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The Romanticisation of the Local: Welfare, Culture and Peacebuilding


The key feature of the dominant liberal approach to peacebuilding is the neoliberal marketisation of peace, rather than engagement with civil society and the agents and subjects of this peace. This is a particularly Western, liberal, and Enlightenment-derived discourse of peace, which is far from culturally and socially appropriate or sensitive, and has little chance of establishing a locally self-sustaining peace. This represents a "romanticisation of the local", of civil society, and of the liberal culture of peacebuilding. Its cultural engagement, including its support for civil society development, is therefore little more than instrumental and is used to defer responsibility for the welfare of the local.