Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 5-11-2016

Major Department or Program



Melisa Casumbal-Salazar


Despite extensive peacebuilding efforts in the Congo, with constant advancements seeking to make existing policy more effective and radically transform normative practice, conflict rages on in the "failed" Congolese state. This thesis asks, what logic continues to undergird even the most “foundational fixes” to the construction and operationalization of (failing) peacebuilding policy? What is it about this logic that makes peacebuilding efforts particularly problematic in the Congo? And how can an examination of this logic unveil larger truths about the limitations of today’s international peacebuilding efforts? This thesis identifies this logic as "liberal peace building’s prevailing logic of governance." This logic drives that construction of the liberal state as the ultimate peace building objective, whereby the state is to be the prevailing form of political authority, exercising a particular model of good governance, and legitimized by a strong social contract. Through and examination of liberal peacebuilding policy and its improvements (particularly United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325) in the Congo, I argue that this logic of governance delineates the bounds within which peacebuilding policy can develop and advance, precludes alternate understandings of power and authority, and ultimately limits prospects for sustainable peace.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Evaluation -- Government policy, Congo (Democratic Republic) -- Administrative and political, United Nations -- Security Council -- Resolution 1325, Congo -- Politics and government, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2016 -- Politics Department

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Public Accessible Thesis

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