This talk will present a theory of the institutional determinants of peacebuilding success and failure. It will outline an explanatory typology that describes how different types of organizations engaged in peacebuilding and statebuilding are likely to interact with and influence another country’s war-to-peace transition. This typology was built through ethnographic research into five organizations in Burundi over a thirteen-year period. It builds on over 350 interviews and field work that spans a thirteen-year period. The findings from this research have potentially important implications for the study of international peacebuilding and statebuilding, international aid, institutional change, modern state formation, and efforts to improve the effectiveness of international assistance to fragile and conflict-affected states.

Susanna Campbell is a Visiting Scholar to the Saltzman Institute and a Research Fellow at The Graduate Institute in Geneva.