Strategic versus communicative approaches to peacemaking : a critical assessment of the Dayton Peace Initiative
While the objective of peacemaking efforts is the institution of a self-sustaining peace, the international community has not been able to accomplish this important goal in many war-torn societies around the world. Thus, the challenge to peacemakers is not necessarily the negotiation of a peace agreement, but its implementation in order to re-integrate a divided society and allow former combatants to address contentious issues non-violently. In light of this reality, this doctoral thesis argues that contemporary peace initiatives have not established conditions of self-sustaining peace because the majority of peacemakers have conceive their efforts according to the tenets of the strategic approach to peacemaking. The strategic approach strongly believes that a self-sustaining peace can be achieved through state-building practices. Hence the international community has devoted much of its time and resources to strengthen state structures, strongly arguing that a strong state can integrate society and make negotiated peace agreements self-sustaining. Influenced by Habermasian critical theory, this thesis presents the theoretical foundations of the communicative approach to peacemaking. The communicative approach argues that state-building projects will not integrate society, at least in the short term, but foster more conflicts between contending groups. It places a higher premium on reconciliation efforts, civil society movements, and deliberative forms of democracy. Using the Dayton peace initiative as a case study, the thesis shows the reasons why the Office of the High Representative and other international agencies in Bosnia have been unable to establish a self-sustaining peace. It also critically reviews different 'bottom-up', society-centred peacebuilding programmes practiced in Bosnia since the signing of the peace agreement, exposing both its limitations and potentials. As a result, this doctoral thesis concludes by showing that new peacebuilding strategies must incorporate aspects of both approaches to peacemaking to make peace in Bosnia self-sustaining.