Chapter 14: Prosects for peacebuilding in the 2020s

Measuring quality

There is a tool for tracking the implementation of the SDGs:

The notion of ‘quality peace’ is also developed in the edited volume Understanding Quality Peace. Peacebuilding After Civil War, edited by Madhav Joshi and Peter Wallensteen (Routledge 2017).

The journals Peacebuilding and Peacebuilding and Development follow the debates with respect to concepts of peace and contain analysis of the multi-faceted dimension of actual cases of peacebuilding.


Philippe LeBillion’s Corrupting Peace? Corruption, Peacebuilding and Reconstruction. Routledge, from 2011 is a beginning of a deeper analysis of post-war conditions and the challenge corruption constitutes. A significant study is Hanne Fjelde 2009. ‘Buying Peace? Oil Wealth, Corruption and Civil War, 1985–99’, Journal of Peace Research, 46 (2): 199–218 raising serious concerns on the corruptive effect of oil resources.

Predicting conflict and peace

There are a few projects trying to make predictions in the field of peace and security. An early effort is H. Hegre, J. Karlsen, H.M. Nygard, H. Strand and H. Urdal 2013. ‘Predicting Armed Conflict, 2011–2050’, International Studies Quarterly, 57 (2): 250–70.

And a more recent work is Hannes Mueller, Christopher Rauh 2022. ‘The Hard Problem of Prediction for Conflict Prevention’,  Journal of the European Economic Association, 20 (6): 2440–67.

Both these projects focus on internal armed conflict, but the war between Russia and Ukraine suggests that for the 2020s it might be equally important to develop models for inter-state conflicts. Such predictions are many within the discipline of war studies and often focus on technological developments. Implications are largely drawn for new types of military expenditures rather than for conflict prevention or conflict resolution. A typical example is: Robert A. Johnson 2014, ‘Predicting Future War’, Parameters 44 (1), doi:10.55540/0031-17 while a multifaceted work is the recent Damien Kingsbury and Richard Iron (eds.) 2022. How Wars End: Theory and Practice. Routledge.

A future world

A traditional work in the Realpolitik tradition thinking about the future is Henry Kissinger 2014. World Order. Penguin Press. It contrasts work that prefer terms that include ‘peace’ and ‘architecture’ to describe a future world, for instance, Oliver P. Richmond 2022. The Grand Design. The Evolution of the International Peace Architecture. Oxford University Press and Robert C. Johansen 2021. Where the Evidence Leads. A Realistic Strategy for Peace and Human Security. Oxford University Press.