Public leadership to foster peacebuilding in violently divided societies

Khalil, Loua and Hartley, Jean (2022). Public leadership to foster peacebuilding in violently divided societies. Public Management Review (Early access).



This paper examines public leadership for peacebuilding in divided societies emerging from severe violence. It deploys two theories of leadership: social identity and political astuteness, to investigate peacebuilding leadership processes. The paper investigates contradictions in social identity leadership, since peacebuilding leaders reach out beyond their own group to outgroups in hostile contexts. Semi-structured interviews with 32 leaders in Northern Ireland and in Bosnia Herzegovina, reveal that leading for peacebuilding exhibits inverse processes of social identity leadership and that political astuteness is also critical to navigate integration and differentiation within/across groups. Wider implications for public leadership in societies containing division are discussed.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions