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 2006 - Background Paper - The Limits of the Liberal Peace
Abstract

As most stable and successful societies appear to be democracies with market economies and respect for human rights, many assume, the ideal ingredients for mediating lasting peace should include elections, democratic institutions, human rights prescriptions and the establishment of a market economy. Alas, some of today's most intractable conflicts refuse to fit this pattern. This paper challenges current wisdom by juxtaposing both liberal and pragmatic mediation strategies. It argues for a more selective and flexible, and ultimately more honest, approach to peace, one that accepts the limits of the liberal peace.

by
a mediator's view,
25 Jun 2006
Oslo Forum 2006 - Background Paper - Civil Society and Peace Negotiations: Why, Whether and how they could be involved
Abstract

Though the absence of civil society representatives can have devastating consequences for the legitimacy and sustainability of a peace process, peace negotiations have a strong tendency to focus on armed parties. This paper discusses why, whether and how to engage civil society, ranging from direct involvement in negotiations to the establishment of parallel fora with consultative mandates and the involvement of civil society through informal communication channels. The authors critically examine the advantages and disadvantages of each option and offer practical guidance for mediators, including a questionnaire to structure decisions.
 

by
Thania Pfaffenholz, Darren Kew and Anthony Wanis-St. John,
25 Jun 2006
Asia Mediators' Retreat 2006 - Background Paper - Faith and Fear: How religion complicates conflict resolution in Southeast Asia
Abstract

Focusing on Southern Thailand and Mindanao, this article critically examines the way in which the governments' response is affecting and transforming the role of local religious leaders in these conflicts. The perception of religion, Islam in particular, is complicating mediation efforts and preventing governments from designing feasible conflict resolution policies that seek to accommodate reasonably legitimate aspirations. Michael Vatikiotis traces the culturally and ethnically motivated struggle for independence in the region and illuminates how it is increasingly drawing on religion as a motivational tool.
 

by
Michael Vatikiotis,
25 Nov 2006
Asia Mediators' Retreat 2006 - Background Paper - A brief overview of internal conflicts in South and Southeast Asia
Abstract

South and Southeast Asia are populated by people of diverse ethnic cultures and religious beliefs. Most of the countries in the region gained independence soon after the end of the Second World War. Since then, they have enjoyed varying degrees of economic development and have been governed under a broad spectrum of political systems. As they struggle with the demands of modernization and democratization, on the one hand, and pressures to retain traditions and identities, on the other, many of these countries have experienced resistance from armed groups within their borders that have challenged the authority, legitimacy, and territorial integrity of the state.

by
Based on an article by Joseph Chinyong Liow and S.P. Harish,
26 Nov 2006
Asia Mediators' Retreat 2006 - Background Paper - Truths and Untruths: Federalism, autonomy and decentralization
Abstract

Where ethnic, linguistic and/or religious grievance lies at the heart of the conflict, it is certain that a durable peace will require some changes in governance so that it is addressed. Decentralization and autonomy arrangements are important, but they are not a magic bullet and certainly cannot be applied in a onesize- fits-all model. Their appropriateness and consequences will vary enormously according to context. This short paper examines some of the common misunderstandings.

by
Katia Papagianni,
26 Nov 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