“The Future of Peacebuilding: Lessons from Afghanistan”, a Conversation with Mats Berdal

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  • DATE / TIME:
    2017•04•17    18:30 - 19:30

    On 17 April 2017, UNU will host “The Future of Peacebuilding: Lessons from Afghanistan”, a conversation with Professor Mats Berdal of the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. This event will start at 6:30 p.m. at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.

    A striking aspect of the post-Cold War era has been the unprecedented number of ambitious — often large-scale, costly, and extended — attempts by external actors to strengthen and build lasting peace in fragile states. The actual record of interventions undertaken in the name of liberal values, however, has proved decidedly mixed. In particular, outcomes of the intervention in Afghanistan — which fell short of the hoped-for end-state of a self-sustaining, democratic government — have raised profound questions over the future of liberal peacebuilding. Why has the record of liberal peacebuilding proved to be so patchy? To what extent will “intervention fatigue” signal an end to the era of liberal interventionism?

    Prof. Berdal will join UNU Rector David M. Malone for a discussion on the challenges of peacebuilding and statebuilding in societies ravaged by chronic instability, focusing on the lessons learned from the intervention in Afghanistan.

    The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy the food and drinks that will be served while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.

    Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 16 April) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.

    About the speaker

    Mats Berdal is Professor of Security and Development at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, and Director of the Conflict, Security, and Development Research Group. Between 2000 and 2003, he was Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is a member of Academia Europaea, and is an adjunct professor at the Norwegian Defence University College. From 2015 to 2016, he served on the Norwegian Commission of Inquiry on Afghanistan, established by the government in 2014 to evaluate and draw lessons from Norway’s military, humanitarian, and civilian involvement in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014.

    Prof. Berdal has published extensively in the area of peace and statebuilding, including Disarmament and Demobilisation After Civil Wars: Arms, Soldiers and the Termination of Armed Conflicts (1996), and Building Peace After War (2009). He is also the co-editor of Greed and Grievance: Economic Agendas in Civil Wars (2000), and United Nations Interventionism,1991–2004 (2007).


    2F Reception Hall
    United Nations University
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925