The Politics of Building Peace

Foto: Braun (ZfK)

Transitional Justice, Reconciliation Initiatives and Unification Policies in War-torn Societies

The aim of the project “The Politics of Building Peace” is to analyse under which conditions the peacebuilding tools transitional justice, reconciliation initiatives and unification policies consolidate sustainable peace after violent, civil conflict. Through asking what politics operate behind these tools and if, and how, they change the relationship between the parties to the conflict from antagonism to acceptance, it contributes to the discipline of peace studies where it can be categorised under critical or post-positive approaches.

Empirically, the objective of the project is threefold: first, it analyses how the emergence and functioning of the peacebuilding tools are conditioned by the prevailing domestic and international post-conflict politics and what implication this has on their output, second, it explores how this particular output affects the local relationship between the parties to the conflict and whether it leads to change, and, third, it considers additional factors – e.g. implementation – which have a bearing on the effectiveness of the tools in promoting peace. To this end, the project team conducts in-depth field research in four war-torn societies: Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.

Conceptually, the objective of The Politics of Building Peace is to contribute a new and innovative approach to peace studies through developing and applying a discursive framework of analysis. Its output, both in terms of its conceptual underpinnings and its comparative insights into the politics of building peace in war-torn societies, is of high relevance for academics, practitioners and people affected by violent conflict and will lead to concrete policy recommendations.

Laufzeit: 2008-2012

Förderung durch: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Projektleiter: Prof. Dr. Susanne Buckley-Zistel

Team: Prof. Dr. Susanne Buckley-Zistel, Dr. Teresa Koloma Beck, Christian Braun und Friederike Mieth