Bringing armed conflicts to an end is difficult; restoring a lasting peace can be considerably harder. Reclaiming Everyday Peace addresses the effectiveness and impact of local level interventions on communities affected by war. Using an innovative methodology to generate participatory numbers, Pamina Firchow finds that communities saturated with external interventions after war do not have substantive higher levels of peacefulness according to community-defined indicators of peace than those with lower levels of interventions. These findings suggest that current international peacebuilding efforts are not very effective at achieving peace by local standards because disproportionate attention is paid to reconstruction, governance and development assistance with little attention paid to community ties and healing. Firchow argues that a more bottom up approach to measuring the effectiveness of peacebuilding is required. By finding ways to effectively communicate local community needs and priorities to the international community, efforts to create an atmosphere for an enduring peace are possible.
‘People in conflict zones need their voices to be heard. Firchow provides a new and useful methodology for hearing people’s voices in conflict-ridden areas of the world, and then using those voices as input into policy evaluation. This book will prove invaluable to researchers, policy-makers, and policy evaluators working to resolve violent conflicts around the world.’ Gary Goertz, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
‘In this seminal book, Pamina Firchow provides much-needed rigor to the challenge of understanding peace from below. In a path-breaking analysis of what local people affected by armed conflict identify as the priorities of peace building, she sets a new agenda for researching local standards and identifying bottom-up indicators of peace.’ Alex de Waal, Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation, Tufts University, Massachusetts