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Liberal Peace Transitions

Between Statebuilding and Peacebuilding

Oliver P. Richmond, Jason Franks

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This book, newly available in paperback, examines the nature of 'liberal peace': the common aim of the international community's approach to post-conflict statebuilding. Adopting a particularly critical stance on this one-size-fits-all paradigm, it explores the process by breaking down liberal peace theory into its constituent parts: democratisation, free market reform and development, human rights, civil society, and the rule of law.

Readers are provided with critically and theoretically informed empirical access to the 'technology' of the liberal peacebuilding process, particularly in regard to Cambodia, Kosovo, East Timor, Bosnia and the Middle East.

Key Features

  • critically interrogates the theory, experience, and current outcomes of liberal peacebuilding
  • includes five empirically-informed case studies: Cambodia, Kosovo, East Timor, Bosnia and the Middle East
  • focuses on the key institutional aspects of liberal peacebuilding and key international actors
  • assesses the local outcomes of liberal peacebuilding


Introduction: A Framework to Assess Liberal Peace Transitions
1. Cambodia: Liberal Hubris and Virtual Peace
2. Bosnia: Between Partition and Pluralism
3. Liberal Peace in East Timor: The Emperors' New Clothes?
4. Co-opting the Liberal Peace: Untying the Gordian Knot in Kosovo
5. Building/ Rejecting the Liberal Peace: State Consolidation and Liberal Failure in the Middle East
Conclusion: Evaluating the Achievements of the Liberal Peace and Revitalising a Virtual Peace

About the Author

Oliver P. Richmond is Research Professor of IR, Peace and Conflict Studies at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute & Department of Politics Ellen Wilkinson Building, The University of Manchester. His recent publications include Peace in IR (Routledge, 2008), Challenges to Peacebuilding: Managing Spoilers During Conflict Resolution (co-edited with Edward Newman) (UNU Press, 2006), and The Transformation of Peace (Palgrave, 2005).

Jason Franks has been a Research Fellow in the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of St Andrews. He is author of Rethinking the Roots of Terrorism (Palgrave, 2006).s


This book provides a set of illuminating insights (both empirical and theoretical) from the study of a series of post-Cold War 'liberal peace' interventions.

- David Chandler, University of Westminster, International Affairs