Digital peacebuilding: A framework for critical–reflexive engagement

Hirblinger, A. T., Hansen, J. M., Hoelscher, K., Kolås, Å., Lidén, K., & Martins, B. O. (2022). Digital peacebuilding: A framework for critical–reflexive engagement. International Studies Perspectives, 1–20.


Open access: Yes

Notes: Worried about technocentric approaches to digital peacebuilding, this article outlines a framework for critical and reflexive engagement in the explorations of technologies and efforts to build peace. Indeed, authors note that most studies centred around technology in peacebuilding are either techno-solutionist or techno-problematizing, which leaves aside how these two areas co-produce each other. As a response, the authors outline a three-part framework, where they urge researchers to study the claims (of both the problems to be solved and how technology can aid), the agendas (the plans of action) and the effects (what digital peacebuilding does in and to the world). Overall, this article presents a necessary step in finding productive ways of thinking about technology and peacebuilding that situate them in complex socio-cultural contexts.

Quote: “Technology is commonly viewed as a mere tool of peacebuilding efforts. Put differently, it is perceived and studied comparable to a pawn in a chess game, subject to the agency of human actors and their organizations or projects that define and implement peacebuilding approaches, and as having a minor role in determining dynamics and outcomes of peacebuilding.” (p.8)

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