What happens when global meets local? This special issue focuses on the dynamic interaction between externally conceived plans for peacebuilding intervention and local people's own approaches and strategies. The notion of ‘friction’ provides a perspective that acknowledges the unpredictable and unexpected nature of this interaction. The ‘hybrid’ outcomes of such dynamic interactions can vary in extent and success, as peacebuilding plans are rerouted and redesigned in practice. This special issue explores how, why, and to what effect internationally designed, funded, or administered peace projects interact with and/or are appropriated by local actors.