Counter-peace: From isolated blockages in peace processes to systemic patterns
Sandra Pogodda, Oliver P. Richmond and Gëzim Visoka
Review of International Studies
School of Law and Government

In the face of the current decline or spectacular collapse of peace processes, this article investigates whether peace has become systematically blocked. It investigates whether the ineffectiveness of an ‘international peace architecture’ (IPA) can be explained by a more potent counterpeace system, which is growing in its shadow. It identifies counterpeace as proto-systemic processes that connect spoilers across all scales (local, regional, national, transnational), while exploiting structural blockages to peace and unintended consequences of peace interventions. It elaborates three distinct patterns of blockages to peace in contemporary conflicts across the globe: the stalemate, limited counterpeace, and unmitigated counterpeace. Drawing on the counterrevolution literature, this DCU research collaboration asks: Have peace interventions become the source of their own undoing? Which factors consolidate or aggravate emerging conflict patterns? Are blockages to peace systemic enough to construct a sedimentary and layered counterpeace edifice?