Global Governance

Global Governance and Local Peace: Accountability and Performance in International Peacebuilding

Cambridge University Press

Available for purchase directly from Cambridge University Press (discount code PCAMPBELL2018)
or through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers.

Global Governance and Local Peace_Cover.jpg

Why do international peacebuilding organizations sometimes succeed and sometimes faiL even within the same country?

Bridging the gaps between the peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and global governance scholarship, this book argues that international peacebuilding organizations repeatedly fail because they are accountable to global actors, not to local institutions or people.

International peacebuilding can succeed only when country-based staff bypass existing accountability structures and empower local stakeholders to hold their global organizations accountable for achieving local-level peacebuilding outcomes.

In other words, the innovative, if seemingly wayward, actions of individual country-office staff are necessary to improve peacebuilding performance. Using in-depth studies of organizations operating in Burundi over a fifteen-year period, combined with fieldwork in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nepal, South Sudan, and Sudan, this book will be of interest to scholars and students of international relations, African studies, and peace and conflict studies as well as policymakers.


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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Local Peacebuilding and Global Accountability

  3. The Country Context—Burundi from 1999 to 2014

  4. The INGOs in Peacebuilding—Globally Unaccountable, Locally Adaptive

  5. International Organizations in Peacebuilding—Globally Accountable, Locally Constrained

  6. Bilateral Development Donors—Accountable for Global Targets, Not Local Change

  7. Conclusion

As part of the SIS Bookshelf series, I talk about why “bad behavior” can mean successful peacebuilding.


Peacebuilding, prevention, and sustaining peace

Breaking Rules to Build Peace US Institute of Peace


One of the “Top Picks for Engaged Scholarship Reads of 2018”

"Susanna P. Campbell has written a major contribution to our knowledge of peacebuilding. She has some good and bad news. The good news is that there are instances when peacebuilding does succeed. The bad news is that the odds are against it doing so. Why? Because it requires peacebuilders' willingness to be accountable to local populations. To do so, though, they need to work against a peacebuilding apparatus that gives incentives to country offices to take the path of least resistance and listen to those who are higher up on the food chain. Because it is unlikely that the apparatus is going to change, the message is for country offices to use their discretion in ways that give local populations a voice. A rare combination of theoretical sophistication and intensive fieldwork, this is the sort of book that both scholars and policymakers must read."

Michael Barnett
George Washington University

"Susanna P. Campbell has written a fantastic book. It is one of the very few studies of on-the-ground peacebuilding that helps us to actually understand – and, hopefully, replicate – successful efforts. It is theoretically innovative, and draws on incredibly rich ethnographic material from 14 years of involvement in peacebuilding, both in the field and in the headquarters. All of these make Global Governance and Local Peace essential reading for scholars and practitioners alike."

Séverine Autesserre
Author of Peaceland and The Trouble With The Congo

“At the core of Susanna P. Campbell's book is a profound insight: for peacebuilding to succeed, both peacebuilders and locals have to alter their understandings. Her focus on country offices in Burundi provides strong support for the value of this insight. How to encourage more peacebuilding learners should be at the center of thinking about transnational efforts to promote peace. It will also hopefully inspire more micro-level study of the mutual adjustment that is a necessary part of governance more generally.”

Deborah Avant
Sié Chéou-Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy
Josef Korbel School, University of Denver

“Campbell's book breaks new ground with a fine grain analysis of how international peacebuilding actors operate in a local context. Going beyond the usual broad brush generalisations to focus on processes of organizational learning and interaction, this book will be important reading for scholars and practitioners alike. Highly recommended.”

David Chandler
University of Westminster

“This is a very important contribution to the debate on who owns peacebuilding, and how its complex relationships are configured. It helps us understand more clearly the organisation of power relations and the role and relationship of different sites of legitimate authority in peacebuilding, and brings some much needed conceptual and empirical nuances.”

Oliver Richmond
University of Manchester