Building Peace in a Time of War
USIP Press Books
July 2009
500 pp., 6" x 9"
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“Virginia Bouvier’s volume documents how different actors in Colombia’s struggle for peace and security engage in preventing state failure. Lessons from this volume can serve a larger readership as the U.S. government ponders its policy options in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.”

—Johanna Mendelson Forman, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

“An essential book on the Colombian struggle for peace from a bottom up approach."

—Gorka Espiau Idoiaga, Special Advisor for Peace Building to the President of the Basque Country

“Bouvier 's collection combines insightful analysis with a much needed message of hope for the conflict in Colombia. It is a welcome reminder that only through the participation and innovation of civil society will Colombia find a peace that endures.”

—Joy Olson, Washington Office on Latin America

“The volume offers a detailed map that Colombian government authorities, civil society leaders, and the international community can follow to help construct an enduring peace. Other societies undergoing similar conflicts will benefit enormously from this singular contribution.”

—Michael Shifter, Inter-American Dialogue, and Georgetown University
Bringing together the experiences and insights of more than thirty experienced and emerging authors, human rights activists, and peace practitioners from Colombia and abroad, Colombia: Building Peace in a Time of War documents and analyzes the vast array of peace initiatives that have emerged in Colombia in recent years. The volume explores how local and regional initiatives relate to national efforts, provides insights into the negotiating practices of the past two decades, and identifies possible synergies. Additionally, it examines the multiple roles of civil society and the international community in the country's complex search for peace. Its textured conclusions offer a wide spectrum of analytical and practical lessons for Colombia and those seeking to transform violent conflicts in other parts of the globe.

Virginia M. Bouvier is a senior program officer at the United States Institute of Peace, where she heads the Colombia Conflict Team and the Colombia grants initiative. She is the editor of The Globalization of U.S.-Latin American Relations: Democracy, Intervention, and Human Rights.


  • Introduction - Virginia M. Bouvier
  • Part I: National Initiatives for Peace
  • Origins, Evolution, and Lessons of the Colombian Peace Movement - Adam Isacson and Jorge Rojas Rodriguez
  • Colombia's Peace Processes (1982-2002) - Carlo Nasi
  • The FARC at the Negotiating Table - Mike Chernick
  • The ELN's Halting Moves toward Peace - Leon Valencia
  • From Greed to Grievance - Winifred Tate
  • Truth, Justice, and Reparations in Colombia - Arturo Carrillo
  • Part II: Institutional and Sectoral Peace Initiatives
  • Peace Education in Colombia - Enrique Chaux and Ana M. Velasquez
  • The Colombian Church and Peacebuilding - Mons. Hector Fabio Henao Gaviria
  • Business and Peace in Colombia - Angelika Rettberg
  • Part III: Gender and Ethnic Contributions to Peacebuilding
  • Women and Peacebuilding in Colombia - Catalina Rojas
  • The Power of the Baston - Leslie Wirpsa with David Rothschild and Catalina Garzon
  • Part IV: Local and Regional Peace Initiatives
  • Local Peace Communities - Christopher Mitchell and Sara Ramirez
  • Civil Resistance to War in the Middle Magdalena Valley - Javier Moncayo
  • Negotiating Alternatives to Violence in the Oriente Antioqueno - Mary J. Roldan
  • The View from Montes de Maria - Ricardo Esquivia Ballestas with Barbara Gerlach
  • Negotiating Peace and Visibility in Putumayo - Maria Clemencia Ramirez
  • Part V: The Search for Peace and the International Community
  • The International Community Meets the Local Community - Raul Rosende, Borja Paladini Adell, Juan Chaves, and Gabriel Turriago
  • U.S. Policy and Peace in Colombia - James C. Jones
  • Weathering the Storm - Neil Jeffery
  • The European Union and the Transformation of the Colombian Conflict - Sabine Kurtenbach
  • Norwegian-Supported Peacebuilding - Jennifer Schirmer
  • Part VI: Conclusions
  • Toward an Integrated Framework for Building Peace - Virginia M. Bouvier

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