International Community and its Responsibility to rebuild war-torn societies: Towards a Cosmopolitan Approach to Peacebuilding

Dr. Christos Baxevanis, Adjunct Lecturer at the Democritus University of Thrace/Greece

The serious impact of current globalization can be detected both on national and global level, as it challenges the state sovereignty and territoriality, alters the form and character of political community, and raises serious questions about the proper scope of democracy and the locus of effective political power. Although there is a demand for global governance, the contemporary system of global governance is of limited legitimacy, due to its technocratic nature and the dominance of the powerful states.  Furthermore, despite the changing nature of violent conflicts, international mechanisms for peacebuilding and conflict resolution theory remain state-centric. In particular, the current paradigm of peacebuilding is characterised by the promotion of the liberal market democracy and the reproduction of the Westphalian model of governance. In this light, it is obvious that there is a need for a paradigm shift in international relations and especially to the sub-field of peace research and conflict resolution. This article calls for a cosmopolitan turn in global politics and peace operations. In particular, it proposes a framework within which the existing global governance could be reconceptualised in order to meet the challenges of democratic legitimacy, social justice and cultural sensitivity. Finally, this paper argues in favour of a ‘glo-cal’ architecture for peacebuilding and a more transformative peacebuilding agenda.

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