Ebola created mental barriers between contaminated and ‘clean’ regions that raised national security concerns. These barriers stripped people of their identity – they became viruses themselves – and of their social ties, keeping families and communities apart.
Behind well-established and fixed peacebuilding ‘models’ there always lies the danger of normativity and of a lack of flexibility. Rather than a model, it seems much more promising to foreground a frame within which to design more reflexive, adaptative and respectful peacebuilding strategies.
State-centric frameworks are problematic in building strong and just institutions in war-torn societies.
Building back better requires integrated approaches that address the impacts of COVID-19 across sectors, including health, environment, climate and urban planning.
For understandable reasons, we often focus on immediate problems. But we risk overlooking important parts of the evidential trail if we do not try to understand the long-term processes that account for present-day circumstances.