Resources

Resources

The Oslo Forum process strives to critically examine the current practice of conflict mediation. The themes raised at each event are intended to provoke discussions, suggest interesting questions and propose new or unconventional approaches. 

Background papers and interviews are prepared prior to the retreats to set the tone for discussions and to sensitise participants to current debates and innovative ideas.

Background papers and interviews do not represent the positions of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD).

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Oslo Forum 2005 - Background Paper - Violent Beliefs: Faith, Hope and Violence in Religious Movements
Abstract

Many influential political and military analysts are bewildered by the reappearance of religious belief in today's conflicts. Being essentially secular themselves they find it difficult to accept religious belief as something that genuinely drives war, rather than as a tool for mobilisation and recruitment. Hugo Slim sheds a light on the nature of religious belief by examining faith, interpretation, paradox, parallel reality and ritual as the religious mentality's counterparts to secular reason, fact, logic and reality. Armed religious movements should be analysed as conviction politics focussing on two core aspects: the psychology and social temperament of a particular religious movement and the political and military implications of its theological understanding of context, history, human agency and dualism.
 

by
Hugo Slim,
20 Nov 2005
Oslo Forum 2006 - Background Paper - Conceits and Callings: Conflict Mediation Comes of Age
Abstract

Mediation is seen as an increasingly successful means of resolving armed conflicts, and the growing number of actors involved testifies to its emergence as a distinct field of international diplomacy. However, success may be exaggerated and mediation remains unproven in the face of both intractable conflict and new wars. This paper explores some of the core questions to be posed and encourages practitioners not to shy away from the challenge of critically examining their practice and strategies in the face of an ever changing environment.
 

by
David Petrasek,
25 Jun 2006
Oslo Forum 2006 - Background Paper - Religious Aspects of Conflict and its Resolution
Abstract

Traditional, faith- based communities are increasingly re-emerging from relative obscurity to assert themselves as powerful actors in both in the precipitation and resolution of conflict as well as its resolution. David Steele analyses the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Shi'ite Muslims in south central Iraq and formulates questions for mediators to ask in order to identify and understand some common characteristics shared by religious movements, including the aversion to secularisation, the belief in holding absolute truth and trust the faith that the present suffering and victimisation of a people bears the promise of ultimate redemption if only their mission is fulfilled.
 

by
David A. Steele,
25 Jun 2006
Oslo Forum 2006 - Background Paper - How Important is Religion? The Case of the Sudan Peace Negotiations
Abstract

Throughout the Sudanese civil war from 1983 to 2005, religion was a core issue for the conflicting parties. Endre Stiansen analyses the negotiations between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to explain the weight religion was given in relation to other issues and concludes that though difficult to tackle and the primary reason for entrenched conflict, religion was at the same time the very road to compromise as religious issues proved inseparable from other issues related to political power.
 

by
Endre Stiansen,
25 Jun 2006
Oslo Forum 2006 - Background Paper - From Guerilla War to Party Politics: Transformation of Non-State Armed Groups in El Salvador and Nicaragua
Abstract

One of the most demanding challenges in the transition from war to sustainable peace is the transformation of non state armed groups into civilian, accountable entities. Drawing on detailed research of the Micro Politics of Armed Groups Research Group at Humboldt University, the authors analyse several factors that have a direct impact on successful transition, most notably organisational structure and history. From Guerrilla War to Party Politics explores two successful, yet very different examples of successful post-war transformation of non state armed groups into political parties, the FSLN in Nicaragua and the FMLN in El Salvador.
 

by
Astrid Nissen and Klaus Schlichte,
25 Jun 2006

Pages

Updates

Understanding fragmentation in conflict and its impact on prospects for peace
Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham highlights a number of key findings about fragmentation and conflict, and the role of mediation in fragmented conflicts. Drawing on a range of contemporary and historical examples from global conflicts, the author examines the consequences of fragmentation for...

2017
 Forum