How do international organizations support local peacebuilding? Do they really understand conflict? Partners in Peace challenges the global perceptions and assumptions of the roles played by civil society in peacebuilding and offers a radically new perspective on how international organizations can support such efforts. Framing the debate using case studies from Africa and Central America, the author examines different meanings of peacebuilding, the practices and politics of interpreting conflict and how planned interventions work out. Comparing original views with contemporary perceptions of non-state actors, Partners in Peace includes many recommendations for NGOs involved in peacebuilding and constructs a new understanding on how these possible solutions relate to politics and practices on the ground. Concise in both theoretical and empirical analysis, this book is an important contribution to our understanding of civil society's role in building sustainable peace.