Apr 2014

New publication explores legitimacy and peace processes

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Legitimacy matters for peace. It defines the social and political deals between states and citizens, and local leaders and communities. Conciliation Resources’ 25th publication in its Accord series focuses on the practical ways that legitimacy can help build more equitable and sustainable peace. Read the publication here

How do people beset by violence create peaceful and just societies? Our latest Accord publication describes people's endeavours and innovations to reshape their future based on nonviolent politics and equal rights.

Alexander Ramsbotham, Accord: Legitimacy and peace processes editor

Peacebuilding practitioners describe initiatives in 15 contexts, including in the Philippines, Syria, Afghanistan, the Basque Country, Somalia, Yemen and Burma. These first-hand case studies focus on four types of activity to promote political legitimacy and consensual governance: national dialogue, constitutional review, local leadership and transforming coercive actors. 

Including civilian-led grassroots structures in the transition process for Syria is a strategic necessity – to give negotiations credibility and legitimacy inside Syria and to convey an accurate representation of the Syrian “street”.

Doreen Khoury, Accord: Legitimacy and peace processes author

Applying a legitimacy “lens” in peacebuilding approaches can help to build domestic support, making lasting peace more likely. Peace initiatives are not ends in themselves, but are key parts of ongoing processes of transition, which help to facilitate progress towards more mutual systems of governance. 
Alongside the main Accord publication is a set of policy recommendations stressing the importance of seeing legitimacy as context-specific and fiercely contested in situations of violent conflict. Conciliation Resources will be promoting this latest Accord at a series of launch events in Scandinavia, Colombia, Brussels, the UK and the US over the coming months.