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Explore our publications, from research papers and series to educational materials, covering all aspects of conflict transformation and peace promotion.

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The Importance of Local Governance in Strengthening and Supporting the Political Process in Yemen

Governance systems differ from one state to another depending on the politics in each state, its social, economic and cultural development, and other historical factors. Symmetry in the form and content of relations between local governance units, or between units and central authority, is rare. Local governance embodies decentralization, and is essentially a system that allows citizens to run their own local affairs. It should therefore be based on a set of principles and objectives as preconditions for applying decentralization and the goals for local governance set by the state and local communities.

  • Year2018
  • Author(s)Abdul-Raqib Fatih
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Creating Opportunities To Work With Diasporas In Humanitarian Settings

Diaspora organisations (DOs) are newly recognised actors in the humanitarian space. DOs respond to crises such as those in Syria, Somalia, and Nigeria, which have shown the limitations of the traditional humanitarian sector. Their contributions to emergency response are under-studied and, as our research shows, often misunderstood due to a gap in knowledge about their work.

  • Year2018
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The Youth Space of Dialogue and MediationAn Exploration

This exploration decidedly disengages from the prevalent discourses on youth, which are already quite well-covered in literature: ‘they are both troublemakers and peacemakers’ or ‘they are a special and potent category of peace agents, and therefore need to be empowered’. Rather, the focus of this exploration is on existing stories of dialogic and mediative efforts in the youth space, in an attempt to bring to light some insights usually left in the dark, and to stimulate a discourse hitherto absent. This is deemed particularly timely, given the inception of a myriad of initiatives since the adoption of Resolution 2250.

  • Year2018
  • Author(s)Mir Mubashir, Irena Grizelj
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La Conférence d’Entente NationaleMise en œuvre et leçons apprises pour le dialogue national au Mali

Depuis de nombreuses années, la problématique du dialogue national se trouve au cœur des débats socio-politiques au Mali. En effet, la crise profonde qui a été révélée par les événements du 21 mars 2012 a ébranlé le tissu social et le vivre ensemble et fragilisé l’Etat et ses institutions. Le dialogue national est alors réapparu comme une nécessité absolue afin de permettre à tous les enfants de la nation de se retrouver et se concerter sur le nouveau contrat social qui doit lier les maliennes et les maliens. Pour sortir de la crise actuelle, l’Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation issu du processus d’Alger, signé le 15 mai et le 20 juin 2015 à Bamako a proposé l’ouverture d’une série d’espaces et d’initiatives de dialogue dont la tenue d’une Conférence d’Entente Nationale (CEN).

Cette étude présente une analyse systématique centrée sur les résultats de la CEN de mars 2017.

  • Year2018
  • Author(s)Ousmane Sy, Ambroise Dakouo, Kadari Traoré
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Transformative Approaches to Violent ExtremismHandbook Dialogue Series No. 13 - complete

Dealing with violent extremism (VE) has emerged as a central framework of analysis and policy-making in most Western and non-Western government agencies. It is also heavily shaping the programming of non-governmental agencies, not least due to the availability of related funding lines.

While there is an undeniable need to address violent extremism, this latest Berghof Handbook Dialogue takes as one premise that more often than not, analysis and programming to date often fall short in understanding and tackling the root causes of the phenomenon. Our lead article proposes: "Ultimately, addressing VE is fundamentally about conflict transformation, yet CVE/PVE interventions are rarely designed to be transformative."

  • Year2018
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Challenging Conventional Wisdom, Transforming Current Practices: A Gendered Lens on PVEBerghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 13 - comment

In responding to Abu-Nimer’s framing article, this paper offers points of agreement and difference in an effort to deepen our collective understanding of the phenomenon of violent extremism and the responses needed to enable effective transformation. It does so first by offering a conceptual shift to move beyond limitations of the current terminology and discourse. Second, it provides an overview of the relevance of identity to VE with particular attention to the centrality of gender to the ideology, recruitment and action of violent extremists, as well as the importance of women in particular in countering, preventing and providing clear alternatives to such groups. In doing so, it challenges Abu-Nimer’s assertion that the inclusion of women is often externally driven and that they are thus being instrumentalised.

  • Year2018
  • Author(s)Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini
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Engaging with whom? Opportunities and Challenges of PVE approaches in Germany and IraqBerghof Handbook Dialogue No. 13 - comment

This comment on the lead article to our Handbook Dialogue on Transformative Approaches to Violent Extremism discusses Abu-Nimer’s suggestion to engage more seriously with religious agencies and actors, using Iraq as an example.

It examines how religion and its identity components are being integrated in project structures of international NGOs (INGOs) in Iraq and the limitations of this approach. It also presents the negative impact of CVE/PVE approaches on practitioners in the field of international media development. Finally, the article discusses the German Government’s ‘Live Democracy!’ to support the call for a holistic ‘idealism’ approach in PVE.

  • Year2018
  • Author(s)Maral Jekta
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Religious Institutions and the Challenges of Extremism and Terrorism: A Long ViewBerghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 13 - comment

This article will trace how religious institutions have dealt with the phenomena of radicalisation and violent extremism since the early 1970s and the role these institutions have recently played in C/PVE programmes. My essay intersects with the discussion in the lead article on the lack of clear long-term strategies and tool kits that assist religious institutions to participate effectively in C/PVE programmes without threatening their credibility with their constituencies. (1) This includes the necessity of empowering the religious institutions to develop tools and frameworks that use the language of faith and reflect their spiritual and religious traditions. (2) Based on the impact of a certain securitisation of C/PVE approaches in the region on the religious institutions and their constituencies, I am convinced that it is important for religious institutions to rebuild the trust with their constituencies based on the principle of inclusivity and enhanced outreach efforts.

  • Year2018
  • Author(s)Radwan Al-Sayed
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A Way Forward in Transforming Violent Extremism: De-Islamisation, De-Securitisation, and De-ReligionisationHandbook Dialogue Series No. 13 - final reflection

In this reflection on the responses to my lead article in the Dialogue issue at hand, I want to highlight two principles which need to be kept in mind when shaping CVE and PVE initiatives, because these principles can enhance our capacity to design more realistic and conflict-sensitive interreligious peacebuilding initiatives. First, religious actors cannot be responsible for curing the phenomena of violent extremism (VE), simply because they are the not the only agencies that contribute to the emergence, dynamics or results of violent extremists’ campaigns. Second, there are many other agencies of social and political change that operate in any given context where violent extremism manifests itself – and it is only in engaging together that these agencies can hope to find effective transformative approaches to violent extremism.

  • Year2018
  • Author(s)Mohammed Abu-Nimer
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Effective Approaches to Preventing Violent Extremism: A Peacebuilding Systems PerspectiveBerghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 13 - comment

This response to Mohammed Abu-Nimer’s 'Alternative Approaches to Transforming Violent Extremism. The Case of Islamic Peace and Interreligious Peacebuilding' is focused on the question of what makes prevention of violent extremism approaches effective. It will explore in more detail some of the points raised in the lead article related to an insufficient understanding of structural drivers of violent extremism (VE), the limited evidence base and research in relation to the ‘prevention’ or ‘countering’ of violent extremism (P/CVE), unrealistic donor expectations, and weak and externally imposed programme designs. It specifically responds to the encouragement of Abu-Nimer’s request to “delve deeper” into analysing structures of violence, not only the symptoms (Abu-Nimer 2018, 17).

This article will explore how to maximise the potential for positive peace impacts of different approaches to preventing violent extremism by applying principles from the peacebuilding field and a systems perspective.

  • Year2018
  • Author(s)Anita Ernstorfer
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