Controversies and Challenges of Peacebuilding in Nineveh: Revisiting Post-IS Reconciliation in Iraq

Research output: Book/ReportReportpeer-review


Five years after Mosul’s liberation from the extremist
reign of Islamic State (IS), competing approaches
to peacebuilding continue to stir up controversy
among Nineveh’s conflict-affected communities.
The proliferation of mediation interventions with
few tangible results has led to growing donor
fatigue, while also increasing local scepticism of
externally sponsored peacebuilding initiatives.1
Securing funding for social cohesion programmes
has turned into an extremely politicised process
in which multiple stakeholders compete, with
often conflicting agendas, to impose their vision
for peaceful coexistence in a highly contested
environment. The prioritisation of the concerns of
international sponsors over the needs and fears of
local citizens threatens further to erode public trust in
the feasibility of dialogue formats and reconciliation

This policy briefing note highlights principles for
better embedding international and federal support
for post-conflict social recovery within this local
context. The analysis is based on over 30 semistructured interviews conducted with residents of
Nineveh province, representatives of international
development aid agencies, as well as Iraqi
religious and communal elites, and practitioners
and professionals working in the peacebuilding
field.2 The findings concern both the theory of
change linked to Iraqi peacebuilding initiatives and
residents’ willingness to endorse and engage in
some of these often disjointed approaches.3
The policy recommendations are of relevance to both
international donors and political decision-makers,
particularly those committed to supporting the revival
of the province’s spirit and the recovery of its multiethnic and multireligious social fabric.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2023


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