Building Peace

Topics: Peace, Dispute resolution, Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research Pages: 4 (1074 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Building Peace is divided into two parts. Part one is an introduction to understanding contemporary armed conflict including defining current conflicts as identitybased and locating them more internally (intra-state) than internationally, with diffuse power and weakened central authority characteristics. Conflicts are protracted because they become lodged in long-standing relationships and are characterised by social-psychological perceptions, emotions, and subjective and cultural experiences. International and traditional diplomacy alone is deemed inadequate for dealing with the root causes of conflicts as such interventions involve authority figures and empowers few people only, largely encourages military capacities, solutions are sought within a framework of compromise, and the focus tends to be on substantive issues of territory and governance only and not necessarily on building relationships and addressing the socio-psychological issues that render conflicts intractable. Part two, the substantive part of the book, therefore addresses the need for a comprehensive, integrated, and strategic approach to the transformation of deep-rooted conflicts. As such a conceptual framework for peace-building and sustained reconciliation, composed of the interdependent components of structure, process, reconciliation, resources and coordination is presented and explained in detail. Reconciliation: Building relationships, with the focus on emotional and psychological aspects of conflict, is central to conflict transformation. Lederach introduces the concept of “reconciliation-as-encounter,” that is, the need to provide space and opportunity for encounters between conflicting parties at various levels to articulate past pain (acknowledgement) and envision an interdependent (shared) future. The underlying challenges of reconciliation, that is, the paradoxes of truth, mercy, peace, and justice are also explained. In deeply divided societies, reconciliation is often hampered...
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