Solutions to Violent Conflict

Archive for the ‘Peacebuilding’ Category

Goal 16: A New Paradigm for Peace and Development

In Human Development, Peace, Peacebuilding on May 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

Melanie Greenberg is President and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. In her work on international conflict resolution, she has helped design and facilitate public peace processes in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and the Caucasus.

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as “Agenda 2030.” These ambitious goals, which replace the Millennium Development Goals that expired in 2015, will govern international development assistance for the next fifteen years. A great victory for the peacebuilding field—and for citizens throughout the world living with violent conflict—is the emphasis on peace throughout Agenda 2030. Whereas the MDGs were silent on violence and conflict, peace runs as a central pillar throughout the SDGs. Peace is included as one of the five key concepts—along with people, planet, prosperity and partnership. The preamble declares that, “We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.” Read the rest of this entry »

Advancing Integral Human Development: An Imperative for Peacebuilders

In Human Development, Peace, Peacebuilding on May 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

iStock_000023573112_Peace Policy

Scott Appleby is Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. As a professor of history at Notre Dame, he specializes in the study of global religion.

How might peace research, peacebuilding practices and peace policies be situated within a holistic vision of global challenges to human flourishing? One potentially compelling way of situating the struggle for peace within a more comprehensive narrative is to frame our common goal as advancing Integral Human Development. Imagine a society in which the irreducible dignity of the human person and the cultural and spiritual as well as economic and material requirements of human flourishing are central to political and social life and upheld by the rule of law. Such a society could be said to score high on the scale of Integral Human Development. Read the rest of this entry »

Linking Development and Peace: The Empirical Evidence

In Human Development, Peace, Peacebuilding on May 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

David Cortright is Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He is coeditor of Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict (Chicago University Press, 2015) and author of Ending Obama’s War (Paradigm, 2011).

The connections between development and peace are firmly supported by social science research. All the standard indicators of economic development, including per capita income, economic growth rates, levels of trade and investment, and degree of market openness, are significantly correlated with peace. Virtually every study on the causes of war finds a strong connection between low income and the likelihood of armed conflict. Economist Edward Miguel describes this link as “one of the most robust empirical relationships in the economic literature.” Irrespective of all other variables and indicators, poverty as measured by low income bears a strong and statistically significant relationship to increased risk of civil conflict. Read the rest of this entry »

Approaching the End of a Fifty-Year Conflict

In Colombia, Peace Accords, Peacebuilding on January 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Jennifer McCoy

Jennifer McCoy is Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State University and Director of the Carter Center’s Americas Program. She has met frequently with negotiators and other Colombian actors during peace talks.

The year 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), and thus the 50th year of continuous violent conflict in Colombia. Now in their 26th month of formal talks, the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC have reached a delicate but propitious stage to end the conflict and begin the long arduous task of peace implementation. The children born in 2015 could be the first Colombians in generations who will not know war.

The talks have achieved agreements on some issues and now are addressing the difficult questions of victims’ rights and the mechanisms to end the conflict. After conducting talks in the midst of war for two years, on December 20 the FARC announced an indefinite unilateral ceasefire. On January 14 President Santos instructed his military negotiators to analyze the possibilities for a bilateral ceasefire. Read the rest of this entry »

Colombian Peace Process: Bridging Research and Practice

In Colombia, Peace Accords, Peacebuilding on January 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Photo: Rainbow over Bogotá by PradaDearest (Flickr, July 10, 2013)

John Paul Lederach

John Paul Lederach is an internationally known peacebuilder and teacher who contributes to the Peace Accords Matrix at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

In October 2012, formal talks between the Colombian government and the largest armed insurgency in the country were launched in Oslo and soon after transferred to Havana. Supported by Cuban and Norwegian facilitators, these negotiations were the first serious attempt in more than a decade to end the half-century war. In the past two years the talks have made important progress and have seen innovations on several fronts. Read the rest of this entry »

Colombia, from a Mediator’s Perspective

In Colombia, Peace Accords, Peacebuilding on January 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Francisco Diez

Francisco Diez has extensive experience mediating conflicts throughout Latin America and is actively working on the Colombia peace process.

Colombia is a country of contrasts. While military dictatorships and foreign indebtedness characterized most of the continent during the latter half of the 20th century, Colombia experienced democratic regimes and kept its finances under control. Yet it was also the only country in the region with a strong guerrilla movement that remained active for decades.

The political elites and social leaders of Colombia are among the most intelligent and educated men and women in the world. The country’s entrepreneurs and traders are among the most successful, and they have produced wealth and a reasonable level of development. Yet the economy has been plagued by drug production and trafficking.


In Colombia the institutional framework of democracy and the separation of powers are firmly established. Modernity and technology have reached most of its cities. Yet in much of the countryside, life and personal integrity are in constant danger, the institutions of the state are largely absent, and legality is selective at best. Read the rest of this entry »

Civil Society Engagement in the ‘New Deal’

In Civil society, Peacebuilding on March 24, 2014 at 9:15 am

The Rangers of Virunga National Park

Rachel Fairhurst and Kristen Wall

Civil society groups can play an important role in peacebuilding. One example is the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, an innovative approach to international development policy.

The New Deal is led by self-identified “fragile states” — including Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor Leste, and Togo, among others — in partnership with international donors. It acknowledges the need for peacebuilding and statebuilding as a foundation for successful development in the world’s poorest and most conflict-affected countries. It also recognizes civil society as a key partner in transitioning states out of fragility.

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Regional Organizations in Peacebuilding Partnerships

In Civil society, Peacebuilding on March 24, 2014 at 9:15 am

Sarah Smiles Persinger

Regional Intergovernmental Organizations (RIGOs) — such as the European Union, Arab League, Organization of American States, and similar organizations — are playing a growing role in peace and security affairs. The complexity of global security threats and the rise of intra-state conflicts that frequently spill across borders have prompted a regional approach to security management.

The United Nations Security Council has supported the devolution of some security responsibilities to regional organizations. States are expected to submit disputes to regional organizations as well as to international institutions. These trends have prompted both governmental bodies and civil society organizations to adopt regional approaches to conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

The number of civil society organizations working on preventative diplomacy and peacebuilding more broadly has grown exponentially in recent decades. As norms around conflict prevention have widened to include human security and gender perspectives, these organizations have assumed a more prominent role in peace and security. Many civil society efforts have adopted a regional approach, and some are attempting to work in partnership with regional organizations. Read the rest of this entry »