Feb 2019

New Accord explores inclusion in peace processes

Drawing on the research and experiences of peacebuilding professionals from around the world, the latest Conciliation Resources’ Accord publication explores the challenges and opportunities for inclusion in peace processes

There is a broad global consensus that inclusion matters in peace processes. And that this does not mean including all of the people all of the time, but making informed decisions about who should be included and how. The challenge now is to better understand what this means in practice, what the barriers to inclusion are, and how these can be overcome.

Andy Carl is the editor of the new Accord publication, titled Navigating Inclusion in Peace Processes:

Finding better ways to build more inclusive, just and robust peace processes is an urgent and shared global challenge. Inclusion in peace processes is supported and resisted in equal measure. Where we see demands for representation and acknowledgement, we also see resistance to the participation of others in political negotiations. This Accord publication shows how rich the discussions around inclusion are, and how the debates have shifted.

The 28th Accord publication includes 19 new articles on the topic of inclusion, authored by a wide range of peacebuilding experts, including grassroots activists, academics, and high-level peace negotiators. The diverse authors in this publication offer research and practice-based insights that help us to better understand what we mean when we talk about inclusion in peace processes, and what we need to consider in the ways we pursue it.

Young people in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir, share their perspectives on peace and conflict. 

The publication also brings together findings and research from the Political Settlements Research Programme (PRSP)  – a four-year programme exploring how international and national interventions can more effectively support inclusive political settlements in fragile and conflict-affected states. In particular, the research has focused on who should be included in peace negotiations, why and how, and what tensions exist between different types of inclusion.

Structured around three main areas, the publication addresses some of the practical challenges around inclusion:


  • Frameworks for understanding inclusion in peace processes: In the first section, authors explore how to navigate the challenges, dilemmas and opportunities for inclusive peace. For example, there are discussions on gendered political settlements; youth, peace and security; and the opportunities that monitoring peace processes can provide for including previously marginalised groups. John Paul Lederach also looks at the core question of how people in conflict environments can meaningfully participate in decisions that influence their lives.
  • Inclusion in practice in national peace processes: Focusing on two case studies – Colombia and Nepal –¬ this section examines how more inclusive representation, processes and outcomes have been attempted in the two peace processes, where social, political and economic marginalisation lay at the roots of both armed conflicts. This section includes chapters from the former High Commissioner for Peace in Colombia, Sergio Jaramillo, as well as representatives of diaspora and indigenous communities.
  • Inclusion in practice in sub- and supra-national peace processes: Looking at examples from Turkey, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria and Afghanistan, the final section explores international and sub-national dimensions of navigating inclusion in peace processes. Marie-Joëlle Zahar and Sara Helmüller present challenges of civil society inclusion in peace efforts in Syria, and Michael Semple examines how international engagement has affected inclusion in peacemaking in Afghanistan.

The new publication can be read online or downloaded for free here.