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2020 Accord publication on the early phases of peace processes: Opportunity to contribute

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    Craig Zelizer

    2020 Accord publication on the early phases of peace processes: Opportunity to contribute

    Cate Buchanan

    Conciliation Resources is developing an Accord publication for publication in January/February 2020. The focus is on early informal pathways and processes that contribute to more formal or structured processes and outcomes (e.g. peace negotiations & agreements, ceasefires, electoral or parliamentary reform, formal transition of power) in conflict affected contexts.

    The Accord will explore pathways and efforts to prepare the ground for peace talks and political solutions to violent conflict or instability. Getting adversaries to talk is a priority – and often the first hurdle. How peace talks are prepared affects how effective, transformative and sustainable they are, for example in relation to gender equality. Much preparatory work is needed to convince state and non-state armed actors to abandon unilateral, coercive approaches and seek a negotiated settlement. This is incremental work prone to stasis, as well as crisis and flux. It may be conducted via proxies or trusted interlocutors and not always be face to face. This work can involve individuals with respect and credibility at the local and sub-national level; people who were/are ‘in the right place at the right time’ to support approaches to conflict resolution; or it might include an external actor or entity who places a decisive role.

    Conciliation Resources aims to focus on practice, trends and debates related to: exploring transforming relationships among belligerents; pursuing dialogue across and through multiple tracks; engaging constituencies, local populations and political blocs; developing jurisdictional or political space for dialogue (e.g. peace or de-escalation zones); supporting non-state armed groups to engage in non-violent politics or reorienting national militaries to reimagine ‘victory’.

    About the Accord series: Accord publications are policy and practitioner-informed and targeted. They aim to offer ideas, inspiration, lessons and observations for the global peacebuilding community. The publication will be peer-reviewed and include 18 articles of varying length. Some articles will be commissioned from this call for proposals.

    Call for proposals: This call is primarily targeted at practitioners and practice-oriented analysts particularly from war and conflict-affected contexts including Diaspora communities. These can be written by individuals or co-authored. An honorarium is offered for drafting the articles and responding to the editorial process including peer review comments. We welcome brief description of themes and issues including but not limited to:

    • Engaging case studies: Context specific analytical description of the techniques, actors, timeframes and strategies to promote dialogue and non-violent engagement; how pathways to peace were built by various actors at the local, sub-national or national level.
    • Innovations: Inclusion innovations and adaptations – not ‘why’ but how was inclusion strengthened or improved or managed in the first place; improvements in the area of peace process support including by international organisations and donors; violence reduction agreements and entry points for political engagement. 
    • Principles and norms into action: Conflict sensitive peacemaking – what does this mean in practice; the Sustaining Peace agenda and local mediation efforts; critical analysis of the inclusion agenda and its relevance (e.g. women peace and security & youth peace and security, intersectionality).
    • Peacebuilding practice: Articles challenging the contemporary practice and logic of peacebuilding with suggestions for how practice can be transformed and/or strengthened; the roles and impacts of ‘donor do-ers’ in peace processes – an assessment of current practice and trends in this area.
    • Trends and challenges across an array of themes:
    • conflict parties, new forms and types of armed actors, insurgencies and motivations;
    • impact of anti-terrorism laws and policies on peacemaking; results-based funding of peace and security initiatives; direct involvement of donors in peace processes;
    • addressing chronicity in peace processes, stuck and stalled processes and efforts to get them back on track or on to other tracks; competition in the peacemaking sector/industry;
    • exploring the pros and cons of social cohesion as a concept and practice in peacebuilding;
    • violent extremism and impacts on dialogue promotion;
    • shifts in the funding landscape and impacts on early phases of peace processes;
    • religious engagement and leadership; 
    • perspectives on institutions; approaches and roles in contemporary peacemaking (the UN; regional organisations – the African Union, League of American States etc.; formal religious entities – Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Holy See).

    We are open to additional suggestions.

    Deadline: This call for proposals is open until 30 June. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling-basis thus early submission is encouraged.


    • We welcome younger women and men pairing with a more established practitioner and/or analyst;
    • We also welcome co-authoring by a Northern analyst with a southern practitioner who may otherwise not have the time or bandwidth to write a reflective article;
    • We encourage less exposed or well-known individuals to take this opportunity to contribute perspectives;
    • If you would like to submit an article in a language other than English, please let us know; 
    • An honorarium is provided dependent on the length of the article;
    • Each article will be peer reviewed;
    • There will be at least three versions of the article before the final version is agreed;
    • We are also interested to hear if you would like to be a peer reviewer instead of a writer. This may suit those who do have the time to write but are interested to contribute in other ways.

    If you are interested: Please send by 30 June your CV/s and a one-page letter to outlining the focus of the article, why it is a compelling theme and the methods you propose and confirming your ability to submit a first draft by 10 August. If you wish to be considered for a peer reviewer role, please send your CV and a short note outlining your interest to be a peer reviewer.

    Accord Team: The 2020 Accord Editor is Cate Buchanan in collaboration with Alexander Ramsbotham and Sally Holt of Conciliation Resources.

    Note: We cannot reply to all submissions and we appreciate your interest. 

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