While partisan commemoration can certainly “harden boundaries” between hostile groups, its potent symbolic resources can also be adapted to maintain community cohesion, legitimize shifts to peaceful politics by providing ideological continuity, and signal a newfound openness to previous adversaries, all in the service of peace.
Both travel and philanthropy, in their distinct ways, entail encounters between people from different cultures, backgrounds, and/or life experiences. Given the right conditions, these encounters can serve as a catalyst for positive social change.
Lack of local ownership and elite interference in the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and International Criminal Court (ICC) transitional justice initiatives constrained the peacebuilding agenda because victims of electoral violence were not able to achieve justice, a critical element of reconciliation.
This special issue—the final issue of Volume 4—focuses on peacebuilders: Who are they? How do they work? What are their unique needs and capacities? What challenges do they face?
Strategies for building sustainable peace after violent conflict tend to focus on two levels of leaders: national elites who negotiate peace agreements and community actors who oversee local mediation and reconciliation efforts
Business-peace initiatives can be successful: 64% of respondents reported improved social fabric in their community, and 80% identified at least one positive economic outcome of the project.
EU, UN, and OSCE civilian missions could do much more to fully capitalize on the potential for “synergy” in their work, through more systematic exchange of capabilities like staff, mission support, equipment, funding, or political and diplomatic support.
Women comprised less than a quarter of the Afghan religious peacebuilders network examined, and most of them were engaged in peacebuilding work focused on education, including teaching peace and conflict resolution from an Islamic perspective or raising awareness in their spheres of influence about what Islamic sacred texts say about peace.
In most cases, local elites hold a negative view of the role of the diaspora in peacebuilding and, at best, view diaspora engagement as limited to economic development.