Discussion 1: Capacity Building and Transformation
Transformation is critical to sustaining any peacebuilding effort. Transformation involves moving societies and governments away from destructive conflict and toward constructive growth opportunities. Your course text describes four levels of transformation: structural, cultural, relational, and personal. Any one peacebuilding effort may not address all levels. Your course text also uses a similar term, conflict transformation. The author refers to conflict transformationas a way to identify the underlying causes of conflict, build relationships, and develop solutions. This Discussion addresses your textbook’s explanation of transformation (rather than conflict transformation).
Prior to participating in transformation efforts, societies and governments must first develop and maintain the capacity to proceed through the transformation process. In the language of peacebuilding, the process of developing and maintaining capacity is known as capacity building, and your course text alternates this term with building capacity. Your course text explains four approaches to capacity building: education, development, military conversion, and research and evaluation. Examples of transformation and capacity building exist worldwide. Your Learning Resources provide case studies from several countries.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review Chapter 9 in your course text, The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding. Pay particular attention to approaches in conflict transformation.
- Review Chapter 10 in your course text, The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding. Focus on approaches to capacity building.
- Review Chapter 11 in your course text, The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding. Note the explanation of levels of transformation.
- Review the “Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report Executive Summary.” Consider the report in terms of capacity building and levels of transformation.
- Review the articles, “The Challenges of Conflict Management: A Case Study of Sri Lanka,” “The European Union, Borders and Conflict Transformation: The Case of Cyprus,” and “Conflict in Africa: A Case Study of the Shaba Crisis, 1977.” Select one conflict to review in detail and use for this Discussion. Focus on themes, issues, and peacebuilding approaches raised by the cases.
- Consider one approach to capacity building represented in the case study that you selected.
- Think about one level of transformation fostered by the effort or program described in the case study that you selected.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post a description of the case study that you selected. Explain one approach to capacity building that peacebuilders used. Explain one level of transformation fostered by the peacebuilding effort or program.