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IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Peace processes revisited: From negotiating conflict towards democratizing peace
Johanna Poutanen (Crisis Management Initiative)
Today’s peace processes have become ever more complex – involving various stakeholders negotiating multiple issues on multiple levels. Indeed, peace mediation is increasingly moving away from brokering limited deals between small groups of military and political leaders behind closed doors. The calls for inclusivity demand that a broader range of actors have a say in shaping the future of their country.
Has the increased complexity and ambition of mediation fundamentally altered the nature of peace negotiations? Can we talk about ‘negotiations’ when peace processes are increasingly about crafting a new social contract and political system for the country rather than simply negotiating the division of power? And fundamentally, is it possible to design peace processes that go beyond elite power sharing deals between armed groups, and engage a broader range of national stakeholders, such as women and youth?
This public lecture is part of broader research project on Mediation for the 21st Century and combines both theoretical and empirical insights from recent peace processes in contexts such as South Sudan and Yemen to analyze today’s mediation praxis. Whereas much of mediation scholarship has been approached from the perspective of international relations or negotiations theory, this lecture views inclusive peace mediation through the lens of democratic theory. It is suggested that applying ideas of democratic representation and deliberation to the context of peace negotiations may help to shift the focus from normative to substantive matters: what and whose interests should be represented in mediation processes? How and under which conditions?
This lecture is free and open to all.
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