Can Intergovernmental Organizations be Peacebuilders in Intra-state War?

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Intervention and Statebuilding
Issue number5
Early online date17 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jul 2020
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This article examines the sources of authority of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) conducting peacebuilding independently of peace operations. Expanding Inis Claude’s notion of the two identities of the UN, the article suggests re-imagining the state/non-state divide in international organization by distinguishing between governmental and non-governmental sources of authority, rather than between different types of organizations. Similar to international non-governmental organizations, IGOs depend on moral and expert credibility as non-state sources of authority in peacebuilding. This reliance and the in-built pro-government bias curtail their ability to engage in transformative peacebuilding, rendering it likely that IGO interventions contribute to maintaining existing power imbalances.


  • International Organizations, International Non-Governmental Organizations, Peacebuilding, Legitimacy, Authority, First and Second United Nations