Dissolving Conflict. Local peace agreements and armed conflict transitions


The lessening likelihood and the often-sobering outcomes of comprehensive national peace processes directed attention to local peacemaking in recent years. Difficult to distinguish and define, local peace agreements work on a broad range of issues and engage a multitude of diverse actors. Local peace agreements construct a world of peacemaking that contradicts an ordered and levelled understanding of conflict. Instead, they reveal hybrid conflictscapes that are enmeshed in ways analytically hard to distinguish. In such an environment, local peace agreements can employ various functions: they can connect and strategise relationships between actors, mitigate and manage conflict settings, or disconnect localities or communities from the broader conflict landscape. In doing so, they do not necessarily work towards a linear and sequenced resolution of a conflict but towards dissolving it by undermining the conflict’s logics and conditions.

Author: Jan Pospisil

This article was published in Peacebuilding.