Call for Papers

Rationale

The last few years have seen remarkable progress with respect to transforming some of the most protracted conflicts in Asia. Outstanding are the cases of Nepal and Aceh / Indonesia and promising are the ongoing efforts in Mindanao / Philippines and in Myanmar. In spite of the progress made, these cases demonstrate that political  transition  processes require a significant amount of time  and can go through several cycles of severe crisis and deadlock. In the case of Southern Thailand / Patani, whilst the current and previous administrations have accepted the need  to  negotiate  with representatives  of the resistance  movement,  they, nevertheless, struggle  to develop an effective mode of political engagement with them.

Unfortunately,  developments in the region  are  over­shadowed  by  a  multiplicity  of  ongoing violent  conflicts elsewhere in the world, in places such as in  Syria,  Iraq,  Yemen,  Libya. The  global threat  of radicalised religious movements, the retreat of democratic governance in several regions of the world,  and the  humanitarian catastrophe of refugees driven from their homes represent serious challenges to human, national and international security. What links these developments is the urgent need to find political and non­violent means of engaging with fundamental, protracted  violent conflicts. A key element is to find effective ways to communicate in and on conflicts and their transformation.

It is crucial to explore, develop and nurture effective ways to engage with and the help transform violent political conflicts. Such an endeavour raises five closely connected questions:

  • What are the determining factors which motivate armed movements to shift from violent to primarily or exclusively non­violent strategies in their struggle?
  • How can the often fundamentally  different  political  positions and interests of conflicting parties be made negotiable?
  • How can the deeply entrenched system of violence and counter­violence be transformed to promote an effective and inclusive settlement of the root causes of the conflict?
  • How can communication play a role in peace processes and conflict transformation?
  • How can actors from Track ­2 and ­3 contribute to conflict transformation?

Objectives

  1. To examine/explore knowledge and factors leading to the shift in strategies from violent to non-violent/political  strategies of armed movements around the world.
  2. To tackle the root causes of conflicts which involve extremely different stances and political demands between conflicting parties.
  3. To understand the important role of communication in conflict transformation and peace processes.
  4. To examine the important role of Track 2 and 3 actors in conflict transformation and peace processes.
  5. To explore these issues specifically in the context of conflicts in Asia and the Deep South of Thailand.

Thematic Focus

Submissions are expected to address the following themes: 

  • Case studies and comparisons of “politicisation” and shifts from violent to non-violent struggles of resistance and political change movements.
  • Theoretical and conceptual investigations of the factors underlying peacebuilding, peace processes and processes of conflict transformation.
  • State strategies engaging with violent and non-violent resistance and political change movements.
  • Governance and conflict resolution
  • Institutional aspects of peace processes (Infrastructures for Peace, Peace Secretariats, government structures for conflict transformation etc.)
  • The role of international agencies in peace processes.
  • Proscription of resistance movements and their implications for peacebuilding and peace processes.
  • Public support and resistance to peacebuilding and peace processes.
  • Role of CSOs, women, youth and communities in peacebuilding and peace processes.
  • Religion, conflict transformation and peace processes
  • Nationalism, conflict transformation and peace processes
  • Peace Journalism
  • Communication and media in conflict transformation and peace process.
  • Conflict and Peace: Discourses and Narratives
  • Peace Survey Research