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).

Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Oslo Forum 2007 - Briefing Paper - Obstacles to enduring peace in asymmetric conflicts: a U.S. perspective
Abstract

Since the end of the Second World War, wars between state and substate actors have more and more often fallen into the category of "asymmetric" war: war between two actors or groups of actors characterized by a large gap in material power relative to each other. In theory, wars of this type should be rare, because if power implies victory, then since one actor dramatically out-powers another actor  David should give in to Goliath's demands without the bother of actually fighting, since the outcome - defeat for David - is known in advance. In reality, however, both the frequency of such wars as a proportion of the total, and victories by Davids have risen over time.

by
Ivan Arreguín-Toft,
31 May 2007
Oslo Forum 2007 - Briefing Paper - Power in mediation: does size matter?
Abstract

The end of the Cold War saw the rise in the international belief that mediation was an art worth pursuing when in the 1990s increasing numbers of conflicts started ending by negotiation. Yet it is no coincidence that the end of the Cold War also saw the rise of a uni-polar world in which the US could act as a superpower for peace, backing, pushing, and where necessary bombing parties to the negotiating table. So does talk of a decline in US diplomatic power spell the end of this mediation heyday? Or does the power to make a durable peace come from multiple sources - the mediator's personality, relationships within a process, perceptionsfrom outside it, not to mention the political evolution of a country?

by
Harriet Martin,
31 May 2007
Oslo Forum 2007 - Background Paper - The UN’s political role in a transitional international moment
Abstract

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has taken office at a time of significant turbulence in international politics. As the Secretary-General and his new ‘cabinet' begin to take stock of the UN's agenda and relevant capacities, they face several sets of challenges. Some of these emerge from the terrain character of conflict; some from the transitional international political environment; others from a growing band of competitors; and some from the UN itself.
This brief note traces some of these challenges through the lens of their potential impact on the space available to the UN to play a political role in conflict and crisis management; and sets out some elements of possible strategy to navigate the likely turbulence ahead.
 

by
Bruce D. Jones,
31 May 2007
Oslo Forum 2007 - Briefing Paper - EU influence in conflict: power to mitigate or to mediate?
Abstract

It is often assumed that the European Union (EU) has the potential to play a serious role in peacemaking. The EU provides generous financial assistance to conflict-ridden countries, and underwrites many ongoing peace negotiations, but is it bringing its undoubted economic and political power and influence to bear directly in mediation efforts?

by
Susanne Gentz,
31 May 2007
Oslo Forum 2007 - Background Paper - Talk or fight? Al Qaeda from centre to periphery
Abstract

Once we shift attention from the centre of AQ to its periphery, engaging AQ becomes comparable to engaging other kinds of armed groups, regardless of how connectedthey may be to AQ itself.

by
Ram Manikkalingam and Pablo Policzer,
1 Jun 2007

Pages

Updates

2nd Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is launching the second edition of the Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize, an essay competition seeking bold and innovative responses to today’s peacemaking challenges.