PEACE PROCESS AND MEDIATION SUPPORT
The second module focuses on Peace Processes and Mediation Support as a central component of contemporary peace work in Asia. It defines the structures, roles and complex dynamics of peace processes and the functions of mediation, while drawing on illustrations from case studies from around the region.
This module takes a systems perspective on peace processes to expand its definition and our understanding of them beyond the negotiation table to explore the diversity of ways peace processes (defined broadly) can be supported by a variety of actors across different levels. This module utilises the wealth of knowledge, expertise, experiences and networks of the Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies.
In the analysis of peace processes, the concept of “peace process” is unpacked from a systems perspective, acknowledging that to support a peace process does not necessarily entail being at the official negotiation table.
This module builds upon the work and research of CPCS in many peace processes across the region. Based on this research, particular importance is placed on the role of trust in peace processes, especially in regards to the involvement of Non-State Armed Groups.
Further, the Role of the Self and its relationship to considerations of power is addressed through turning attention to how the daily concerns of power dynamics are inherent in interpersonal relationships; the enhanced importance of power relationships in peace processes; and one’s own felt understanding of personal, spiritual, or energetic power are interconnected. This intersection is addressed by building upon different understandings of the warrior archetype to discuss ways of balancing the demands on the peace worker’s own energy and that needed by the work.
The students learn to develop the analytical ability to understand power dynamics and their influence in a conflict system. On a practical level, students learn conflict mapping and analysis as a means to more clearly understand how power functions in the contexts in which they work. These power dynamics exist because all of the actors in a system are in relation.
The students, at whatever level their peace work occurs, are also fundamentally working on relationships. This relational work requires a tremendous amount of personal power; the degree to which they are able to approach power dynamics in a conflict is related to their own sense of empowerment. When students form their own understanding based on their own experiences of the relationship between power dynamics and personal power, they develop their own ways of empowering themselves.