Violent Agendas and Inclusion

In this theme we consider how violent activity during a peace process, operates as tool for pressing claims for inclusion or ensuring exclusion of others.  Political settlement analysis tends to understand violence / conflict as a tool used to coerce those outside the settlement to adhere to the rules of the game, or as a means by which those outside the settlement try to disrupt or re-organise the political settlement.

Our research suggests that conflict and the threat of violence is an ongoing part of the bargaining of the political settlement, rather than a pre-settlement condition or symptom. We see moves from and to conflict as non-linear and attempt to understand the common post-agreement phenomenon of ‘no war, no peace’. We examine how state and non-state actors use violent conflict to attain credibility, legitimacy and exercise public authority. We examine how armed actors move in and out of violence.

In peace processes, some actors move out of conflict, some move into conflict, and forms and meaning of conflict change and mutate.  In this theme we look at how these patterns have played out in particular conflicts – notably DRC.  We also examine the ways in which gender-based violence – often assumed not to be part of the ‘main conflict’, is affected through peace processes.  We attempt to draw out the consequences for the inclusion of women.  Throughout our research aims to inform practices and strategies relating to DDR, Security Sector Reform, and inclusion of women.