Constructing Peace: Collective Understandings of Peace, Peacemaking, Peacekeeping, and Peacebuilding

Autesserre, Severine

This review examines both the anthropological and international relations literature on collective understandings and peace interventions to identify their contributions, elucidate the current debates, emphasize the literatures' complementary and conflicting aspects, and shed light on their respective shortcomings. I first look at the top-down research, which focuses on two main topics: national negotiation styles and diplomatic culture, and the liberal peace paradigm. After highlighting the deficiencies of this top-down approach, I move to two central debates in the bottom-up research on peace interventions: the divergence between cultures of interveners and those of local populations, and the significance of the interveners' organizational and professional frames. To conclude, I emphasize areas that remain underresearched.


Also Published In

Critique international

More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science (Barnard College)
Published Here
March 6, 2012


Preferred citation: Severine Autesserre, “Constructing Peace: Collective Understandings of Peace, Peacemaking, Peacekeeping, and Peacebuilding,” Critique Internationale, 51, pp. 153-167, 2011. View this article translated into French at