Local peacebuilding in a global world
In a new thesis from the School of Global Studies, Hanna Leonardsson explores the role of local municipalities in peacebuilding in Lebanon. The thesis ‘Navigating the Local: Municipal Engagement in Lebanese Local Peacebuilding’ was successfully defended on April 5, 2019.
The study aims to contribute to the understanding of the role of local governments in local peacebuilding within an increasingly globally connected world. Three peacebuilding functions are analysed. Firstly, service-delivery highlights the necessity to satisfy local needs in order to address grievances and discontent. Secondly, citizen-local state interactions emphasise the need to include the local population to build meaningful and locally grounded peace. Thirdly, vertical relationships emphasise the interconnections between different actors on different levels that allow local governments to play a role in building peace.
The study emphasises the need for contextualising peacebuilding and highlights that ‘the local’ is also a political and dynamic space. Thus, in Lebanon, the local government is understood as one actor in local peacebuilding, but an actor that gains its importance depending on the local context at hand and its connections to national and global arenas.