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Protracted peace processes. Comparative learning experiences Kristian Herbolzheimer Conciliation Resources Manila, July 2009. Roadmap. Protracted conflicts and peace processes Current international trends and challenges Open questions on the Philippines.

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protracted peace processes

Protractedpeace processes

Comparative learning experiences

Kristian Herbolzheimer

Conciliation Resources

Manila, July 2009

  • Protracted conflicts and peace processes
  • Current international trends and challenges
  • Open questions on the Philippines
protracted armed conflict
Protracted armed conflict

Some 20 armed conflicts/tensions have lasted more than 20 years.

Limited media coverage.

Most cases take place in “democratic” contexts.

Complexity increases with time: new actors, new factors, increased grievances, culture of violence.

protracted negotiations
Protracted negotiations
  • Six negotiations started more than 20 years ago: NPA (23), Colombia (25), Cyprus (32), Spain (38), Nagaland (49), Kashmir (50).
  • Oldest terminated negotiations: Northern Ireland (15), MNLF (21), Sri Lanka (26), Burundi (29).
conflict termination
Conflict “termination”
  • > 10 years of conflict:
    • Peace agreement: 14 (>80 percent)
    • Victory/defeat: 3 (<20 percent: India/Punjab, Peru, Sri Lanka)
  • Comprehensive negotiations also take place with militarily weak rebel groups: URNG (Guatemala), GAM (Aceh), MNLF (Philippines).
  • One of the strongest rebel movements in the world (LTTE) was defeated (2009).
from bullets to ballots
From bullets to ballots
  • 75% of rebels turned political parties access government:

South Africa (1994), Mindanao (1996), Sudan (1999), East Timor (2002), Aceh (2006), Northern Ireland (2007) Guatemala (2007), Nepal (2008), El Salvador (2009).

  • Access to power most often happened shortly after the final peace agreement.
  • It took longer time in Northern Ireland (9 years), Guatemala (11 years), and El Salvador (18 years).
role of csos
Role of CSOs
  • CSOs have at times had significant impact in half of the peace processes:

Israel/Palestine, India (Nagaland), Colombia (ELN), Indonesia (Papua), Cyprus, Philippines (MILF), Uganda, India (Assam).

  • CSOs have had limited impact in the other half of the peace processes:

India/Pakistan, Burma, Colombia (FARC), Thailand, Spain, Philippines (NPA), Ethiopia (Ogaden), Angola (Cabinda), Western Sahara, Turkey.

trends in peace processes
Trends in Peace Processes
  • Cold War: Absence
  • 90s: Peak of armed conflicts (51)

Strong increase in PP

  • 00s: Stabilization (30-34)
some conceptual developments
Some conceptual developments
  • 1985 W. Zartman: Ripe moments, MHS
  • 1992 B. Ghali (UN): post-conflict PBG
  • 1996 Galtung: -/+ peace
  • 1999 M. Anderson: “Do no harm”

M. Kaldor: “New wars”

  • 2000 UNSR 1325
  • 2003/5 Col/Phil Human Dvp. Reports
  • 2004 R. Paris: limits of liberal peace
  • 2005 JP Lederach: the moral imagination
conflict termination 1991 2005
Conflict termination 1991 - 2005
  • No War no Peace 40
  • Victory 20
  • CF 20
  • Agreement 20

Not implemented 10

Neg. Peace 8?

Pos. Peace 2?

how can we do better
How can we do better?

PBG is still a new process: learning in progress. Options:

1. Identify patterns in turning / sticking points.

Challenge: how can they be influenced?

2. Reframe: think out of the box.

Negotiations: MOA-AD; CASER?

3. Rethink paradigm: revisit assumptions.

linear thinking
Linear thinking

Armed conflict – negotiations – agreements – implementation - peace

current peacemaking paradigm 1
Current peacemaking paradigm (1)

From armed conflict to negotiations.


- Core agents of peace are the antagonists in war.

- Legitimacy is based on coercive power.

current peacemaking paradigm 2
Current peacemaking paradigm (2)

From negotiations to agreement.


- Negotiations are conducted by small elite around a table.

  • (International) facilitation/mediation is necessary.
current peacemaking paradigm 3
Current peacemaking paradigm (3)

From agreement to peace.

Peace agreement will address root causes of conflict.

Peace agreement is an opportunity for new social contract.

Change trickles down from the negotiating table.

Desired outcome is democracy and a market economy.

End of violence diverts money from war to peace.

Donors-conference will provide additional resources.

People will enjoy a peace dividend in terms of democratic freedom and economic development.

complex thinking 2
Complex thinking (2)
  • Different:
    • Layers (of conflict)
    • Colors (actors)
    • Forms (ways of proceeding)
  • All are necessary (sequencing, timing)
  • Challenge: from theory to practice (NUC)
open questions
Open questions
  • Who is power-holder?
  • Which are the invisible layers of power and conflict?
  • Sequential or parallel approach?
  • Do rebels replicate the dynamics of power they are challenging?
  • Do CSOs? Do peace initiatives complement or compete with each other?
  • “Peace through development”: addressing root causes or counter-insurgency?