Selected in-depth contributions to the fields we work on, written by Berghof staff and invited affiliates, partners and guest researchers.


National Dialogue Handbook (Arabic)

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Manual de Diálogos Nacionales. Guía para practicantes

La Fundación Berghof ha elaborado el presente Manual de Diálogos Nacionales en colaboración con la Fundación Suiza para la Paz. En él se plasman los resultados de un estudio pormenorizado al que han contribuido numerosas partes interesadas y académicos.

The Youth Space of Dialogue and Mediation in Myanmar

Case Study Report

This paper is part of a broader exploratory study on the youth space of dialogue and mediation. Young people’s efforts in transforming conflict across the globe are abundant and are to some extent documented. In conflict research, however, there is a lack of reflection on the particularities of the youth approach and contribution to dialogue and mediation processes. In an attempt to offer some preliminary reflection, this paper explores the youth space of dialogue and mediation — its characteristics, dynamics, dimensions, challenges and potential — in the context of Myanmar. The overall study’s conceptual framework embodies a broad understanding of dialogue and mediation, in contrast with the otherwise narrow understanding of ‘official’, high level dialogue and mediation employed by diplomats and international mediators as ‘tools’ for ‘resolving’ conflict. The study analyses socially embedded processes of everyday conflict transformation and peacebuilding efforts by young people from the whole of society, and highlights those efforts that are dialogic and mediative — in terms of approaches and/or in creating the preconditions for further structured dialogue and mediation processes.

Curbing Violence. Development, Application, and the Sustaining of National Capacities for Conflict...


Contributing to the new World Bank’s Flagship Study "Pathways for Peace. Inclusive Approaches fo Preventing Violent Conflict", this research study sheds light on and draws lessons from cases wherein specific national and related sub-national capacities for the prevention of violent political and social conflict were developed and applied by key domestic actors in internally-led processes of conflict prevention. In doing so, the research has focused on countries where complementary external support was provided through NGOs or by governments primarily under the development assistance umbrella. Hence, insights and recommendations from this research may also feed back into the Joint UNDP-DPA Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention. The Flagship study "Pathways for Peace. Inclusive Approaches fo Preventing Violent Conflict" is available here>

From Power Mediation to Dialogue Support? Assessing the European Union's Capabilities for...

Research Report

This paper presents results from the European Union Horizon 2020-funded project “Whole-of-Society Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding”(WOSCAP). It is one of three cross-country comparative assessments of EU capabilities for conflict prevention and peacebuilding with regards to various thematic ‘clusters’ of external intervention. The other two comparative studies deal with EU support for security sector reform and decentralisation reform. The empirical contents are primarily based on field research carried out by local partner organisations in Mali, Yemen, Georgia and Ukraine. For more information on the WOSCAP project, see the website

Basics of Dialogue Facilitation

Educational & Multimedia

This small booklet aims at providing some guidance, inspiration and practical tools for those who are engaged in the planning and facilitation of dialogue processes or who are advocating for dialogue as a means for solving conflict. Initially, the publication started out as a handout, sharing insights into setting up and conducting constructive dialogues around contentious issues specifically in contexts of violence-prone conflict. Norbert Ropers, together with numerous insider mediators and external experts, drew it together based on joint decades of experience in accompanying and facilitating such constructive conversations and negotiations. Its audience were first and foremost local practitioners. The "handout" subsequently met with great interest and has been translated into Arabic and in parts into Spanish and Thai. Among the wealth of works on dialogue facilitation and methodology, its simplicity and its focus on working in settings of political and sometimes violence-prone conflict settings have set it apart.

ETA’s disarmament in the context of international DDR guidelines. Lessons learnt from an innovative...

Transitions Series No. 12

This report presents a unique perspective on a unique experience that can inspire local and international peacebuilding practitioners in many parts of the world where armed conflicts are still raging or where peace processes are grappling with the intricacies of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) processes.The Permanent Social Forum has been one of the agents driving the disarmament process of ETA that culminated in the Disarmament Day on 8 April 2017 in Bayonne.

Transitional Security Arrangements: A Comparative Perspective

Security Dialogue Project - Background Paper

What can Cyprus learn from comparable cases? How have other settlements addressed security challenges, including the need for external guarantees and protection of human security? This paper draws on a range of settlements, but pays particular attention to other conflicts that include a de facto state or have been characterised by significant kin-state/patron-state involvement. Like the Cyprus conflict, these are at the extreme end of the spectrum of territorial solutions, which calls for creative solutions that fudge the issue of sovereignty. The paper finds a lack of examples of robust security guarantees being provided by a patron state, but there are examples of softer guarantees. The paper also considers other forms of guarantees that can supplement, or in some cases replace, external security guarantees. This includes the use of phases, built-in targets and conditions. The paper concludes by considering security within the state’s constituent units, in particular protections for local minorities.

Multi-Communal Security Force for United Cyprus

Security Dialogue Project - Background Paper

The purpose of this article is to present the concept of the ‘Multi-Communal Security Force’ (MCSF) and key considerations for future policy design on the issue in Cyprus. It is developed out of (1) a comparative analysis with other post-conflict societies – South Africa and Lebanon – who successfully shared military power by integrating former antagonist groups. It also builds on the author's reflections from previous (2) empirical research on militarism, masculinity and nationalism in Cyprus, (3) policy work for the Cyprus Ministry of Defense, and (4) for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, as well as from (5) evaluation and assessment of the defence institutions of Cyprus with Transparency International.

Gender and Inclusive Security: A new approach to the Cyprus Problem within the framework on Security...

Security Dialogue Project - Background Paper

In the 57 years since the inception of the Republic of Cyprus, only three Greek Cypriot women have so far had any kind of involvement and impact in the peace process, with the situation being worse as far as the Turkish Cypriot community is concerned, where the corresponding number is a feeble one. Putting aside the obvious moral argument, this paper emphasizes a utilitarian approach to the necessity of applying a gender lens onto peace and security in the case of Cyprus. It proposes that a new dialectic should infuse the ongoing security dialogue between the two communities, the guarantor states and the international mediation team – that of inclusive security. That approach, it is argued, could not only leed to better outcomes, but also improve the long-term sustainability and political effectiveness of such outcomes.