Mathijs van Leeuwen

Title Discourses and Practices of Civil Society Interventions for Conflict Resolution and Peace Building in Southern Sudan, Great Lakes Region and Guatemala
Funded by NWO, WOTRO
Collaboration Wageningen University
Time 2004-2009
Brief Description Humanitarian aid prides itself for delivering principled aid that is needs-based, neutral and independent. These principles, defined by the Red Cross and subscribed to by 300 agencies around the world, are meant to forge the trust needed to get access to people in need while protecting the safety of the aid workers. However, numerous other actors too provide aid or otherwise intervene in conflict situations. This is particularly clear in the country of Angola that has known conflict since 1961. Different external actors have intervened in the country for a diversity of motivations. The question is what difference it has made whether aid was provided by principled humanitarians or by other parties? How do humanitarians secure their status as neutral organisations and is their aid really more need-based?The research focuses on the humanitarian complex through studying everyday practices of policy and decision making and by following programmes at the interfaces of intervention. The core of the research consists of two PhD projects that focus on the impact of aid on both livelihoods and rural institutions in Angola, and a multi-sited ethnography on the understanding, motivations and practices of major international stakeholders in the Angola conflict.
Current information
Supervisor Dorothea Hilhorst
Project website
Key Publications M. van Leeuwen (2009): Partners in Peace; Discourses and Practices of Civil-Society Peacebuilding , Aldershot

Hilhorst, D. and M. van Leeuwen (2005). “Global Peace Builders and Local Conflict: The Feminization of Peace in Southern Sudan” in: T. Davids and F. van Driel (eds) The Gender Question in Globalization: Changing Perspectives and Practices. Aldershot: Ashgate, 93-108

M. van Leeuwen, D.J.M. Hilhorst (2005): Grounding Peacebuilding organizations; A Case Study of Southern Sudan Journal of Modern African Studies pp. 537 – 563