Beyond Textbook Theories: Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Liberia


The dialogue on war and peace has existed throughout time. Historically, textbooks have conceptualized post-conflict states as inadequate entities, and peace has been glamorized and associated with the civilized men. Today, we associate these civilized men with international institutions and romanticize the roles they play, while overlooking the roles of women and local communities within conflict-stricken states. My time at the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa in Liberia made me question these very historic notions. It demystified this work from an elitist field to a locally driven effort. In post-conflict Liberia, I understood the importance of women and local communities in perpetuating peaceful ideas, which are then capitalized upon by international institutions. It exposed me to the importance of this work on a local plane. In my presentation, using Liberia as a broader lens, I will re-evaluate predetermined notions in the field of peace and conflict resolution, and promote the significance of indigenous people in initiating peaceful communities.