The Trouble with the Congo
Local Violence & the Failure of International Peacebuilding
Severine Autesserre, Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University
Based on more than 330 interviews and a year and a half of field research, Professor Autesserre develops a case study of international intervention during the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s unsuccessful transition from war to peace and democracy (2003-2006). Grassroots rivalries over land, resources, and political power motivated widespread violence. However, a dominant peacebuilding culture shaped the intervention strategy in a way that precluded action on local conflicts, ultimately dooming the international efforts to end the deadliest conflict since World War II. In this analysis, Professor Autesserre proposes innovative ways to address civil wars in Africa and beyond.