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Book launch for 'Peacebuilding Legacy: Programming for Change and Young People’s Attitudes to Peace'

10 Oct Sukanya Podder book cover

A fundamental challenge plagues the global peacebuilding community: how can technocratic approaches further longer-term outcomes like altering young people's attitudes and beliefs about peace and violence?

In response to this global challenge, Peacebuilding Legacy analyses the long-term effects of peacebuilding programmes involving children and young people. It unpacks the concept of peacebuilding legacy through the lens of time, transformation, and intergenerational peace, and develops unique qualitative cues for measuring legacy.

If models resonate strongly with the local context, they are likely to be adopted over time. Successful institutionalisation of project models through handing them over to national organisations or government departments holds the key to stronger local ownership. Organisational learning and reflection can support this process through a more strategic approach to programming and post-exit studies.

Regarding attitude change, the book finds that the media and peace education projects that targeted individuals' ingrained beliefs and values but overlooked the role of group social norms had only limited effects. To shift the values, practices, norms, and beliefs of the younger generation, the mindset of the older generation must also be targeted. Changes in the legal, political, economic, and other social institutions are critical for long-term and meaningful transformation. This requires adopting an ecological model of peace.

Read more about the book

This event will take place both in person in the Council Room at King's College London and online via Zoom.

About the speakers

Chair: Professor Mats Berdal, Director, Conflict, Security and Development Research Group (CSDRG).

Mats Berdal joined the Department of War Studies in 2003 as Professor of Security and Development. From 2000 to 2003 he was Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London with overall responsibility for the Institute’s research programme. He was consulting Senior Fellow at the IISS from 2009 to 2011, responsible for the institute’s Economics and Conflict Resolution Programme. From 2006 to 2019 he was Adjunct Professor at the Norwegian Defence University College. From 2015 to 2016, he served on the Norwegian Commission of Inquiry on Afghanistan, established by the Norwegian Government in 2014 to evaluate and draw lessons from Norway’s military, humanitarian and civilian involvement in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014. Berdal received his BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics and his doctorate from Oxford University. He is Member of the Academia Europaea.

Author: Dr Sukanya Podder, Reader in Post-war Reconstruction and Peacebuilding, King's College London

Dr Podder is a Reader in Post-War Reconstruction and Peacebuilding. Before joining the Defence Studies Department she was a Lecturer in International Security and Development at the Centre for International Security and Resilience at Cranfield University. She has taught subjects such as defence engagement, security sector reform, international interventions for peace and statebuilding, and regional security theories.

Her primary areas of research are post-conflict reconstruction (DDR/SSR), civil wars and youth in peacebuilding.

Discussant: Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin, Vice President (International, Engagement & Service).

She was founding Director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC), which aims to build the next generation of African scholars and analysts generating cutting-edge knowledge for security and development in Africa, and Director of the Conflict, Security, and Development Group (CSDG) at King’s College London from 2003 to 2013. She previously worked in the Office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict.

In 2015, Professor Olonisakin was appointed by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon as one of seven members of the Advisory Group of Experts (AGE) on the Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. She also is a member of the Advisory Group of Experts for the UN Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security.


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