In the post-Cold War world is witnessing the emergence of new forms of intra-state conflicts accompanied by a weakening of the nation-state's traditional means of dealing with these. There is a visible need for substantial revision in conventional approaches and strategies aimed at transforming such conflicts. Conflict resolution agendas have in the last two decades for the most part been shaped by the political objective of bringing political and economic liberalization in the name of promoting of human rights, rule of law and democracy. However, these strategies often fail to take into consideration the complex social and cultural contexts of the local level. There is a gap in knowledge about the impact that governance agendas have on local conflict dynamics, especially in the cases where identity mobilisation is a prominent factor in the conflict.
This project will analyse the premises and operation of governance initiatives in conflict transformation processes through a combination of fieldwork, qualitative analysis and theory development. It will carry out case studies encompassing recent governance practices in Bihar, Bosnia, Cyprus, Georgia, North East India and Kashmir. The project will be conducted in collaboration between Indian and European research teams. The project will review and critique current approaches to conflict resolution in an attempt to revise and improve both the theoretical and operational sides of conflict resolution and peace building. It will facilitate a reciprocal learning process between appropriate parties of the European Union and Indian actors and policy makers in order to enhance the perspectives and methods of both.
The project will result in a variety of outputs, including a report series addressed to both EU and Indian policy makers, a variety of local level consultations, two large international conferences, a series of scholarly articles and working papers for the research community, and a scholarly book. A high-profile web forum will be developed to enhance communication between researchers, policy makers, practitioners and the wider public.