but diverge in others. Rising powers have a broader concept of peacebuilding than most Western donor countries, but the extent to which they equate peacebuilding with development varies. They have a more holistic operational approach, a longer time horizon and a strong emphasis on national ownership, but the latter is often narrowed down to governmental consent. They share a heightened sensitivity to sovereignty, but negotiate this in a variety of ways. The book finds that the rising powers have influenced the discourse and practices of peacebuilding, especially at the United Nations, but not transformed them. Several recent setbacks raise doubts about whether rising powers will sustain their new influential role in peacebuilding. This volume shows that rising powers have set forth a broadly coherent set of principles and rationales as the basis for their new approach to peacebuilding. These principles and practices are likely to influence how Western donors, the UN, regional organizations and non-governmental organizations approach peacebuilding in important ways in the coming years.


“This important book, recommended for practitioners and scholars alike, demonstrates that the future of peacebuilding will be unlike its past. The discrediting of traditional policy practices matched by the increasing role of rising powers means that peacebuilding approaches are rapidly changing. This collection makes a vital contribution, and pose a set of new and pressing questions.”

  • David Chandler, University of Westminster, author of Peacebuilding: The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1997-2017


“This excellent collection reflects on the changing nature of peacebuilding and offers an insightful examination of the growing role of rising powers in peacebuilding. It is a major contribution to the study of rising powers in general and peacebuilding in particular.”

  • Emel Parlar Dal, Marmara University, Turkey, and Editor of Rising Powers Quarterly


“As former Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, I have sought to express Brazil’s commitment to effectively contribute to end conflict and improve conditions for sustainable development and peace. Two notions have established themselves as essential: multilateralism and diplomacy.  The points raised by this book help to illustrate the importance of the United Nations and the primacy of politics and diplomacy in advancing the cause of sustaining peace.”

  • Antonio Patriota, Ambassador to Rome, former Permanent Representative to the United Nations and former Foreign Minister of Brazil


Table of Contents 

  1. Introduction: Why Examine Rising Powers and Peacebuilding?

Cedric de Coning and Charles T. Call


Part I. National Approaches to Peacebuilding


  1. A Brazilian Way? Brazil’s Approach to Peacebuilding

Adriana Erthal Abdenur and Charles T. Call


  1. Offering Support and Sharing Experiences: Indonesia’s Approach to Peacebuilding

Lina A. Alexandra


  1. Peacebuilding through Development Partnership: An Indian Perspective

P K Singh


  1. Breaking with Convention: Turkey’s New Approach to Peacebuilding

Auveen Elizabeth Woods and Onur Sazak


  1. South African Peacebuilding Approaches: Evolution and Lessons

Charles Nyuykonge and Zondi Siphamandla



Part II. Case Studies


  1. India’s Peacebuilding Role in Afghanistan

Shakti Sinha


  1. Thinking Outside the Compound: Turkey’s Peacebuilding in Somalia

Onur Sazak and Auveen Elizabeth Woods


  1. Rising Powers and Innovative Approaches to Peacebuilding: A Case Study of Myanmar

Lina A. Alexandra and Marc Lanteigne


  1. Conclusion: Are Rising Powers Breaking the Peacebuilding Mold?

Charles T. Call and Cedric de Coning

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