How can research contribute to peacebuilding?

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JournalPeacebuilding
DateE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2014
DatePublished (current) - 2014
Issue number3
Volume2
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)303-321
Early online date11/03/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

How do we know whether or not research contributes to peacebuilding? And, what kind of positive or negative impacts may research have? These two questions are conspicuous by their absence despite the large number of peacebuilding-specific research institutes, academic programmes, publishers, and funders. Some of the reasons for the current state of affairs are examined: the ambiguous, elastic, and politicized nature of ‘peacebuilding’ as a concept and as a practice; the inappropriateness of current approaches to the evaluation of research impact; and, the disconnection between the world of evaluators and the world of peace researchers. The current article addresses these questions through an exploration of the intersection of research, evaluation methodology, and politics. The article concludes with preliminary framework for teasing out the specific kinds of peacebuilding impacts catalyzed through research.

    Research areas

  • peacebuilding, research, evaluation, methodology, evidence, impact

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