Toward a trans-scalar peace system: challenging complex global conflict systems

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Peacebuilding scholarship has not responded adequately to critiques of peacebuilding practice. This failure results from two related problems; an implicit assumption of a dichotomous relationship between conflict and peace, and an attendant failure to appreciate the challenges posed by complex global conflict systems. Stuck debating the dynamics of specific interventions in single states, the field has failed to fully appreciate how much conflict and peace are mutually constitutive across contexts and how underlying legitimating logics driving contemporary conflict transcend borders and reach across scales. Therefore, this paper argues, we must fully accept a more nuanced, trans-national, and trans-scalar conception of how conflict and peace are interrelated within states, internationally, and globally. The goal of the paper, therefore, is to tie together disparate arguments within the field to encourage new thinking regarding peacebuilding and more a holistic conception of a trans-scalar global peace system to replace the prevailing global conflict system.




Millar, G. (2020). Toward a trans-scalar peace system: challenging complex global conflict systems. Peacebuilding, 8(3), 261–278.

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