Peacebuilding, as defined by the United Nations, involves ‘a range of measures targeted to reduce the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict, to strengthen national capacities at all levels for conflict management, and to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development. Peacebuilding strategies must be coherent and tailored to the specific needs of the country concerned, based on national ownership, and should comprise a carefully prioritised, sequenced, and therefore relatively narrow set of activities aimed at achieving the above objectives’.
Statebuilding, as defined by the OECD, is ‘an endogenous process to enhance capacity, institutions and legitimacy of the state driven by state-society relations. Positive statebuilding processes involve reciprocal relations between a state that delivers services for its people and social and political groups who constructively engage with their state’. While the primary goal of peacebuilding is creating conditions in which violence will not recur, the emphasis in statebuilding is on developing effective government, based on law and general consent.
Both statebuilding and peacebuilding are long-term, political processes that do not necessarily follow a linear path. These processes should be participatory and internally-driven, although external actors can play a role in facilitating an enabling environment for reforms.
For discussion and resources on peacebuilding and peacebuilding models, see Chapter 4 (Recovering from Violent Conflict) of the Conflict topic guide:
For discussion and resources on statebuilding and statebuilding models, see Chapter 5 (Statebuilding in Fragile Contexts) of the Fragile States topic guide: