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Article

Reflexivity, Responsibility and Reciprocity

Guiding Principles for Ethical Peace Research

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords ethics, peace research, peacebuilding practice, research methodology, reflexivity
Authors Angela J. Lederach
AbstractAuthor's information

    The application of peace research to settings of violent conflict requires careful attention to the ethical dimensions of scholarship; yet, discussions about the ethics of peace research remain underdeveloped. This article addresses a critical gap in the literature, outlining a framework for ethical peace research broadly encompassed in three guiding principles: responsibility, reciprocity and reflexivity. The first section provides an overview of the ethics of peace action and research, introducing key contributions that practitioner-scholars have made to the ethics of peacebuilding. In the second section, I explore how the guiding principles of reflexivity, responsibility and reciprocity offer a flexible framework for engaging in everyday ethical research practices. I conclude with preliminary recommendations to encourage further conversation about the ethics of peace research, offering ideas for future action.


Angela J. Lederach
Angela J. Lederach is a PhD student in Anthropology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include youth and community-based peacebuilding, gender, social and environmental justice, displacement and migration. She is currently conducting participatory research in Colombia alongside the Proceso Pacífico de Reconciliación e Integración de la Alta Montaña, a social movement comprised of campesinos (peasant farmers) who were forcibly displaced as a result of the armed conflict. Her research is specifically focused on the social-political, ecological, and ethical dimensions of retorno digno (dignified return) in rural Colombia.
Article

Security Sector Reform in Theory and Practice

Persistent Challenges and Linkages to Conflict Transformation

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords security sector reform, conflict transformation, scholarship, practice
Authors Leslie MacColman
AbstractAuthor's information

    In less than two decades, security sector reform (SSR) has crystallized as an organizing framework guiding international engagement in countries affected by violent conflict. SSR is a normative proposition, grounded in democratic governance and human security, and a concrete set of practices. As such, it represents an exemplary case of the dialectic between scholarship and practice and an outstanding vantage point from which to interrogate this nexus. In this article, I explore the dynamic interplay between theory and practice in SSR. In particular, I show how the basic tenets of conflict transformation – present in the first generation of scholarship on SSR – were sidelined in SSR practices. Practical experiences led to strong critiques of the ‘conceptual-contextual’ divide and, eventually, to a second generation of critical scholarship on SSR that has begun to coalesce. I conclude by noting the parallels between recent scholarship on SSR and the insights captured in earlier work on conflict transformation.


Leslie MacColman
Leslie MacColman is a PhD student in the joint programme in Sociology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include governance, police reform and criminal dynamics in urban neighbourhoods.
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