Cultures of Governance and Conflict Resolution in India and Europe

Launched in January 2011 and running for three years, this collaborative research project (CORE for short) was conducted by five Indian and five European research teams. Aiming to revise and improve the theoretical and operational sides of conflict resolution and peacebuilding, it critically reviewed current approaches to conflict resolution in Europe and India.

Combining case studies with theoretical innovation, the project developed a comparative understanding of European Union and Indian approaches to peacebuilding and governance. It also facilitated a reciprocal learning process between European and Indian actors and policymakers to enhance the perspectives and methods of both. The CORE case studies include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, and Georgia/Abkhazia as European cases and Bihar/Jharkhand, Northeast India and Kashmir as Indian cases.

Timeframe

2011 2013

Project Website

www.projectcore.eu

Conflict Setting

The world is currently witnessing the emergence of new forms of intra-state conflicts accompanied by a weakening of nation-states’ traditional means of dealing with them. There is a visible need to substantially revise the conventional approaches and strategies that aim to transform such conflicts. In the last two decades, conflict resolution agendas have been heavily shaped by the objective of delivering political and economic liberalisation in the name of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. However, these strategies often fail to consider the complex social and cultural contexts at the local level. This has created a gap in the understanding of how governance agendas can impact local conflict dynamics.

Approach

Through a combination of fieldwork, qualitative analysis and theory development, this project analyses the premises and operations of governance initiatives in conflict transformation processes. Its case studies review recent governance practices in Bihar, Bosnia, Cyprus, Georgia, Northeast India and Kashmir and examine what effect governance agendas have on local conflict dynamics, especially when a prominent conflict factor is identity mobilisation.

Aims & Outcomes

  • Analyse how globally articulated and networked norms, rules and policies of governance transform and affect conflicts locally,
  • Assess how and to what degree governance measures on a global, regional, state and local level impact each other in a multi-level dynamic,
  • Compare how the EU peacebuilding framework, loosely defined by the theory of liberal peace and regional integration, compares with regional strategies for dealing with conflicts in the Indian subcontinent,
  • Map a select set of governance programmes and actors assembled to address the conflicts in each case study and analyse the discourse between governance initiatives, their underpinned principles and overarching societal goals for peacebuilding in each context,
  • Improve knowledge and understanding of cultural dynamics in current governance, peace and development practices in India and Europe.

During the project, the consortium partners produced extensive field research reports, analytical reports and policy briefs, often in joint collaboration. All documents were delivered to the European Commission and are available on the CORE project website. The reports’ target audience includes policymakers, academics and practitioners in the field of conflict resolution. Also, a book is scheduled for publication in October 2014 on “Government of Peace: Governance, Security, and the Problematic of Peace” (Ashgate, edited by Ranabir Samaddar). The policy reports published by the Peace Research Institute Oslo are available here.

Regions

The CORE case studies focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia/Abkhazia, Bihar/Jharkhand, Northeast India and Jammu and Kashmir.

Partners

The project was implemented with:

  • Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA)
  • Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG)
  • Banaras Hindu University, Malaviya Centre for Peace Research (MCPR)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance (CSLG)
  • University of Delhi (DU), Department of Political Science
  • Central European University (CEU), The Department of International Relations and European Studies (IRES)
  • The Institute for International Affairs (IAI)
  • Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
  • University of Manchester (UNIMAN)

Funders

The project was funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.

Final CORE Conference and Dissemination Seminar in Brussels

Colleagues of the Berghof Foundation attended the final international conference for the EU-funded project “The role of governance in the resolution of socioeconomic and political conflict in India and Europe (CORE)” in Brussels in December 2013. The conference and dissemination seminar allowed the project partners from Europe and India to reflect on the extensive knowledge the project had generated along with EU policymakers and other invited guests, including academics, peace practitioners and Indian representatives. The project’s implications for research, theory and practice within the field of conflict resolution were discussed and policy recommendations were given.

Disseminating our Findings

The international seminar “Cultures of governance and conflict resolution in Europe and India” was held in New Delhi, India in November 2013. The two-day seminar allowed the consortium partners to reflect with invited Indian academics and peace practitioners on the extensive knowledge the three-year research project had generated and to discuss its implications for research, theory and practice in conflict resolution.

Final Project Workshop in Cyprus

The CORE final workshop was held in Nicosia, Cyprus in October 2013. This workshop was the final opportunity for project partners to come together and discuss the project’s themes and concerns before the final international conference in Delhi. The second day was used for a discussion with Maria Hadjipavlou, Professor at the Social and Political Science Department of the University of Cyprus, and Ahmet Sözen, Professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Eastern Mediterranean University, both of whom have been active in conflict resolution in Cyprus for many years.

CORE Mid-Term Conference in India

The CORE “Mid-term conference and conversation with civil society on the role of governance in conflict resolution” was hosted by the Malaviya Centre for Peace Research at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India in March 2012. The conference brought together representatives from all ten partner institutions from Europe and India. The first day was devoted to internal discussions and presentations on the current fieldwork. The second day, civil-society leaders, academics and members of the EU-delegation in India were asked to participate in an open conference on the role of governance in conflict resolution.

All Partners Gather for CORE Workshop in Berlin

The CORE Workshop on “The socio-cultural and political premises of European and Indian initiatives in areas of conflict transition/resolution” was held at the Berghof Conflict Research in Berlin, Germany in June 2011. This internal workshop brought together all ten partner institutions from Europe and India to discuss the project’s theoretical framework and set the agenda for the six case studies’ field research.

Berghof's CORE Publications

  • Janel B. Galvanek & Samir Kumar Das: Learning from Governance Initiatives for Conflict Resolution: Local Agency, Inclusive Dialogue and Developmentality. 2014. PDF >
  • Anna Bernhard: Dynamics of Relations Between Different Actors when Building Peace: The Role of Hybridity. 2013. PDF >

  • Anna Bernhard & Janel B. Galvanek: The Importance of Dialogical Relations and Local Agency in Governance Initiatives for Conflict Resolution. CORE Policy Brief 09/2013. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. PDF >
  • Janel B. Galvanek: Translating Peacebuilding Rationalities into Practice: Local Agency and Everyday Resistance. 2013. PDF >
  • Janel B. Galvanek, Hans J. Giessmann & Mir Mubashir (Eds.): Norms and Premises of Peace Governance: Socio-Cultural Commonalities and Differences in Europe and India. 2012. Arbeitspapier / Occasional Paper No. 32. Hardcopy >

CORE Publications by our Project Partners

  • Atig Ghosh: Governing Conflict and Peacebuilding in India's Northeast and Bihar. CORE Policy Brief 08/2013. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. Link >
  • Imran Amin & Amit Prakash: Conflict, Governance and Development. CORE Policy Brief 07/2013. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. Link >
  • Sumona DasGupta & Priyanka Singh: Village Council Elections in Jammu and Kashmir. CORE Policy Brief 06/2013. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. Link >
  • Nona Mikhelize: Opening the Russian-Georgia Railway Link. CORE Policy Brief 05/2013. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. Link >
  • Elida Kristine Undrum Jacobsen & Priyanka Vij: India's National Biometric ID Scheme. CORE Policy Brief 04/2013. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. Link >
  • Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya, Priyankar Upadhyaya & Ajay Kumar Yadav: Interrogating Peace in Meghalaya. CORE Policy Brief 03/2013. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. Link >
  • Birte Vogel & Oliver P. Richmond: Enabling Civil Society in Conflict Resolution. CORE Policy Brief 02/2013. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. Link >
  • Elena B. Stavrevska: Ensuring Political Representation in a Restructured Bosnia and Herzegovina. CORE Policy Brief 01/2013. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. Link >