Field Research for “Peaceful Co-existence” Project

Field research has now been carried out in all three case study countries (Colombia, Liberia, Northeast India) for the project “Peaceful Coexistence? ‘Traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ conflict resolution mechanisms”, which is funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research. The project analyzes in detail the forms and patterns of coexistence between traditional (indigenous, local, community-based, etc.) approaches to conflict resolution and non-traditional (imported, liberal, state-based, Western, etc.) approaches to conflict resolution. It looks specifically at how these traditional forms exist and interact with the various non-traditional, or state-based, forms that are present in the community or region and analyzes the impact that forms of coexistence have on the communities and their conflict resolution processes.

In June and July of this year, field research was conducted by Katrin Planta in the Guajira District of Colombia.  Katrin spoke with key actors of the indigenous conflict resolution system, community members, local state representatives involved in dispute resolution as well as with key ministry staff and researchers. For the case study in Northeast India, our partners at the Malaviya Centre for Peace Research (MCPR) at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India, Dr. Anjoo Sharan and Dr. Priyankar Upadhyaya, carried out field research in the state of Meghalaya during the summer.

Janel B. Galvanek conducted fieldwork in Liberia during September, specifically in both Monrovia and Bong County. Janel spoke with customary leaders, representatives from international and local organisations, community leaders, government officials and community members. Three individual case study reports, highlighting and analysing the field research in all three cases, will be published in December 2015. A comparative report, including policy recommendations for national governments of (post)-conflict countries with large populations with traditional structures, as well as for peace practitioners working in the field, will be published in June 2016.