CfP: Rethinking Peace Mediation

Peace mediation has become an increasingly professionalized field. The number of support actors and
the scope of technical assistance has grown tremendously over the last decades. International and
regional organizations along with non-governmental institutions have significantly expanded their
capacities to assist conflict parties in the resolution and prevention of armed conflict. This drive
towards professionalization of the field has been coupled with a new emphasis on a normative and
principled approach. Among other issues, it includes broader notions of inclusion and participation,
human rights and gender sensitivity, and the focus on systematic and methodology. These trends
profoundly challenge the nature of peace mediation and the way in which it is practiced.
We are inviting paper proposals for workshop on critical approaches to peace mediation. The
aim of the workshop is to explore the effects and dilemmas of the professionalization of peace
mediation. It will bring together practitioners and scholars to make sense of the evolution of multi-
track peacemaking efforts. The overall objective is to challenge supposed common notions of peace
mediation (e.g., consensus driven; focus on process design; respect for human rights and other
normative parameters; principle of inclusivity and gender sensitivity). In this context, the workshop
probes the accuracy of what peace mediation ought to be and its real-life form. By looking at the
‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘who’, the workshop seeks to build a picture of modern peace mediation while
offering a critical reflection to new realities in the field.
Among other issues, paper proposals can relate to the following themes:
– Why does the professionalization of peace mediation matter?
– What factors have recently shaped the field of peace mediation in the 21st century?
– Under which conditions is peace mediation a successful tool to solve inter- or intra-state
conflicts?
– How have conceptual ideas such as conflict sensitivity, the theory of change and inclusive
process design influenced peace mediation in practice?
– What impact has the emergence of a normative framework for assessing peace mediation
efforts had on policy directions and practice?
– What areas of support have emerged in peace mediation practice?
– Does the increased professionalization of mediation support actors significantly improve the
outcome of mediation processes?
– How has peacemaking support responded to the interconnectivity between local and insider
mediation, national dialogues and international track I efforts?
– What is the effect of a proliferation of different actors with different mandates on peace
mediation efforts?
– Who drives peace mediation?
– How is mediation defined by the different actors, including the conflict parties?
– Who are the key players and what is there interaction with each other, particularly between
international, regional and non-governmental entities?
– What impact does the proliferation of actors have on the design of mediation processes?
The aim is to publish suitable contributions as an edited collection with a prominent academic
publisher. We welcome papers from any disciplinary perspective (conflict resolution studies, law,
political science, anthropology, etc.), and those with empirical, comparative or critical perspectives on
peace mediation are highly encouraged.
The workshop will take place in New York City in mid-November 2018.
Please submit your abstract (300 words) by 27 July 2018.
Contact: catherine.turner@durham.ac.uk, rethinkingpeacemediation@gmail.com
Abstract submission online.

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