This article is motivated in part by the need to respond to the classical peacebuilding dilemma of ‘conflict relapse’. It finds that international peacebuilding efforts rely overwhelmingly on person and position-based leadership perspectives, which provide mixed results at best. It argues that a process-based approach to leadership, rather than one that narrowly focuses only on particular personalities or individuals in formal positions of authority, offers a potential for peaceful solutions that are the product of interaction between those offering peace ideas and the whole of the affected society in response to their common situation. The paper thus proposes a framework for analysis and action in pursuit of sustainable peace. Questions that go to the heart of efforts to study and navigate a path to stable peace in a given situation should be systematically framed to take the following five things into account: the predominant situation; the degree of mutuality; the domains and societal levels in which emergent leadership is occurring to build a shared response to the situation; the quality of the leadership process – how influence is being exchanged between leaders and followers across domains and levels; and the degree of leadership effectiveness and movement toward peace or a return to conflict. This provides opportunities for peacemakers to pursue an inclusive, all-encompassing peace that can be sustained, not least because it concentrates attention on mutually held goals by people of the target society and their leaders.


‘Funmi Olonisakin, African Leadership Centre, King’s College London
Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin has lead responsibility for all international matters at the College. In addition, she is responsible for the English Language Centre, and has joint responsibility with the Senior Vice President/Provost (Arts & Sciences) for the School of Global Affairs and for international scholarships and the Graduate School with the Vice President/Vice-Principal (Education).  She is also founding Director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC), which aims to build the next generation of African scholars and analysts generating cutting-edge knowledge for conflict, security and development in Africa.


October 25th, 2018

Powerlist named King’s Vice Principal as 7th

King’s College London’s Vice President & Principal (International), Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin, has ranked 7th on the annual Powerlist, which honours […]

July 31st, 2018

Leadership and “Conversation” In Dialogue: Securing Peace In the Unromantic Context, By ‘Funmi Olonisakin [PREMIUM TIMES]

This is the text of the first Inaugural Lecture by a female scholar of African descent, delivered at King’s College […]

July 26th, 2018

Towards Re-conceptualising Leadership for Sustainable Peace – Funmi Olonisakin African Leadership Centre, King’s College London

ABSTRACT This article is motivated in part by the need to respond to the classical peacebuilding dilemma of ‘conflict relapse’. […]

August 23rd, 2015

Strategic Review for Southern Africa, Vol 37 (1), May 2015

  Special Issue: Human Security, Peace and Conflict: African perspectives Guest Editor: ‘Funmi Olonisakin, Distinguished Andrew Mellon Foundation Scholar, University of […]

August 23rd, 2015

Secretary-General Nominates Advisory Group of Experts on Review of Peacebuilding Architecture

                  On 15 December, the Presidents of the General Assembly and the […]

January 16th, 2015

Public Seminar: Executing Strategy

Speaker: Professor Bruce Harreld Chair: Dr. ‘Funmi Olonisakin Professor Bruce Harreld Bruce Harreld retired from IBM in 2008 and joined […]

January 16th, 2015

Tribute to Professor Margaret Aderinsola Vogt

It is with frightening disbelief and deep sadness that we announce the death of Professor Margaret Aderinsola Vogt who died […]

January 15th, 2015

CONFERENCE- Peacebuilding in Africa: Evolving Landscapes, Emerging Challenges and new African Thinking

                      The ALC is convening a conference jointly with the […]

January 28th, 2014

Public Seminar: International Mediation as the Management of Complexity

Public Seminar: International Mediation as the Management of Complexity Speaker: Professor Laurie Nathan Chair: Dr. Abiodun Alao  Efforts to improve […]