Academic journal article Global Governance

Hybrid Peacemaking: Building National "Infrastructures for Peace"

Academic journal article Global Governance

Hybrid Peacemaking: Building National "Infrastructures for Peace"

Article excerpt

POTENTIALLY VIOLENT TENSIONS OR ONGOING VIOLENCE ARE INCREASINGLY insusceptible to one-time external mediation or local conflict resolution as:

1. Conflicts are not limited to the primary protagonists alone, but extend through the different levels of society, from political and civic leaderships down through to communities, and over issues such as land, natural resources, and governance;

2. Contemporary societies face continuous political or socioeconomic transformation where the challenge is not the resolution of a specific conflict, but providing sustained accompaniment to all relevant actors so that the eventual outcomes are based on inclusion and consensus and do not lead to more instability (many countries in the Middle East are undergoing such transition);

3. Potentially violent instability may result from the creeping influence of illicit trafficking, especially in weapons or narcotics.

Instead, what are required are standing internal capacities for managing recurring tensions at national and local levels so that new conflicts are transformed into opportunities for greater reform and inclusion, rather than violence, in an approach referred to as conflict transformation. Such transformation in turn requires the use of external norms and skills as well as traditionally available resources within a society to obtain mediated results that encompass several levels of a conflict. This hybrid peacemaking bridges the illiberal and liberal frameworks identified in this issue by Anna K. Jarstad and Roberto Belloni.

In supporting countries to build these capacities, external partners can help bridge the real or perceived gaps between international norms and practices on the one hand, and existing internal mechanisms for conflict management on the other. These hybridized internal mediation capacities therefore enable a more progressive teleology for governance in that constructively negotiated solutions to governance-related contests, generated within a context of national capacity and ownership, are also likely to be more inclusive and participatory across a wider range of actors than otherwise.

National Infrastructures for Peace as Hybrid Peacemaking

A critical emerging tool for hybrid peacemaking is "infrastructures for peace." Meeting in Naivasha, Kenya, in 2010, representatives from fourteen African countries agreed on a definition of infrastructures for peace, or the "dynamic network of interdependent structures, mechanisms, resources, values, and skills which, through dialogue and consultation, contribute to conflict prevention and peace-building in a society." (1) Such infrastructures can help a country:

1. Manage recurrent conflicts over land, natural resources, apportioning of mineral wealth, and contested elections, especially where development itself has exacerbated these conflicts;

2. Complement external mediation targeted at the primary parties with internal negotiations that bring together actors at different levels of the society and polity, thus broadening the base for peace;

3. Negotiate and implement new governing arrangements in an inclusive and consensual manner, especially after periods of turbulent political or socioeconomic transition.

The World Bank's World Development Report for 2011 focuses on the challenges of addressing protracted fragility and highlights the extended period of time required for meaningful transformation and the necessity in this context of "inclusive enough coalitions" that can generate the collective political will for reform. The internal bargaining required to sustain these coalitions highlights the necessity for infrastructures for peace, and the report mentions Ghana's National Peace Council (described below) as one example. The report of the UN Secretary-General to the General Assembly on Civilian Capacity in the Aftermath of Conflict (2011) also advocates for better use of existing national capacities. …

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