On 9 and 10 April 2015, at the final conference of the international Institutions for Sustainable Peace network, scientists and politicians will discuss institutions that create peace.
Institutional reforms in post-war and divided societies aim to mitigate conflict risks that emerge from the misalignment between a society and its institutional designs. These reforms typically address problems such as the exclusion of minorities, the lack of accountability and legitimacy of political authorities, and the inefficiency of existing institutions in addressing social problems such as inequality and basic provision of services.
Such institution building is often path dependent: pre-war institutions continue to function during conflict and post-war periods, while new political institutions are build in parallel to the old ones. This creates new tensions if, for instance, traditional chiefdom structures of authority are to be replaced by elections. The creation of institutional arrangements after war is also often influenced by the dynamics of armed conflict: war lords, to name only one example, are rewarded with a seat at the negotiation and often the government table.
How can local and international actors design institutions that promote peace in post-war situations? What challenges do practitioners face when dealing with ongoing tensions between former warring parties or when facing the task to build up a new country after a long-lasting war? What are the ingredients of successful peace- and statebuilding?
The Institutions for Sustainable Peace (ISP) Network discusses these questions. During its final Conference, taking place at the GIGA from 9-10 April 2015, the ISP Network participants will summarize the main findings and formulate policy recommendations for institutional reforms in the five areas of state institutions. Thus, the network will engage in a dialogue with representatives of international and national institutions as well as NGOs working on institutional reform in post-conflict societies and draw conclusions for the policy community.