Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

PSRP Researcher Presenting: Everything Changes Yet Still Stays the Same: Examining the ‘success’ of peacebuilding in Sierra Leone

February 23, 2017 @ 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm

PSRP researcher Rachel Anderson will present as part of the panel ‘Examining peace building processes and agreements’ at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 23 2017. This panel is sponsored by the Understanding Change in World Politics ISA theme. Rachel’s presentation is part of the PSRP Peace Processes research theme and the project Negotiating Peace.

Everything Changes Yet Still Stays the Same: Examining the ‘success’ of peacebuilding in Sierra Leone 

Rachel Anderson (University of Edinburgh)

In 2014 Ban Ki-moon stated that ‘Other States devastated by conflict, hatred and atrocities can draw hope from Sierra Leone. Here we see that a strong investment – in material resources, human energy, international support and national goodwill – can bring lasting peace.’ Sierra Leone’s post-conflict reconstruction is viewed internationally as a liberal peacebuilding success. As disenfranchisement of Sierra Leone’s youth population was considered a root cause of the war, this paper asks whether young Sierra Leonean’s agree with this assessment of their country’s progress. Drawing on empirical research undertaken in Sierra Leone and using sociological theories of family and childhood, this paper analyses how differences in international and local understandings of ‘family’ and ‘childhood’ in development projects, implemented as part of Sierra Leone’s post-conflict reconstruction, have shaped the social status of young people in Sierra Leone in the long term. The findings suggest that whilst liberal peacebuilding’s promotion of ‘western’ understandings of these concepts produced some initial benefits for child soldier reintegration, it may have laid the foundations for renewed conflict by reifying contentious pre-war governance structures which re-marginalise the youth population.

Jasmine-Kim Westendorf (La Trobe University) will chair the panel and Stewart Prest (Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University) is the discussant.


  • Ballots and Bullets: The Mindanao Peace Process, Political Change and its Consequences for Regional Peace and Stability Rikard H. Jalkebro (University of St Andrews)
  • Transitional justice, liberal peace and unending violence: South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission 20 years on Alexander Beresford (University of Leeds)
  • Introducing the post-conflict peace scale: conceptualizing peace in the aftermath of violent conflict Julia Leib (Goethe University Frankfurt)
  • Qualifying change: localizing inclusivity in the South Sudan peace process Jamie Pring (University of Basel / swisspeace)
  • Everything Changes Yet Still Stays the Same: Examining the ‘success’ of peacebuilding in Sierra Leone Rachel Anderson (University of Edinburgh)

Attendance is by registration for the conference. For information on attendance, see ISA Baltimore 2017.

Photo credit: Rachel Anderson


February 23, 2017
1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Categories:
, , ,
Event Tags:
, , ,


International Studies Association


Hilton Baltimore
401 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21201 United States
+ Google Map