Policy Briefs

Commentary on conflict-related political issues and events, with a focus on policy recommendations for political decision-makers, opinion-formers and influential civil society actors.

Handbook

Handbook

The Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformation is our flagship publication. Continuously updated, this renowned resource offers an online platform for both academics and practitioners to discuss new ideas and exchange experiences in the field of conflict transformation. It presents stand-alone articles as well as scholar-practitioner dialogues. more >

Policy Briefs

Policy Briefs

Berghof Policy Briefs present commentary on conflict-related political issues and events. The short online format focuses on policy recommendations for political decision-makers, opinion-formers and influential civil society actors. more >

Educational & Multimedia

Educational & Multimedia

Berghof Educational & Multimedia presents teaching and training manuals as well as learning materials for working with and qualifying multipliers in our fields (teachers, workshop participants, etc.). We also produce, in cooperation with external experts, multimedia materials (videos, podcasts, DVDs, cartoons, posters, e-learning courses, etc.). more >

Papers

Papers

Berghof Papers cover policy, research and practice reports and contain selected in-depth contributions to the fields we work on. They are written by Berghof staff and invited affiliates, partners and guest researchers. more >

Annual Reports

Annual Reports

Our annual reports feature highlights and provide background information on the Berghof Foundation’s work and structure more >

Glossary

Glossary

The Berghof Glossary on Conflict Transformation defines and discusses 20 core terms related to conflict transformation, which shape the work of the Berghof Foundation. more >

Title

I Have To Speak: Voices of Female Ex-Combatants from Aceh, Burundi, Mindanao and Nepal

This booklet seeks to amplify some of the hidden and forgotten voices in conflict. These stories of female ex-combatants from diverse political, religious, ethnic and national backgrounds show that women and their experiences of armed conflict have to be taken seriously for building sustainable peace. These are their stories as they tell them to each other. Six ex-combatant women collected the stories, reflecting as they did so on their reasons for joining the movements, their time as women in war, and how their lives unfolded once peace was restored. Theirs are stories of friendship and camaraderie, of life and death, of perseverance and resistance, and of rebuilding lives after war and continuing the struggle in peaceful ways.

Il Faut Que Je Parle: Paroles d'Anciennes Combattantes d'Aceh, du Burundi, de Mindanao et du...

Cette brochure cherche à amplifier certaines des voix cachées et oubliées dans les conflits. Ces histoires d'ex-combattantes d'origines politiques, religieuses, ethniques et nationales diverses montrent que les femmes et leurs expériences des conflits armés doivent être prises au sérieux pour construire une paix durable. Ce sont leurs histoires telles qu'elles se les racontent. Six ex-combattantes ont recueilli ces histoires, réfléchissant ainsi aux raisons qui les ont poussées à rejoindre les mouvements, à l'époque où elles étaient des femmes dans la guerre et à la façon dont leur vie s'est déroulée une fois la paix rétablie. Ce sont des histoires d'amitié et de camaraderie, de vie et de mort, de persévérance et de résistance, et de reconstruction de vies après la guerre et de poursuite de la lutte de manière pacifique.

Saya Harus Bicara: Suara Para Perempuan Eks-kombatan dari Aceh, Burundi, Mindanao dan Nepal

Buku ini bertujuan untuk menguatkan suara dari kisah-kisah yang tersembunyi dan terlupakan dalam konflik. Kisah-kisah dari para perempuan eks-kombatan dari beragam latar belakang politik, agama, etnis dan bangsa ini menunjukkan bahwa perempuan dan pengalaman mereka dalam konflik bersenjata harus disimak dengan serius jika hendak membangun perdamaian yang berkelanjutan. Ini adalah kisah mereka sebagaimana yang dituturkan mereka kepada satu sama lain. Enam perempuan eks-kombatan mengumpulkan narasi, merefleksikan alasan mereka bergabung ke dalam gerakan, masa yang mereka lalui sebagai perempuan di peperangan, dan bagaimana hidup mereka terbentang begitu damai terwujud. Kisah mereka adalah tentang persahabatan dan kebersamaan, hidup dan mati, kegigihan dan perlawanan, serta membangun ulang kehidupan setelah perang dan melanjutkan perjuangan dengan cara-cara damai.

I Have To Speak: Voices of Female Ex-Combatants from Aceh, Burundi, Mindanao and Nepal (नेपाली भाषा)

NE नेपाली भाषा: This booklet seeks to amplify some of the hidden and forgotten voices in conflict. These stories of female ex-combatants from diverse political, religious, ethnic and national backgrounds show that women and their experiences of armed conflict have to be taken seriously for building sustainable peace. These are their stories as they tell them to each other. Six ex-combatant women collected the stories, reflecting as they did so on their reasons for joining the movements, their time as women in war, and how their lives unfolded once peace was restored. Theirs are stories of friendship and camaraderie, of life and death, of perseverance and resistance, and of rebuilding lives after war and continuing the struggle in peaceful ways.

(Ne pas) dialoguer avec les groupes « jihadistes » au Mali ? Étude de Cas

Au Mali, dès la fin de l’année 2012, la question du dialogue avec les groupes d’expression jihadiste, labélisés terroristes, a constitué une sorte de zone grise, voir un tabou qui cristallise et interroge les contradictions normatives et pratiques des régimes d’exclusion ainsi que leur impact tant sur la trajectoire de la violence que sur la résolution du conflit. A ce titre, le contexte malien fait face à une situation historique tout aussi complexe qu’inédite. Les groupes jihadistes renferment dans l’imaginaire collectif, et de manière quasi « organique », l’objet inacceptable, le lieu où aucun pont ne peut être jeté. Cette impossible altérité que légalise la posture d’exclusion au dialogue, entrave l’exploration d’une sortie de crise qui prendrait en compte l’engagement de ces groupes en vue du règlement du conflit. Cette étude organisée en quatre chapitres explore la question de l’inclusivité des groupes jihadistes, à travers plusieurs aspects.

Keywords: Mali, dialogue, jihadistes

Expert Roundtable on Salafi jihadi armed groups: De-escalation trajectories and dialogue engagement...

On December 11, 2019, the Berghof Foundation hosted a confidential expert workshop on “Salafi jihadi armed groups – (De)escalation trajectories and dialogue engagement”, with funding and support by the German Foundation for Peace Research and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. This workshop aimed to discuss findings and policy implications from a two-year research project based on in-depth interviews with experts and practitioners in/on Mali, Syria and Somalia. It also offered a space for peer-exchange and mutual learning between organisations active in the field of dialogue engagement with Salafi-jihadi armed groups, including governments, international organisations and INGOs. Discussions addressed questions such as: What are specific ‘ripeness’ factors and entry-points for dialogue with Islamist armed groups, in order to reduce violence or pave the way for a peaceful political settlement? What is the role of ideology and religious-based dialogue in incentivizing behavioural de-escalation? What strategies are helpful in fostering a conducive environment for engagement, while mitigating spoiling behaviour within the (global) Salafi jihadi scene? What are future options for dialogue engagement by local bridge-builders as well as international third parties? This workshop report summarises the content and outcomes of these discussions.

Challenges and opportunities for conflict resolution with Salafi jihadi armed groups – Policy brief

This policy brief highlights recommendations for evidence-based policy making on pathways to conflict de-escalation with Salafi jihadi armed groups. It proposes a more nuanced public discussion of the topic. This brief draws mainly on the research report “Dialogue with Salafi jihadi armed groups: Challenges and opportunities for conflict de-escalation” which concludes a two-year research project based on case studies in Somalia, Syria and Mali.

Les groupes armés salafi-djihadistes et la (dés)escalade des conflits: Le cas d’Ansar Dine au Mali

Lorsqu'en 2012, le conflit violent éclate au Mali, le groupe armé salafi-djihadiste (GASD) Ansar Dine devient rapidement l'un de ses principaux protagonistes. Son chef Iyad Ag Ghaly a conservé un rôle de premier plan au sein de l'entité Jamāʿat nuṣrat al-islām wal-muslimīn (groupe de soutien à l'Islam et aux Musulmans, JNIM) formée en mars 2017. Cette étude de cas analyse trois tournants stratégiques opérés par Ansar Dine (puis par le JNIM), et souligne une évolution non linéaire vers une escalade progressive du conflit, tant au niveau de l’expansion géographique qu’au niveau de l’intensité de la violence. L'étude explore les dynamiques organisationnels et idéologiques qui ont contribué à ce changement de comportement tels que les rapports de pouvoir à l’intérieur du groupe, ainsi que le rôle de facteurs externes qui ont influencé les choix stratégiques d'Ansar Dine. L'étude conclut en explorant les possibles scénarios futurs de désamorçage du conflit.

Improving Community Safety in Contested Spaces: A Handbook for Syrian Civil Society Actors (English)

The handbook is designed to help civil society actors in contested spaces and conflict settings provide safety for their communities. It outlines the key principles of the community safety approach and provides practical guidance on how to identify security challenges and how to implement strategies to counter them. The handbook was originally developed for civil society actors in Syria, but it can also be used in other contexts. The handbook is currently also available in Arabic.

Keywords: Community Safety, handbook, conflict analysis, security providers, arms proliferation, casualties, shelling, local service delivery, armed groups, action planning, community engagement

Mapping of Local Governance in Yemeni Governorates

This mapping outlines the situation faced by the population in all 22 governorates of Yemen. We see this as a working draft and welcome any additions, corrections, or comments you might have. The mapping highlights the economic activities and resources that remain available and introduces the local administration and the situation of the local council in each governorate. It explores the extent to which different institutions of local authority — local councils, executive offices, and governors’ offices — continue to perform their mandates, and provides an overview of the availability of basic services, especially in the health, education, and water and sanitation sectors. The mapping is based on the review and analysis of documents, statistics, and official reports by Yemeni and international organizations, published studies and research, and interviews with local leaders in the governorates.

Keywords: Yemen, local governance, Abyan, Aden, Amran, Al-Baydha, Capital City of Sana’a, Al-Dhalea, Dhamar, Hadhramout, Hajjah, Al-Hodeidah, Ibb, Al-Jawf, Lahj, Al-Mahra, Al-Mahweet, Marib, Raymah, Sa’adah, Sana’a, Shabwah, Socotra, Taiz