The CSS Blog Network

A People-Centered Approach to Conflict Resolution in Ukraine

Image courtesy of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 3 July 2019.

It’s rare to hear firsthand accounts of daily life amid the conflict in Donbass. But we do have a few. The photographer Paula Bronstein captured the broken bodies and tormented souls of elderly people. The documentary filmmaker Simon Lereng Wilmont shot the war through the eyes of a 10-year-old orphan boy living in a small village with “The Distant Barking of Dogs.” My colleague Ioulia Shukan, a French sociologist, keeps a blog on ordinary citizens affected by the war in Eastern Ukraine. She recounted the everyday life of three female villagers in the grey zone, their fear of shells and their cohabitation with soldiers. She also told the story of a young family that left the little Ukrainian town of Marinka — where there is still no heating and no drinking water — for the separatist-held city of Donetsk to escape immediate danger and precarious conditions. These Ukrainians’ stories highlight not only the human cost of the ongoing war, but also the perils of the Ukrainian government — and its Western partners — ignoring that cost.

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Mediation Perspectives: Empathy versus Realpolitik?

Image courtesy of the US government

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors. Each entry is designed to highlight the utility of mediation approaches in dealing with violent political conflicts. To keep up to date with the Mediation Support Team, you can sign up to their newsletter here.

Personal qualities and “micro skills” in peace mediation[1]

“So many people want to join mediation teams without having worked on the micro-techniques of mediation. These may seem far removed from bringing warring factions together. It relates more to the normal management of human interaction in conflict. These techniques have to do with the way you hold yourself; the way you listen; and the way you recognize where people have a common interest (…)” Nicolas ‘Fink’ Haysom,[2] South African mediator in Burundi and Sudan and former UN Special Representative for Afghanistan. » More

Mediation Perspectives: Using Religious Resources to Teach Negotiation and Mediation: Reframing

Image courtesy of alsterkoralle/Pixabay.

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors. Each entry is designed to highlight the utility of mediation approaches in dealing with violent political conflicts. To keep up to date with the Mediation Support Team, you can sign up to their newsletter here.

In 2017, Simon Mason and Jean-Nicolas Bitter commenced a series of blog posts on the role religion can play in mediation and negotiation. Simon continued the series with an example from work in Zimbabwe with a Biblical text at the center. Posts followed with Susan Hayward writing about dispute resolution and the centrality of peace within Buddhism and Abbas Aroua placing a framework of peace at the center of Islam – engaging and thought-provoking pieces.

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Mediation Perspectives: Women Mediators’ Networks

Image courtesy of Geralt/Pixaby

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors. Each entry is designed to highlight the utility of mediation approaches in dealing with violent political conflicts. To keep up to date with the Mediation Support Team, you can sign up to their newsletter here.

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda has shown mixed results. While it is possible to report that some small gains in the number of women mediators in high-level positions are on their way, we are still at the beginning of a long journey. The growth of women mediators’ networks can be seen in this context. While these networks do seem to help professionalize women mediators and create linkages, they also face challenges. For example, these include issues related to the selection of mediators and the sustainability and linkages between networks. This blog explores the reasons for the growth of women mediators’ networks, and attempts a tentative analysis of where we stand in order to provide ideas for future efforts.

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Mediation Perspectives: Training Secular Diplomats on the Religion-Peacebuilding Nexus

Image ‘Signing the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty‘ courtesy of Government Press Office/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors. Each entry is designed to highlight the utility of mediation approaches in dealing with violent political conflicts. To keep up to date with the Mediation Support Team, you can sign up to their newsletter here.

The waters of international relations and diplomacy for peacebuilding can no longer be effectively navigated without understanding religion and its role in armed conflict. Some foreign ministries like those of Switzerland, Finland and Germany have started training their staff. However, many secular or non-religious diplomats who serve as their foreign ministries’ skippers in the peace processes their countries support are not equipped to deal with religion. This blog offers thoughts on why this is and where diplomats can receive the knowledge and skills they need.

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