The CSS Blog Network

Mediation Perspectives: The Tunisian National Dialogue

Photo: Magharebia/Wikimedia commons.

The adoption of a new Tunisian constitution at the end of January has been hailed as a major milestone in the country’s democratic transition and a welcome piece of good news amid concerns about the direction of transition processes in other countries in the region.

From a mediation perspective, the national dialogue process that brought Tunisia to this point is noteworthy for at least two reasons. First, the mediators in this case were insiders with a stake in the outcome. Second, changes in context, beyond the control of either party, significantly altered the strategic calculations of the negotiators and opened the window to an agreement. » More

Where Have All the Peace Treaties Gone?

Begin, Sadat, Carter at Camp David

Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat with U.S. president Jimmy Carter at Camp David in 1978. Photo: US govt. archives/Wikimedia Commons.

The United States has been drawing down from two major military actions that have cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. But when the last US troops leave Afghanistan, all signs suggest that they will do so without a peace treaty. The absence of a peace treaty to conclude the Iraq and Afghanistan wars reflects a broader global trend. Why have states stopped using peace treaties as they end their wars with other states? » More

Solutions for Kashmir?

Do Not Pass Go

Indian Army soldiers patrolling a street in Srinagar. Photo: Austin Yoder/ flickr

The Kashmir conflict is usually considered an interstate problem between Pakistan and India. In my opinion both governments should recognize that the matter is less about New Delhi and Islamabad – but about Kashmir. High-level talks are important but not enough.  The key to stability lies in dialogue between the two central governments and Kashmiris themselves.

Many problems in Indian-Administered Kashmir are homegrown and can only be tackled at the domestic level, rather than the international one. At present, the situation is bizarre: in the first place, the Valley remains heavily militarized.  The capital, Srinagar, looks as if it were under siege, and its commercial airport doubles as a military airfield.  And curfews, arbitrary arrests, and police brutality all contribute to the atmosphere of mistrust, hatred and unrest. So what can be done?

In a recent article in Strategic Analysis, John Wilson — a senior fellow with the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi — makes four suggestions for how the Indian central government could improve the overall situation in the Valley: » More

ISN Weekly Theme: At Peace With Rebels

Rebel leader announces the singning of a peace agreement in the DRC

Rebel leader announces the singning of a peace agreement in the DRC, photo: UN Photo/flickr

This week the ISN examines the role of armed non-state actors in conflict environments and peacebuilding processes. From rebel groups to militias, armed non-state actors are key to the course and sustainable resolution of today’s conflicts.

In this week’s Special Report:

  • An Analysis by Dr Véronique Dudouet from the Berghof Center for Conflict Research examines the importance of inclusive peacemaking that addresses the roots of the conflict and facilitates the reintegration of armed non-state groups by offering incentives for political participation.
  • A Podcast with Max Glaser explores the dilemmas facing humanitarian organizations as they try to balance the benefits against the dangers of engaging armed non-state actors.
  • Security Watch articles on India’s Maoist insurgency, US efforts to enlist local militias in the stabilization of Afghanistan and many more.
  • Publications housed in our Digital Library, including a paper analyzing the role of armed non-state actors in peace processes, and a working paper on the importance of foreign military assistance to fragile states facing internal conflict.
  • Primary Resources, including UN Security Council Resolution 1125 on the crisis in the Central African Republic.
  • Links to relevant websites, including an article by the International Committee of the Red Cross detailing instruments and strategies used by non-state actors to respect international humanitarian law during intra-state conflicts in Africa, and a wiki created by Mercyhurst College Institute for Intelligence Studies that provides intelligence analysis on the impact of armed non-state actors in sub-Saharan Africa between 2007 and 2012.
  • And through our IR Directory access to relevant institutions, including the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS).
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