Bridging the Disconnect: Integrating Local Perspectives in Peace Processes

Hellmüller, Sara. (2011) Bridging the Disconnect: Integrating Local Perspectives in Peace Processes.

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In the context of civil wars, violence becomes highly localized, undermining the fundamental security of the population in conflict areas. In order to adapt to these new realities, the concept of human security has been introduced in the early 1990s. Thus, the security of the individual, rather than the state has moved to the centre of attention of the international community. How-ever, while their protection focus has shifted from the state to the individual, their focus of who is assigned agency in a conflict context has not: it remains the state and in a substitutable manner the international community based on its „responsibility to protect‟. Despite the fact that „local ownership‟ has become a frequently used term, both in theory and practice, it has neither been unambiguously defined nor thoroughly implemented. With regards to peacebuilding, two main ambiguities remain. The first relates to the counterparts chosen by the international community when engaging in a peace process and the second to whether ownership should be fostered during the design or only at the end of a peace process. The example of the peace negotiations in the DRC showed that international actors almost exclusively cooperated with national elites and that local actors were not relevantly involved in the decision-making proc-esses. Such a structure led to developments that remain problematic until this day: the equa-tion of elections with state building, the exclusion of certain communities as well as the igno-rance of local causes of conflict. This paper discusses how increased inclusion of local per-spectives in peace processes and thus a shift of the international community‟s focus of who has agency in a peace process could render the concept of human security more effective.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Politikwissenschaft > Politikwissenschaft (Goetschel)
UniBasel Contributors:Hellmüller, Sara Anna
Item Type:Working Paper
Publisher:European Conference on African Studies
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Discussion paper / Internet publication
Last Modified:20 Jul 2021 09:40
Deposited On:20 Jul 2021 09:40

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