The Dynamics of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Peace Building in West Africa

This discussion paper explores the ramifications of a United Nations and donorcommunity supported agenda of post-conflict reconstruction and peace building in West Africa. Drawing on a post-conflict state, Sierra Leone, where the UN (and the Economic Community of West African States – ECOWAS) has been deeply involved in elaborate postwar reconstruction and peace building programmes, the author provides much needed ‘snapshots’ of the nature and impact of international peace building on post-conflict West Africa. The Dynamics of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Peace Building in WestAfrica: Between Change and Stability provides information that will animate much discussion and debate on the nature and impact of internationally driven peace building agendas on African post-conflict settings. It also provides a critique of the dominant liberal peace paradigm that underpins international peace building through an up-to-date evaluation of the ways it has contributed to a misdiagnosis of the challenge of postwar peace in the West African sub-region, and how the practice of peace building has largely failed to address the roots of war and, paradoxically, fed into a near-return to the pre-conflict situation.