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ABSTRACTSince its creation in 1945, the UN has steadily increased the ambition and the scale of its peace and security agenda in conflict-affected countries. The development of peacekeeping is seen as a global means to achieve its aspirations of international peace and security. Yet, there are problems with the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding as local populations’ perceptions of conflicts become an integral part of these interventions. Concerns about the control and protection of processes used to collect local views of peace “spoilers” complicate UN operations. The questions of who gathers local input, from whom it is sourced and how to secure the process against subjective opinions, highlight key obstacles to sustainable post-conflict peacebuilding. This study argues that while it is unlikely United Nations interventions will be effective without turning “local,” more work is needed to counter the elasticity of this concept.

Keywords: United Nations, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, local perceptions