On September 25, 2013, the U.S. Institute of Peace celebrated the publication of A Crucial Link: Local Peace Committees and National Peacebuilding by Andries Odendaal, former Jennings Randolph senior fellow. The author was joined in discussion by Christopher Mitchell, Jacqueline Wilson, and Virginia Bouvier to discuss community peacebuilding and its relationship to national peace agreements.

Book: A Crucial Link

A key challenge for successful peace agreements is their implementation.  For communities, peace invariably means more than the settlement of major national issues. Local conflicts have their own histories, conditions, and complexities, which provide the context within which peace agreements must be implemented. Peace forged at the national level can be strengthened by community-level peacebuilding efforts, and investment at the local level lays the foundation for social cohesion and effective governance.

Andries Odendaal, a senior associate at the Centre for Mediation in Africa and a former Jennings Randolph senior fellow at USIP, is the author of the first comparative analysis of the work of local peace committees with formal ties to national peace agreements. A Crucial Link: Local Peace Committees and National Peacebuilding stresses the importance of building peace from the bottom up—and of providing the means and support to do so. In case studies from South Africa, Northern Ireland, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Nepal, A Crucial Link shows when and how local peacebuilding can act as a building block for national agreements.

Panel

Andries Odendaal, author
Centre for Mediation in Africa, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Christopher Mitchell, discussant
The School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution, George Mason University

Jacqueline Wilson, discussant
Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, U.S. Institute of Peace

Virginia M. Bouvier, moderator
Senior Program Officer, Center of Innovation, U.S. Institute of Peace

 

Explore Further

Related Publications

At 100, Nelson Mandela's Meaning for 'A Troubled World'

At 100, Nelson Mandela's Meaning for 'A Troubled World'

Thursday, March 1, 2018

By: USIP Staff

One hundred years after Nelson Mandela’s birth, his example calls nations and political elites to examine their failings in providing justice and hope to people worldwide, said Cheryl Carolus, Mandela’s colleague in the movement that toppled South Africa’s apartheid regime. Amid warfare across the globe, and alienated voters roiling the politics of democracies, “maybe it is fortuitous that we are confronted with these challenges in the centenary year of Nelson Mandela,” Carolus said, delivering USIP’s inaugural Nelson Mandela Lecture. “Maybe we will remind ourselves that peace can only reign and endure if there is justice and equality.”

Democracy & Governance; Reconciliation; Peace Processes; Human Rights

Episode 32 - Ben Naimark Rowse

Episode 32 - Ben Naimark Rowse

Thursday, July 23, 2015

By:

In this episode we speak with Benjamin Naimark-Rowse – a PhD candidate at the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. His dissertation, in the works, is titled “Dear Friend: Correspondence Across Enemy Lines,” which looks at the relationship Nelson Mandela had with leaders of the Apartheid government during and immediately after his 27 years in prison.

Reconciliation

Immunity Cannot Allow Impunity

Immunity Cannot Allow Impunity

Monday, August 4, 2014

By: Jon Temin

African leaders want to exempt themselves from prosecution for terrible crimes -- but new research shows their people aren't as forgiving as they might think. 

U.S. Africa Summit Leaders Face Weighty Agenda for Continent

U.S. Africa Summit Leaders Face Weighty Agenda for Continent

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By: Viola Gienger

President Barack Obama and African leaders attending the first U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington next month face an array of factors undermining the democratic development and economic growth achieved on the continent in recent decades, according to three former high-level U.S. officials on Africa who spoke at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

View All Publications