Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia

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Current Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1007)

Latest articles in this journal

Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia pp 1-20; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9_1

This introductory chapter provides an overview, main objectives, key arguments and the significance of the study. This book is a result of collective efforts by those who are interested in advancing the discourse on hybrid peacebuilding in Asia in two aspects. First, by drawing on a diverse array of relevant theoretical perspectives gained from the discussion on complexity, identity and feminism, it aims to operationalise hybrid peacebuilding theory from various perspectives of Asia, which was designed to serve as a descriptive lens to elucidate the dynamic and interactive nature of the process of hybridisation. This attempt is concurrently administered by a critical effort to refine the typology of the ‘local mid-space gatekeepers’ proposed in Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia (Uesugi 2020). Second, by investing empirically the mechanism of hybridisation in the peacebuilding process in Cambodia and Mindanao, it seeks to demonstrate, without falling into the pitfalls of binary, how mid-space actors in these settings served or failed to serve as bridges to close cleavages in the conflict-affected society. These in-depth empirical findings are complemented by another set of case studies which focuses on two leading peacebuilding actors in Asia, China and Japan, to illustrate the need to expand the horizons of the research on hybrid peacebuilding to include the impact of non-Western approaches on the practice of peacebuilding.
, Fujian Li
Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia pp 127-157; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9_7

The rise of China represents an increase not only in Chinese military, political and economic power, but also in Chinese interests in becoming a more proactive player in the field of international peacebuilding, particularly in Asia, where it aims to protect stability and enhance the scope of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, without a clear peacebuilding policy at home, China is not adopting a systematic and unified approach to peacebuilding despite its developmental peace having many traits that resemble the pursuit of hybrid peacebuilding that other major actors in the field have adopted to address the shortcomings of liberal peacebuilding. Asia is a conflict-prone region. This chapter examines the practice of developmental peace in Myanmar and Afghanistan/Pakistan to demonstrate the potential for peacebuilding with Chinese characteristics. The rise of China also brings an interesting style of peacebuilding that is focused on addressing conflict through economic development, while upholding the host country’s sovereign rights.
Cedric de Coning, Lawrence McDonald-Colbert
Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia pp 37-58; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9_3

Complexity science provides us with a theoretical framework for understanding how complex social systems lapse into violent conflict, and how they can prevent, or recover from conflict. For a peace process to become self-sustainable, resilient social institutions need to emerge from within, i.e. from the culture, history and socio-economic context of the relevant society. International actors can assist and facilitate this process, but if they interfere too much, they will undermine the self-organising processes necessary to sustain resilient social institutions. Adaptive Peacebuilding navigates this hybrid peacebuilding dilemma with an adaptive methodology where peacebuilders, together with the communities and people affected by the conflict, actively engage in a structured process to sustain peace and resolve conflicts by employing an iterative process of learning and adaptation. A complexity informed approach to hybrid peacebuilding aims to safeguard, stimulate, facilitate and create the space for societies to develop resilient capacities for self-organisation.
, Anna Deekeling, Anton Ingstedt
Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia pp 21-35; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9_2

This opening literature review connects hybrid calls and criticisms to the development of peacebuilding debates at large. First, it briefly presents some of peacebuilding’s ontological aspects, as they may be found both in academia and practice. With such a contrasting framework at hand, the following section explains some core arguments in the existing literature in favour of adopting hybrid peacebuilding. Lastly, voices are raised to show how hybridity has been criticised both within its own circles and by others. Showcasing the various aspects of peacebuilding, and hybridity specifically, this chapter sets the stage for a new set of discussions in the subsequent chapters.
, Jovanie Camacho Espesor
Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia pp 99-125; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9_6

International and local civil society organisations have usually been identified amongst the key actors for the conceptual and practical development of liberal and post-liberal peace approaches. The concept of hybrid peacebuilding, for example, has highlighted the need to empower local civil society groups. Critics of the ‘local turn’ in peacebuilding, however, argue against the conceptual idealisation of hybridity. Using examples from Mindanao, this chapter contends that the debates on liberal-local hybridity can most meaningfully gain from asking questions not only about the processes of internationalisation and localisation, but also about the ways in which hybrid mechanisms are able to produce more or less stable outcomes. By turning into the agency of civil society actors, it suggests that the concept of hybridity, which is often represented using dichotomised categories (e.g. ‘liberal-international’ and ‘illiberal-local’), tends to oversimplify the conceptual intricacies and dynamic processes between top-down and bottom-up approaches. The analysis in the chapter aims to contribute to the discussions on hybridity by illustrating the manner civil society actors are able to negotiate their complexities within the frictional binaries of liberal ideas, institutions and resources vis-à-vis local practices, power relations and norms.
, Will Brehm
Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia pp 81-97; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9_5

This chapter connects the concept of identity to mid-space actors involved in hybrid peacebuilding. The power of identity draws attention to the process of framing and othering as important factors contributing to successful bridge-building across diverse actors during hybrid peacebuilding. Buddhist monks in post-conflict Cambodia are exemplar. How and why monks both succeeded and failed in their role as bridge-builders will be evaluated. Identity frames and networks of mid-space actors predisposes them to excel in particular fields and fail in others. The concept of identity is therefore an important way to explain why and how a mid-space actor may transform from being a bridge-builder into a spoiler during the process of hybrid peacebuilding.
, Dahlia Simangan
Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia pp 59-80; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9_4

The concept of hybridity sheds light on the complexity of conflict settings. It helps to analyse the participation of all parties and actors involved and entangled in a social network of normative and political power, while avoiding theoretical binaries that over-simplify the process of post-conflict peacebuilding. What lacks, however, is a practical application of hybridity in peacebuilding that actively engages with bottom/local or grassroots, top/national and international actors through mediation in the mid-space to create sustainable peace. Given this practical shortcoming of hybridity, this chapter examines mid-space actors as gatekeepers and their capacities to enable dialogue among opposing parties. The aim is to offer insights for the international community, as outside intervenors, in promoting the bridge-building potentialities of gatekeepers. Specifically, externally led efforts to engage with the specific skill sets of mid-space local actors are explored. It is argued in this chapter that such engagement provides a favourable environment for sustaining peace by overcoming power struggles in and around the mid-space.
, Anna Deekeling, Sophie Shiori Umeyama, Lawrence McDonald-Colbert
Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia pp 187-196; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9_9

The concluding chapter summarises the findings of the previous chapters and presents their common assertions. The goal is to evaluate whether the existent gap between hybrid peacebuilding theory and its practice has been successfully closed. Building upon a complexity-informed framework of hybrid emergence, the mid-space actor typology is developed to link between an analytical framework and practical application. This volume has demonstrated that mid-space actors can provide viable focal points for establishing resilient and self-sufficient social institutions from within without dictating the content of such emergences. The case studies of Cambodia and Mindanao were examined to assess the on-the-ground operation of mid-space actors, and the cases of China and Japan illuminated how the conceptual framework of hybridity could improve contemporary peacebuilding models.
, Anna Deekeling
Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia pp 159-185; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9_8

This chapter focuses on Japan’s approach to peacebuilding, and examines its ability to emerge as a hybrid peacebuilding facilitator. To test this potential, three cases of Japan’s engagement with mid-space actors are studied. By reviewing Japan’s flagship projects in Timor-Leste, Myanmar and Mindanao, the chapter shows that Japan holds the ability to establish trust-relationships with top/national leaders of the aid-recipient countries through its apolitical, request-based, non-intrusive and long-term commitment approaches that Japanese actors display. At the same time, Japanese actors operating at the local/bottom are able to develop relationships with mid-space actors through providing them with important know-how and resources. This practice has allowed Japan to engage with conflict-affected societies where and when access of other donors was denied, which gave Japan an advantage in supporting local bridge-building initiatives. In short, this chapter demonstrated how Japan could bridge between Western donors and aid-recipient countries in Southeast Asia. While several shortcomings of the Japanese approach such as the limited inclusion of stakeholders and unequal distribution of peace dividend are identified in this chapter, it concluded that Japan could emerge as a hybrid peacebuilding facilitator if these shortcomings were addressed.
Operationalisation of Hybrid Peacebuilding in Asia; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-67758-9

This open access book explores common critiques in the literature of hybrid peacebuilding, especially the lack of connection between hybridity in theory and practice. Through using a complexity-informed framework, the foundation for introducing the mid-space actor typology is established. Mid-space actors as insider-partial mediators are perceived to be vital agents for peace processes in conflict-affected areas and thus can be important power brokers and focal points for outside actors. In this book, two insider views are examined through analysing mid-space actors in the peacebuilding process in Cambodia and in Mindanao, the Philippines. First, it explores the process of identity-building of Cambodian monks and how such a process enables or hinders the monks to bridge existing cleavages. Then, in the case study of Mindanao, the roles of civil society actors are considered. The next step is to introduce the outsider’s perspective on hybrid peacebuilding and how Asian peacebuilding actors such as China and Japan are engaging with mid-space actors who provide key bridges in peacebuilding.Yuji Uesugi, Yuji is Professor at the Faculty of International Research and Education, Waseda University, Japan. Anna Deekeling is a researcher at the Graduate School of Social Science, Waseda University, Japan. Sophie Shiori Umeyama is a researcher at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University, Japan. Lawrence Mcdonald-Colbert is a researcher at the Graduate School of Political Science, Waseda University, Japan.
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