Traditional governance, including local chiefs, kings, or conflict resolution mechanisms, can play a powerful role in maintaining peace if it is integrated with the public administration of the state (a scenario called "institutional hybridity").
In this issue, we examine a set of articles with a great deal of regional diversity — two articles focus on peacebuilding or peacekeeping in Africa, one looks at resistance to exclusionary nationalism in Bosnia (Europe), another explores “uncivil society” in Bougainville and Timor-Leste (Asia-Pacific), and, finally, one considers military checkpoints in Iraq (Middle East). These articles heighten our awareness of the complexities and challenges involved in peacebuilding after war. All the more reason to avoid war in the first place.
Reformists in Iran were more willing to support and join a hypothetical Green Movement in the future if it were to use nonviolent rather than violent strategies.
Organizations that bring together people from multiple sides of a conflict can play an important role in motivating participants to become activists for social change.
When military spending increases by 1%, spending on health decreases by 0.62%.
In the context of civil war in Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, the line between “armed actors” and “communities” was porous, creating a situation where peacebuilders spanning these categories in some cases had special access to armed actors for the purposes of negotiation.
The exclusion of some rebel groups from peace negotiations can perpetuate civil war, rather than hastening a resolution.
In this issue, some of the articles focus on intractable conflicts, like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or civil wars of the recent past, like Sierra Leone or Côte d’Ivoire. While conflict is persistent in these settings, there are examples of peacebuilding at the interpersonal and local levels. The choice between violence and nonviolence is highlighted in two other articles, though in quite different contexts. Research conducted in Iran finds that nonviolent resistance garners more support than violent resistance does even after the previous failure of a nonviolent movement. Other research reveals that the inclusion of armed groups in negotiations can move them away from the use of violence, while their exclusion makes a return to violence more likely. Additionally, national governments continue to play a powerful role in shaping outcomes for peace and security, from decisions about whether to participate in negotiations with armed groups to decisions about how much to allocate towards defense spending.
The focus of civil resistance movements on ousting rightwing populist leaders is counterproductive because it plays into narratives of “us vs. them” and hampers efforts to gain broad-based support by polarizing supporters and detractors of rightwing populism.