September 3, 2019
The first author workshop on “Contextualizing International Cooperation for Sustaining Peace: Adaptive Peacebuilding Pathways” was convened at JICA Research Institute on Aug. 1, 2019.
JICA-RI Senior Research Fellow Ako Muto began by describing the background of the research project, explaining that the project was created to address how multilateral and bilateral agencies are adapting their peacebuilding programs to tackle ongoing challenges in contemporary armed conflicts. Particularly relevant in this context is the UN’s sustaining peace agenda; however, its operationalization remains largely untried, and contemporary international peacebuilding requires further research.
JICA-RI Research Fellow Rui Saraiva followed with a brief presentation on the characteristics and trends in contemporary conflicts, the UN’s sustaining peace agenda, and academic narratives related to peacebuilding. He also outlined the common research framework related to the project.
In the second session, Cedric De Coning from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs introduced the concept of “adaptive peacebuilding,” underlining the complex nature of societies affected by conflict, and compared adaptive and traditional approaches to peacebuilding.
Yasuhiro Takeda of the National Defense Academy of Japan raised the need to clarify the concept of “sustaining peace” as well as the meaning of violence in contemporary societies and the importance of addressing the direct and indirect causes of armed conflicts with adaptive approaches. Akihisa Matsuno of Osaka University added that “adaptive peacebuilding” has emerged as a flexible concept that might be particularly useful in ongoing contemporary conflicts, where people face deadlock situations on the ground. Other participants asked questions on the topic of international peacebuilding assistance and the conceptual framework of the research project.
Throughout the first author workshop, all participants actively engaged in the discussion on contemporary forms of international peacebuilding assistance and provided their feedback to the floor. This academic exchange allowed JICA-RI’s Peace and Development team to enrich the conceptual framework that will serve as the basis for case study research in the project “Contextualizing International Cooperation for Sustaining Peace: Adaptive Peacebuilding Pathways.”