Beyond Conflict Settlement: The Policy of Peacebuilding in the Pacific
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Since the end of the Cold War internal conflict has emerged more and more into the foreground of concern in the international arena. It is seemingly more perverse and intractable than traditional interstate conflict, and as a result it is increasingly harder to resolve. Recurrence of internal conflict has been and remains to be a significant issue. Because of the nature of internal conflict and the underlying causes of the violence, the way in which its resolution is approached has a significant impact on the likelihood of success. The theory of peacebuilding, while still in its infancy, is gaining more and attention as a way in which to approach internal conflict and help to establish long-term peace in post-conflict societies. This thesis analyses the theory of peacebuilding and develops a framework based on this research that includes what I believe are the most relevant aspects of the approach. This framework is then applied to three cases; East Timor, Bougainville and the Solomon Islands. The theory is based on the idea of building long-term sustainable peace. This is done by not only improving the security situation in the host state but also working through the underlying causes of the violence and helping to establish sustainable and self-reliant institutions that will help support peace within the state long after the peacebuilders have withdrawn. The main focus of this research is internal conflict in the Pacific region. Conflict in the region, while somewhat insignificant on an international scale, is disproportionate to the small size of the region. The effects of conflict are felt long after the fighting has stopped. The theory of peacebuilding in the Pacific is approached by examining three peacebuilding missions that have been undertaken in the region and analysing the strengths and weaknesses of these cases. From here the overall success of these missions is examined. Ideas about peacebuilding success are then developed and a look at the future of peacebuilding in the region is outlined.