Sociology: A Sociological Critique of Liberal Peace

  • Nicos Trimikliniotis


This chapter will read sociologically the notions of peace, peacebuilding, conflict resolution (CR) and reconciliation, which, together with statebuilding, development and transitional justice, are closely connected to the liberal peace (LP) model. In brief, it provides a rudimental sociological critique of the liberal peace project. Such a critique contains a projected alternative reading, which includes the key elements for reconceptualizing peace properly accounting for a dynamic and conflict-based reading of society. It attempts to contribute towards a critique of LP that paves the way for reading the dialectics ‘peace/war’ and ‘ethnic conflict/reconciliation’ in deeply divided societies suffering from ethnic-related violence. This is a sociology that draws freely from other disciplines, a social science perspective that is by nature interdisciplinary, with conceptual and methodological frames capable of bridging the gap between specializations. Simultaneously, it must be both theoretically and empirically sound and policy-relevant. The chapter provides a schematic critique of some important CR approaches and considers how a sociological reading can enrich, restructure and reconceptualize peace-in-society in terms of critical peace. Given that there is no quick-fix solution to be engineered from ‘Olympus’, a critical sociological/social science reading of peace requires that we first examine societies in a careful and rigorous manner. This would enable us to understand the kinds of internal logics so as to draw on the reflexivity and knowledge generated within the societies themselves.


Transitional Justice Peace Process Disciplinary Perspective Reconciliation Process Peace Research 
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© Nicos Trimikliniotis 2016

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  • Nicos Trimikliniotis

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