CURRENT PROJECT

Towards sustainable peace

The nexus of peacemaking and constitution building

Placeholder Image: Creative Commons, Flickr / linthesky under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

The project examines the intersection of peacemaking – with a focus on mediation – and constitution making, and aims to strengthen cooperation between the two fields.

Timeframe: 2018 - 2020


How does peacemaking, particularly that includes mediated peace negotiations, interface with constitution making in practice? What lessons can be drawn from each field to inform the other? How and when can practitioners in each field work together for better outcomes? What challenges face attempts to coordinate actors in the two fields?

These are some of the questions being raised in this project with the purpose of exploring the nexus between peacemaking and constitution making. Through studying a number of country cases, reviewing existing literature from each field and facilitating discussions between experts and practitioners, the project aims to increase knowledge and understanding about the intersection of peacemaking - with a focus on mediation - and constitution making, and to strengthen collaboration and cooperation between the two fields so that they can better reinforce each other.

The Berghof Foundation and the United Nations Mediation Support Unit (Department of Political Affairs) will develop a practical, hands-on Guiding Note on working at the nexus of peacemaking and constitution making. The project is supported by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany.

Background

Rationale

Although the interplay between peace mediation and the establishment of a new social contract in the form of a constitution has long been apparent, the changing nature of conflicts, markedly since the end of the cold war, has transformed the way we think and deal with constitutions. An important body of work exists which points out the relevance of constitution making within the larger framework of conflict prevention, conflict transformation and peacebuilding, including mediation. The connection is visible in mediation terminology and concepts that are used in both fields, such as negotiation, political settlement, national dialogue, etc. Likewise, constitutional matters such as multilevel government, federalism, power sharing, dispute resolution and electoral systems are often dealt with in mediation and negotiation processes. However, many central questions regarding this nexus remain and need to be addressed.

Aims and objectives
  • Create a space for exchange between experts and practitioners from both fields to foster discussion, understanding and collaboration around the nexus of peacemaking and constitution making.
  • Point out the most important linkages between constitution making and peacemaking from both perspectives.
  • Develop the understanding of hitherto unexplored areas in the nexus between peacemaking and constitution making, including underpinning ideas, goals, sequencing, external framework conditions, synergies, tensions, and mutual dependencies.
  • Encourage scholars and practitioners in the peacemaking and constitution making field to engage with each other and strengthen collaboration and understanding between the two fields.
  • Produce a Guiding Note to inform and orientate practitioners and policy advisors on how to combine expertise and lessons learned from both fields within a joint framework of participatory conflict transformation processes.

Partners and funding

The project is a collaborative effort between the Berghof Foundation and the United Nations Mediation Support Unit (Department of Political Affairs). It is supported by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany.

 

 

 

Team members

Mir Mubashir
Luxshi Vimalarajah

 


Media contact

Florian Lüdtke
Media and Communications Manager
+49 (0)151 6655 7357
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