Research Explores Resilience and Its Role in Peacebuilding | Pollack Peacebuilding Systems

July 21, 2021by Natalie Davis0

Summary of:

Juncos, A. E., & Joseph, J. (2020). Resilient peace: Exploring the theory and practice of resilience in peacebuilding interventions. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 14(3), 289-302.

Background & Theory

This article evaluates resilience and its role in peacebuilding. Primarily, the authors provide an understanding of what resilience is and the overall pros and cons of using it in peacebuilding interventions.

Research Questions

Juncos and Joseph in “Resilient peace: Exploring the theory and practice of resilience in peacebuilding interventions” (2020), seek to address the following questions:

    1. What role does resilience play in peacebuilding?
    2. Does resilience always equate to a positive outcome?
    3. What are the benefits and risks of implementing resilience?


The authors present this theoretical paper by providing a background of what resilience is, how it is often thought about in peacebuilding today, what may have contributed to its growth and prominence, the potential benefits and problems that could arise from resilience in international interventions, and associated strategies for implementing resilience. The authors provide a sound overview of existing research and theories related to resilience and several examples.


The results show that resilience has many benefits, and there are some ways that it has improved peacebuilding capabilities. For instance, a large part of resilience in peacebuilding interventions is to help the actual communities affected take charge in a way, maybe sometimes the only way, they can. In addition to this, resilience can be an interdisciplinary tool that can help address the complex situations caused by ongoing conflict. However, the authors note that there are some potential issues with implementing resilience, most importantly being that putting the responsibility on the local affected community may remove peacebuilders and external assistance from the process/outcome.

What This Means

  • Resilience overall is a good skill for anyone to have. Especially for those involved in conflict, including those immersed in conflict out of their control (i.e., a country in turmoil), resilience can have many positive outcomes and can help people manage to find sustainable ways to move forward.
  • It’s important for peacebuilders to note that just because resilience has been embedded in programs and is encouraged for the affected communities, we cannot simply back away from our role. While this can be a useful tool for these communities, they often still need the support and assistance from external parties, too.
  • There is no easy way to implement resilience in peacebuilding efforts; there are numerous ways this can be done, and each situation may be different from the other.

Final Takeaway

For consultants: How to encourage resilience may greatly vary from group to group and conflict to conflict. Understanding how to prompt resilience in those who need it can be a useful skill and can help those affected by ongoing conflict to move forward.

For everyone: Find ways that might encourage your own resiliency. It should not be a reason for you to continuously accept getting hurt or threatened, but it can help you deal with the ups and downs of life and conflict.

Natalie Davis

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