Dismantling a ticking time bomb: Horizontal Inequalities in Peacebuilding

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Abstract: Understanding processes of peacebuilding, how peace is created and maintained, has inspired and intrigued an entire field of academics and practitioners. This thesis is an attempt to understand the role of horizontal inequalities (HIs) in the peacebuilding process of Uganda from the perspective of civil society. It explores their role in shaping the Ugandan society, as well as how they could potentially affect efforts towards sustaining long-term peace. The research is built on the premise that peacebuilding has traditionally been concerned with correcting and addressing vertical inequalities between individuals, while inequalities between groups have been neglected. The purpose of this research is, therefore, to expand the notion of peacebuilding and inequalities to recognise group inequalities as a potential threat to sustainable peace. The study found that civil society is aware of HIs in Uganda and the need for addressing them. However, initiatives to solve the deep-rooted structures upon which they are founded are limited. The results show that civil society works predominately intra-communally, while the hostile tribal dynamics creating HIs are found across communal boundaries. It was also found that the top-level leadership holds significant influence over the peacebuilding process, particularly in societies characterised by severe political HIs as this gives them power over resource allocation which impacts socioeconomic HIs. Finally, it was recognised that there is a severe lack of both data and approaches aimed at addressing issues of HIs in peacebuilding, particularly approaches not intended for top-level initiatives, leaving civil society with limited tools or capacity to address such largescale complexities.

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