Understanding Integrative Peacebuilding

In a world where millions of people are negatively affected by violent, deep-rooted conflict, many of the efforts to mitigate trauma, reform corrupt institutions, and address social injustices take place in silos. These fragmented efforts are sometimes carried out by outside interveners as well as host governments and armed forces. Integrative Peacebuilding (IPB) addresses this fragmentation by focusing on integrative Orientation, integrative Action, and integrative Result-Areas (OARA).  Over the past decades, there have been examples of IPB, as well as the development of policy frameworks that are congruent with its approach, yet practice still lags behind policy in many contexts. Underlying the IPB approach is an appreciation for the complexity of the challenges and of intervention strategies; this calls for a deliberate application of complexity theory to peacebuilding contexts, coupled with a developmental approach to evaluation that is attentive to emergent, creative, and unexpected developments, and to the adjacent possibilities that open up.

"A major challenge is to get people out of their silos, truly working together to enhance each other’s goals." - Senator Peter Harder

  • Topics
  • Audience
  • Instructor
  • Identify the distinguishing features of an integrative approach to peace-building

  • Situate IPB within recent trends in peace-building policy and practice

  • Encourage participants to adopt an integrative orientation

  • Identify integrative actions within a variety of cases and relational systems (inter-agency, inter-group, inter-cultural, local-international intervention, etc.).

  • Enhance participants’ ability to nurture innovative approaches to complex challenges

  • Individuals who wish to contribute to capacity-building and want to adopt creative approaches to addressing complex challenges in fragile and conflict-affected states or in communities that may have reached an impasse in addressing their developmental challenges.

Vern Neufeld Redekop, retired Full Professor from the School of Conflict Studies, Saint Paul University. In 2010 he, together with Steve Moore, initiated processes leading to the development of a Graduate Diploma in Integrative Peacebuilding, which was piloted in 2016-17. That work formed the basis for the Integrative Peacebuilding Network and professional development programming at the University of Ottawa. His initial theoretical and practical insights found expression in his book, From Violence to Blessing: How an Understanding of Deep-Rooted Conflict Can Open Paths to Reconciliation, which included two chapters devoted to mimetic theory and scapegoating respectively and was organized around the concepts of mimetic structures of violence and mimetic structures of blessing. Subsequent research focused on protest crowds and police, resulting in (with Shirley Paré) Beyond Control: A Mutual Respect Approach to Protest Crowd – Police Relations. Oxford University Press has published Introduction to Conflict Studies: Empirical, Theoretical, and Ethical Dimensions, which he co-authored with Jean-Francois Rioux. He edited (with Thomas Ryba) René Girard and Creative Mimesis and René Girard and Creative Reconciliation. Currently he is preparing a workbook on Community Dialogue processes on Social Reconciliation and Economic Development, a project supported by the James Bay Cree of Quebec.

Stephen Baranyi

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