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International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution

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Issue 1, 2015 Expand all abstracts
Article

Process Pluralism in Transitional-Restorative Justice

Lessons from Dispute Resolution for Cultural Variations in Goals beyond Rule of Law and Democracy Development (Argentina and Chile)

Keywords transitional justice, conflict resolution, process pluralism, cultural variation, individual and collective justice
Authors Carrie Menkel-Meadow
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article reviews some of the key issues in transitional justice process and institutional design, based on my research and experience working and living in several post-conflict societies, and suggests that cultural and political variations in transitional justice design, practices, and processes are necessary to accomplish plural goals. The idea of process pluralism, derived from the more general fields of conflict resolution and ‘alternative dispute resolution’ in legal contexts, is an essential part of transitional justice, where multiple processes may occur simultaneously or in sequence over time (e.g. truth and reconciliation processes, with or without amnesty, prosecutions, lustration and/or more local legal and communitarian processes), depending on both individual and collective preferences and resources. Transitional justice is itself ‘in transition’ as iterative learning has developed from assessment of different processes in different contexts (post-military dictatorships, civil wars, and international and sub-national conflicts). This article draws on examples from Argentina’s and Chile’s emergence from post-military dictatorships to describe and analyze a plurality of processes, including more formal governmental processes, but also those formed by civil society groups at sub-national levels. This article suggests that ‘democracy development’ and legalistic ‘rule of law’ goals and institutional design may not necessarily be the only desiderata in transitional justice, where more than the ‘legal’ and ‘governmental’ is at stake for more peaceful human flourishing. To use an important concept from dispute resolution, the “forum must fit the fuss”, and there are many different kinds of ‘fusses’ to be dealt with in transitional justice, at different levels of society – more than legal and governmental but also social, cultural and reparative.


Carrie Menkel-Meadow
Carrie Menkel-Meadow is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, University of California, Irvine.
Article

Exploring Barriers to Constructing Locally Based Peacebuilding Theory

The Case of Northern Ireland

Keywords peacebuilding, phronesis, civil society, practice–theory, Northern Ireland
Authors Emily Stanton PhD and Grainne Kelly
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article seeks to explore why, after significant financial investment and a history of nearly 50 years of civil society activity, there is a paucity of explicitly codified and consolidated indigenous theory that has emerged from peacebuilding practice in Northern Ireland. Methodologically, this apparent contradiction is explored, utilizing both empirical research (interviews with key peacebuilders) and the wide practitioner experience of the authors. It is argued that two complex dynamics have contributed to the subordination of local practice-based knowledge, namely, the professionalization of peace and the dominance of research over practice within academia. These two dynamics have played a mutually exacerbatory and significant role in creating barriers to constructing local peacebuilding theory. Phronesis, an Aristotelian term for practical knowledge, is explored to discover what insights it may contribute to both research, theory and practice in the field of peacebuilding, followed by examples of institutions demonstrating its value for practice–theory reflexivity. The article concludes with a call for peace research that validates and values practical knowledge. By doing so, the authors argue, new avenues for collaborative partnership between practitioners and academics can open up, which may play a constructive role in bridging practice–theory divides and, most importantly, contribute to building more effective and sustainable peacebuilding processes in Northern Ireland and in other conflict contexts.


Emily Stanton PhD
Emily Stanton is PhD candidate in the School of Politics, Faculty of Social Science, Ulster University, Northern Ireland. Email: Stanton-E@email.ulster.ac.uk.

Grainne Kelly
Grainne Kelly is Lecturer of Peace and Conflict Studies at the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), Ulster University, Northern Ireland. Email: g.kelly@ulster.ac.uk.
Article

Reframing War to Make Peace in Northern Ireland

IRA Internal Consensus-Building for Peace and Disarmament

Keywords Northern Ireland, intra-group negotiations, disarmament, political transition, IRA
Authors Dr. Benedetta Berti and Ariel Heifetz Knobel
AbstractAuthor's information

    In exploring alternatives to armed struggle, how do non-state armed groups embark on such complex internal discussions, and how do they reframe their worldview and strategy to persuade their militants to support such transition?
    The article tackles this question by examining the internal processes of consensus-building that brought the most prominent militant organization in Northern Ireland – the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) – from violent struggle for independence to non-violent political participation in the political system it had previously fought to expel.
    The study relies on fieldwork and applied research through interviews, conducted in Northern Ireland and Ireland with key stakeholders, ranging from ex-prisoner leaders and former militants to politicians, official negotiators and civil society practitioners who work with various conflict parties on the ground. Historical literature and primary sources are also used, including Sinn Féin and IRA official documents. All primary sources are integrated with the theoretical literature on intra-group consensus-building and discursive reframing.
    The analysis underscores the importance of discursive practices to ensure frame-shift in both the understanding of the conflict (consensus mobilization) and the means chosen to wage it (action mobilization). The case of the IRA further reveals the importance of preserving continuity with an organization’s core ideological pillars as a key mechanism to minimize chances of internal strife, along with enlisting credible supporters from the ‘militant constituency’ – such as former prisoners and/or militants with deep and personal involvement in the group’s armed struggle.


Dr. Benedetta Berti
Dr. Benedetta Berti is a Kreitman postdoctoral fellow at Ben Gurion University, a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and the author of Armed Political Organizations. From Conflict to Integration. <https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/armed-political-organizations>.

Ariel Heifetz Knobel
Ariel Heifetz Knobel is a conflict transformation practitioner, facilitating Track 2 and Track 1.5 initiatives in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and working with Northern Irish peacemakers to bring best practices to the region. She has served as Public Diplomacy Director for five states at the Israeli Consulate to New England, and as a mediator in Boston’s district courts.
Article

Non-Violent Struggle

The 1992 Kenyan Case Study of the Protective Power and the Curse of Female Nakedness

Keywords non-violent struggle, dynamics of non-violent struggle, strategic planning in non-violent struggle, protective power of the vulva, curse of female nakedness
Authors Dr. Peter Karari
AbstractAuthor's information

    Non-violent struggle is a technique by which the population can restrict and sever the sources of power of their oppressors while mobilizing their own potentials into effective power. Female nakedness is one type of non-violent action that can be mobilized to facilitate women’s emancipation from gendered-cum-patriarchal oppression, violence and marginalization. A literature review indicates that female nakedness has been used for many centuries around the world to stop wars, ward off enemies, agitate for rights, prevent pests and increase harvests. Studies show that the effectiveness of non-violent struggle requires strategic planning and understanding of the dynamics involved. This article analyses the 1992 women’s nude protest in Kenya aimed at pushing for the release of political prisoners. This study investigates three questions: (1) In what ways was the 1992 women’s nude protest in Kenya a success? (2) What were the struggle’s flaws? (3) What strategic plans and/or dynamics of non-violent struggle could have been employed to make this protest more effective? The findings of this research indicate that: (1) The nude protest was partially a success because it secured the release of all political prisoners and nurtured democratization; (2) the struggle failed to embrace some strategic planning and/or the dynamics of non-violent struggle in addition to hunger strike and female nakedness; and (3) the protest could have been more successful if it embraced particular strategic plans and/or dynamics of non-violent struggle such as negotiation, power relations, prioritization of tactics and methods of non-violent struggle, access to critical material resources and clear monitoring and evaluation strategies.


Dr. Peter Karari
Dr. Peter Karari will be joining Karatina University, Kenya in September 2015 as a faculty member in the school of education and social sciences where he plans to start a department in Peace and Conflict Studies. He is a PhD graduate in peace and conflict studies from the Arthur Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, University of Manitoba. He also has a Bachelor in Social-Work from the University of Nairobi in Kenya and a Masters in Peace and Conflicts Research from Otto-von Guericke University in Magdeburg Germany. His areas of focus includes; ethnopolitical violence, transitional justice, peacebuilding, conflict-management, conflict-resolution, conflict-transformation, and human rights. His doctoral research was on ethno-political violence, transitional justice, and peacebuilding in Kenya. He has diverse field and work experience with Non-governmental and community based organizations. He was the Country Program Manager of Drug Abuse Education Program Kenya, Project Coordinator Compassion International Kenya, and Chief Executive Officer Kibera Slum Education Program, an Oxfam GB assisted project in Kenya. Peter has served in various capacities as a student leader, community leader, and as a member of the University of Manitoba senate. He has a great passion for the marginalized and the vulnerable people in the society and has greatly been recognized for his community leadership and human rights activism. He is the winner of the 2010 Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship, University of Manitoba; 2010 Paul Fortier Award in Student Activism, University of Manitoba Faculty Association; 2011 University of Manitoba Alumni Award; 2012 University of Manitoba Dean of Graduate Studies Student Achievement Award; and 2014 University of Manitoba Emerging Leaders Award. Apart from mentoring his students to explore new perspectives and ideas that address their inquisitiveness as human beings, Dr. Karari envisions to actively participate in peacebuilding initiatives to make the world a better place for all to live in. He envisions Perpetual Peace in the World!