Online consultation - call for applications

19-21 March 2019

“’People power” and mass mobilizations for rights, freedoms and justice are crucial components of peace and transition processes, and central to any meaningful vision of inclusive peace. Broad grassroots campaigns and collective non-violent actions increase participation and agency in peace processes, and draw attention to structural injustices which are often at the root of violent conflict. While their contribution to inclusive peace has been clearly demonstrated in a number of research initiatives looking at broadening inclusion in peace processes, as studied by the Inclusive Peace & Transition Initiative (IPTI) and others, the approaches and strategies of civil resistance are rarely integrated into standard peacebuilding tools.

This reflects the fact that, in spite of similar aims, peacebuilding and civil resistance have developed as parallel disciplines with distinct approaches and theories of change. In practice, some activists in places like Colombia and The Philippines naturally connect peace and justice issues in broad social movements. In other instances, the divide between dialogue-focused peacebuilders and “justice warriors” has led to tensions and fragmentation among civil society that stand in the way of collective impact. For peacebuilding and civil resistance alike, a key challenge is how the spirit and momentum of social movements can be sustained in the long term.

With a global climate of shrinking civic space, and amid calls for all stakeholders to do better on inclusion in peacebuilding, the question of how and when these approaches complement each other is perhaps more relevant than ever. Recent efforts by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) and USIP have started looking more closely at this question. IPTI, Peace Direct and ICNC are convening an online consultation to broaden the conversation on this topic. We would like to hear from civil society practitioners and researchers around the world on how you relate to questions such as:

  • What can civil society “revolutionaries” and “resolutionaries” learn from each other to make the most of opportunities and mitigate risks associated with their respective approaches?
  • What are the lessons from movement building for inclusive peace - to not only mobilize broad constituencies, but also to "walk the walk" and build equality and dialogue capacities from within?
  • What strategies have developed from both fields of practice to ensure protection and self-care of people working for peace?

Join this unique opportunity to participate in a timely and dynamic exchange!

Register here by 15 March

Please share the news with your networks, and contact Jenny Aulin, IPTI Civil Society Program Manager if you have any questions: jenny.aulin@graduateinstitute.ch.

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Background

There is a global policy and research momentum on the topic of inclusive peace. But is this momentum reflected in practice? Is it reflecting practice?

In previous online consultations on Civil Society & Inclusive Peace, we explored civil society experiences, roles as well as challenges in inclusive peacebuilding. We found that “inclusion” in peacebuilding continues to be experienced as a “box-ticking” exercise. The shrinking political space in many countries was seen as a major barrier to civil society’s work on inclusive peace, and CSOs struggle to adapt strategies to this challenge. Discussions also highlighted critical internal challenges to civil society: fragmentation, elitism, political agendas and more. It pointed to an urgent need to build spaces for self-reflection and learning.

The Civil Society & Inclusive Peace consultations form part of IPTI’s Impact Local Peace project, which convenes reflections around civil society roles and impact in peacebuilding. The consultations feed into discussion materials highlighting key issues and considerations arising from research as well as practice.