Local agreements as a process: The example of local talks in Homs in Syria


This article sets out why it is important to conceptualise local agreements as a process of talks that have a value in their own right rather than as a discrete event reached on a particular date. Throughout this process the terms of intermittently negotiated agreements are continuously shaped by two competing logics, the logic of violence and peace. Based on detailed empirical evidence covering six years of local talks in the city of Homs and its Al-Waer suburb, the article shows that even if an agreement is not reached, the mere process of local talks could lead to a steep reduction in the level of violence, fatalities and an improvement in the standard of living at a time when talks at higher level fail to deliver such results. The article also challenges the main methods of gathering empirical evidence about local peace agreements and discussed potential policy implications.

Author: Rim Turkmani

This article was published in Peacebuilding.