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Title: NGO peacebuilding in northern Uganda : interrogating liberal peace from the ground
Author: Opongo, Elias Omondi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 7915
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2011
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The question of what agenda drives NGO peacebuilding in post-conflict setting has been raised in a number of literatures which make generalized conclusions that NGOs tend to respond to the liberal peace agenda, and in the process co-opt local peacebuilding initiatives. Liberal peace agenda refers to the post-conflict peacebuilding approach based on the promotion of democracy, economic liberalization, human rights and the rule of law. As such, NGOs are seen as privatizing peacebuilding, marginalizing local initiatives and applying unsustainable approaches to peacebuilding in post-conflict contexts. Provoked by these assertions, I conducted field research in northern Uganda, which up to 2006 had experienced 22 years of conflict between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and Government of Uganda (GOU). I contend in my findings that while to some extent the generalized observations made by liberal peace critics are true, they fail to fully engage with the micro aspects of post-conflict peacebuilding. The macro-analytic assertions of the liberal peace critics ignore the plurality of the NGO peacebuilding practice, the diverse internal organizational culture, and the complexities and diversities of the contextual dynamics of post-conflict settings. My research was based on a micro level analysis and demonstrated that the peacebuilding process in northern Uganda was interactive, and, as such, engendered diverse encounters of sense-making, relationship building and co-construction of peacebuilding discourse and practice between NGOs, donors and local community. The study shows that peacebuilding was essentially relational and developed through a process of relational constructionism, which denotes social processes of reality construction based on relational encounters.
Supervisor: Pankhurst, Donna T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) ; Peacebuilding ; Liberal peace ; Northern Uganda ; Donors ; Post-conflict ; Relational constructionism