This paper is part of a broader exploratory study on the youth space of dialogue and mediation. Young people’s efforts in transforming conflict across the globe are abundant and are to some extent documented. In conflict research, however, there is a lack of reflection on the particularities of the youth approach and contribution to dialogue and mediation processes. In an attempt to offer some preliminary reflection, this paper explores the youth space of dialogue and mediation — its characteristics, dynamics, dimensions, challenges and potential — in the context of Myanmar.
The overall study’s conceptual framework embodies a broad understanding of dialogue and mediation, in contrast with the otherwise narrow understanding of ‘official’, high level dialogue and mediation employed by diplomats and international mediators as ‘tools’ for ‘resolving’ conflict. The study analyses socially embedded processes of everyday conflict transformation and peacebuilding efforts by young people from the whole of society, and highlights those efforts that are dialogic and mediative — in terms of approaches and/or in creating the preconditions for further structured dialogue and mediation processes.
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