Mapping the Horizon of Transformative Peace

Sonia Garzon Ramirez

Research output: Working paper


This article explores what it means for peace to be transformative and discusses what it takes for a peace project and its institutions to enable transformative peace. To address these questions the article offers a theoretical and conceptual approach and draws on some examples from case studies, especially Colombia. The article deals with the resistance that transformative projects might face from the victims they are meant to benefit. It promotes an understanding of conflict and resistance as essential dimensions to bring about positive transformations in violent contexts. In so doing, the author shows that the possibilities offered by normative-based frameworks to build transformative peace are curtailed by principles such as neutrality and impartiality of international law. These principles have resulted in institutional gender and race blindness that precludes the possibilities of a peace project being transformative.Thus, she offers a debate on two aspects that might condition or enable transformative forms of peace: the temporalities of peacebuilding and the inclusion of dissensus. Building on this the author proposes an understanding of transformative peace as an orientation that has on its horizon people’s emancipation from structural oppressions. This understanding will allow peace institutions more realistic time-space scales and the opportunity to benefit from the difference and dissensus that the practice of peacemaking might have left aside.
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9783906841038
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Transformative peace
  • Dissensus
  • Resistance to peace
  • Gender and Peacebuilding
  • Conflict transformation


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