“Fit for negotiation? Options and risks in the political transformation of non-conventional armed groups” is a new report by Berghof staff Katrin Planta and Dr. Véronique Dudouet, as part of a series on “non-conventional armed violence”, commissioned by the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center (NOREF) and the Clingendael Institute.
The report addresses the following questions: Is it possible to envisage the use of political incentives as bargaining chips when negotiating with organised crime networks, youth gangs and other ‘unconventional’ violent actors? What types of political incentives could be provided and what challenges might they represent for democracy? What are possible implications for national and international actors willing to consider new engagement options with non-conventional armed groups?
The authors argue that many principles of engagement with conflict parties in more traditional intra-state war contexts can be fruitfully transferred to the ambit of non-conventional armed actors, but offering incentives for political conversion or reconversion must be approached with great care. This can be done by addressing the particularities of the actors in question, such as their level of social legitimacy and the coherence of their political agenda, as well as the specificities of the context in which they operate, including whether a formal peace process is under way.
The report can be accessed here: www.clingendael.nl/publication/violence-politics-transforming-non-conventional-armed-groups