Comprehensive Approaches to an Ambiguous Subject – Festschrift for Otmar Höll
Edited By Alexander Klimburg and Jan Pospisil
Political Psychology in its Application to Conflict Mediation, Conflict Analysis and Conflict Transformation
Peace Mediation: The Challenge of Protracted Conflicts Pertti Joenniemi Introduction As will be shown in this chapter, crucial issues in the sphere of peace mediation and peacebuilding call for some rethinking. This is required, among other rea- sons, because the nature of wars and conflicts has changed profoundly. Firstly, there has been a rather steady decline in the amount of conflicts, and secondly, active conflicts – currently around 30 – do not unfold between states but are almost exclusively internal in nature. This has been the pattern already since the Cold War. In the period from 2004 to 2010, only one minor interstate conflict of a Westphalian type was recorded, namely the one between Djibouti and Eritrea in 2008, although a quarter of all of these wars had features of inter- nationalization.1 The Westphalian type of war, in which the internal and the ex- ternal are strictly divided and there is an emphasis on the monopoly of the state over violence as the basic point of departure, has basically vanished and what is left consists of “new wars”.2 In fact, much testifies to a turning point and formative moment having oc- curred in the unfolding of violence and wars. Conflicts amount to a situation be- tween war and peace, with spatial and temporal discontinuity as a standard ra- ther than an exception. They contain a considerable measure of ambiguity and, in challenging the standard assumptions of peace as normal and war as excep- tional, are reduced to zones of anomie. Moreover,...
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