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Durham University

Durham Global Security Institute

Effective Participation in Peacebuilding

International law recognises that wide participation in political processes is key to ensuring that the interests of all groups in society are represented. Participation ensures not only that traditionally excluded voices can be heard but also that the negotiation process and its outcome are regarded as legitimate by all of those who will have a stake in the new society.

The concept of ‘effective participation’ builds on this by recognising that groups that have traditionally been excluded from politics, such as women, minorities, or even political opposition parties, may need support to be able to effectively participate.

Effective Participation: Research Briefing

Postconflict constitution making is no longer a purely domestic task. The international community continues to facilitate state-building in Somalia. Therefore the role of international law and international actors cannot be ignored.

Read the Research Briefing on Effective Participation here

Law and Negotiation: Research Briefing

While international law can provide normative guidance for the negotiation of peace agreements, without political engagement these norms are unlikely to become embedded.

Read the Law and Negotiation briefing here

Research Team

Catherine Turner

Catherine Turner is a lecturer in Durham Law School. Her research focuses on international law and conflict. She has published extensively in the field of transitional justice, exploring the possibilities and the limitations of law as a framework for post conflict reform. She is also a trained mediator and has delivered training in mediation skills both locally and internationally.

Jutta Bakonyi

Jutta Bakonyi is a Senior Lecturer in Development and Conflict in the School of Government and International Affairs. Her main research interest is in the dynamics of state formation and state decay, emerging orders of violence and war and international peace- and state-building.

Stefanie Kappler

Stefanie Kappler is a lecturer in conflict resolution and peace-building in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. She holds a PhD from the University of St Andrews and is particularly interested in the role of local agency and resistance against peacebuilding. She has conducted fieldwork in Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Africa, Cyprus, Brussels, Northern Ireland and the Basque Country and has published widely on questions of representation, agency, legitimacy and identity in the field of international peacebuilding.

Ruth Houghton

Ruth Houghtonis a Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD Candidate at Durham Law School. Her research interests are in constitutional theory and global constitutionalism. With Catherine Turner, she has written on constitution-drafting in post conflict situations.

Relevant Publications

Turner C and R Houghton, ‘The Role of Constitutions in Post Conflict Reconstruction’ in Matt Saul and James Sweeney (eds) International Law and Post Conflict Reconstruction Policy (Routledge, 2015)

Turner C & M McWilliams, ‘Women’s Effective Participation and the Negotiation of Justice: The Importance of Skills Based Training’Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper 15-03 available at

Turner C, ‘Transitional Constitutionalism and the Case of the Arab Spring’ (2015) 64 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 267

Turner C, Violence, Law and the Impossibility of Transitional Justice (Routledge, 2016)

Turner C, ‘Delivering Lasting Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in Times of Transition: The Role of International Law’ (2008) 2 International Journal of Transitional Justice 126

Bakonyi J, Ideoscapes in the World Society: Framing Violence in Somalia’ (2015) 17(2) Civil Wars 242-265

Bakonyi J,Authority and administration beyond the state: local governance in southern Somalia 1995–2006’ (2013) 7(2) Journal of Eastern African Studies 272.

Kappler S, Local Agency and Peacebuilding. EU and International Engagement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus and South Africa (Palgrave, 2014).