University of California, Irvine
convened thirty researchers and practitioners, both "outside"
facilitators, and "insiders," to compare experiences working
in public peace processes and to analyze their impact. Most participants
came from areas where there has been violent conflict, slow progress
toward peace, and numerous initiatives in official and unofficial diplomacy.
They are peacebuilders in Kosovo, Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland,
Cyprus, Georgia/Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Moldova/Transdniestria.
Other participants came from the Korean and African-American communities
of Los Angeles who have been working on bridge building before and
the riots, and from various ethnic communities in Orange County who
are interested in finding ways to prevent interethnic violence in neighborhoods
where tensions have been rising. They examined and compared their experiences,
along with people who have been working with these initiatives as outside
facilitators and researchers, and an official diplomat with experience
in several of the cases.
much about how outside facilitators go about their work as intervenors,
and less about how the people who participate in the initiatives perceive
these efforts and how their communities are impacted. Therefore participants
traced the link between these citizen peace initiatives and change,
or the absence of change, in the communities. They discussed better
ways to get information from these interventions up to the policy makers,
as well as down to the ordinary citizens who can form stronger peace
participants presented case-specific in-depth knowledge about citizen
peacebuilding initiatives. We are now evaluating these case studies
using comparative methodologies to help identify recurring patterns
of effective and ineffective citizen peacebuilding, and to separate
general principles of action from idiosyncratic features. This will
help to uncover what does and does not work in such strategies, and
lead to more effective initiatives.See conference report.
this goal participants addressed the three research questions below:
if any changes have occurred over time in the attitudes of the participants,
the various sectors of the public, and the political leaders, internal
and external, toward official and unofficial peacebuilding?
have the official and unofficial activities interacted and influenced
have been the processes and paths through which attitudes have developed
and moved through the communities?
that this effort will assist us to further develop theory on conflict
transformation. These case studies and the comparative analysis will
be published in an edited volume.
result of the conference was the development of the Program in Citizen
Peacebuilding at UCI that is engaging the conference participants and
other outstanding peace researchers and practitioners around the world
in innovative and collaborative research, education and practice that
will advance more effective, citizen based problem-solving relations
between groups and nations to prevent, mitigate and resolve violent
To view the complete report, click here:
Conference, June 1-4, 2000