External peacebuilding interventions have moved towards comprehensive strategies to tackle the complex problems of peace, security and development. This paper proposes a ‘Whole-of-Society’ (WOS) approach which seeks to enhance the effectiveness of externally led peacebuilding and conflict prevention through recourse to the social contexts within which they are implemented. The aim of WOS is to see complexity, both within local society and in the relations between external peacebuilders and local society, as an opportunity to be grasped, as much as an impediment to effective outcomes. A WOS approach adds a practice dimension to debates on ownership, local peace and hybridity, trust-in-peacebuilding and their conceptualisations of local agency and dynamics. It seeks to address the operational gaps that emerge within a societal perspective to peacebuilding, in particular by suggesting ways of achieving appropriate configurations of external and local resources, agency and initiatives.
MARTIN, M., BOJICIC-DZELILOVIC, V. et BENRAIS, L. (2018). Introductory Article: Mind The Gaps. A Whole of Society Approach to Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention. Peacebuilding, 6(3), pp. 171-182.