Peacebuilding is the development of constructive personal, group, and political relationships across ethnic, religious, class, national, and racial boundaries. It aims to resolve injustice in nonviolent ways and to transform the structural conditions that generate deadly conflict. Peacebuilding can include conflict prevention; conflict management; conflict resolution and transformation, and post-conflict reconciliation. 

Peacebuilding becomes strategic when it works over the long run and at all levels of society to establish and sustain relationships among people locally and globally. Strategic peacebuilding connects people and groups “on the ground” (community and religious groups, grassroots organizations, etc.) with policymakers and powerbrokers (governments, the United Nations, corporations, banks, etc.) It aims not only to resolve conflicts, but to build societies, institutions, policies, and relationships that are better able to sustain peace and justice.

Strategic peacebuilders address issues of human rights, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability as well as violence.

Strategic peacebuilding stretches across generations. While it engages immediate crises, strategic peacebuilding recognizes that peacemaking is a long-term vocation that requires the building of cross-group networks and alliances that will survive intermittent conflicts and create a platform for sustainable human development and security.

The Kroc Institute is publishing a multi-volume series of books on strategic peacebuilding with Oxford University Press.