Local agreements - an introduction to the special issue


This article introduces a Peacebuilding special issue on local agreements in intractable conflicts. By ‘local’, we refer to any type of agreement that covers a geographical area less than the entire national territory although the issues and actors may be national, regional, international as well as local.

Our main finding is that local agreements are a pervasive feature of contemporary conflict, owing to the fragmented decentred character of conflicts. Local agreements are not necessarily about peace; they may be a form of surrender, or about tactical alliances and deployment of armed groups.

The overall conclusion is that local talks can contribute to what the paper defines as a peace logic, if they involve local civilians and multilateral actors, and are based on a detailed knowledge of context. Expanding this type of process on a large-scale may be the best opportunity for addressing the social condition that characterises contemporary intractable conflicts.


This article was published in Peacebuilding, Vol 10, Issue 2