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Money can’t buy love but can it buy peace? Evidence from the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE II)

Money can’t buy love but can it buy peace? Evidence from the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE II)

Brück, Tilman ORCID: 0000-0002-8344-8948 and Ferguson, Neil T. N. (2018) Money can’t buy love but can it buy peace? Evidence from the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE II). Conflict Management and Peace Science, 37 (5). pp. 536-558. ISSN 0738-8942 (Print), 1549-9219 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0738894218766865)

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Abstract

Efforts to evaluate third-party peacebuilding interventions are welcome but many studies rely on experimental approaches that might be at odds with the theories that underpin the discipline. Rigorously evaluating interventions ill-suited to experimental analyses is just as important, however, especially when programmes adopt novel approaches. In this article, we employ an instrumental variables approach to evaluate one such intervention – the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE II). Following contemporary peacebuilding theories, PEACE II disseminated funds to grassroots organizations via unique intermediate funding bodies and an innovative open competition. Splitting Northern Ireland into 582 wards, we merge panel data on individuals’ perceptions of neighbourhood quality with PEACE II’s accounts. One-stage analyses show that individuals in treatment regions report significantly elevated perceptions. Two-stage approaches, accounting for biases arising from the rollout method, show no significant relationship. Post-estimation analyses imply that funding did not reach areas with the poorest observable indicators. We thus remain agnostic on the effectiveness of the funded projects but conclude that, despite solid theoretical foundations, weaknesses in the application of these theories hampered potential positive impacts. Future interventions can learn from this and should ensure stronger ties between the theoretical base and how these theories are applied to funding disbursement.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Civil society, grassroots, impact evaluation, instrumental variables, Northern Ireland, peacebuilding, political violence, randomized control trial
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 21:31
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/33042

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