Daring to differ? Strategies of inclusion in peacemaking

Rationales for inclusion in peacemaking theory

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Hirblinger and Landau (2020) - Daring to differ

Rationales for inclusion in peacemaking theory
Why should inclusion matter in peacemaking In this section, we identify three major rationales for inclusion, which contain assumptions about the relationship between inclusion and peace.
Each of these rationales corresponds with different framings of the included. Firstly, inclusion is advanced to build a more legitimate peace through broader participation secondly, to empower and protect specific, closely defined actor groups, promoting them as champions of peace and thirdly, to transform the social and political structures that underlie conflict. The first rationale frames the included in open terms that can accommodate a heterogeneity of identities and interests, the second in closed terms pertaining to specific identity traits and interests, and the third frames the included in relational terms that emerge within a specific social, cultural or political context.
Inclusion to build legitimacy
The first rationale for inclusion is based on the assumption that broadening participation in a peace process will make resulting peace agreements more legitimate, by ensuring the process is representative of a broader set of identities and interests. Aversion of this rationale is already evident in the literature on power-sharing, focusing on ending violence by including major conflict parties and distributing power among them (Binningsbø, 2013). Power-sharing research initially focused narrowly on the role of armed actors and political elites, seeing elite cooperation and elite bargains as an important precondition for peace (Lindemann, 2008, 2011; Mehler, 2009; Norris, 2008). The question of inclusion further focused on so-called spoilers actors that can derail agreements if excluded (Blaydes and De Maio, 2010; Nilsson, 2008; Nilsson and Söderberg Kovacs, 2011;
Reiter, 2016). From this perspective, horizontal inclusion of all – usually armed – actors ensures that incentives are not created for those left out to destabilize an agreement (Raffoul, 2019). Beyond ending violence, power-sharing agreements also aim to build more legitimate political arrangements by distributing power among and between conflict parties and their constituencies (Hartzell

Security Dialogue 51(4)
and Hoddie, 2003, 2015; Hoddie, 2014; Spears, 2000). However, the scope of inclusion is now usually extended beyond armed elite actors, based on the argument that broadened participation makes peace processes more legitimate and agreements more likely to be implemented (Bell and
O’Rourke, 2007; Nilsson, 2012; Paffenholz, 2010; Wanis-St. John, 2008). From this vantage point, civil society plays an especially important role in making peace processes more transparent and holding conflict parties accountable (Nilsson, 2012; Zanker, 2014), and has been found to increase the durability of peace, particularly in nondemocratic societies (Nilsson Inclusion as a means to build legitimacy also features in debates about the importance of national or local ownership in political transitions to peace (Chesterman, 2007). The principle of ownership builds on the assumption that the success of any reform process depends on the extent to which it is perceived as legitimate by those who have to live with the outcomes (Donais, 2009: 121), and seeks to reconcile international peacebuilding agendas with the participation of local actors in order to build legitimate, popular peace (Roberts, 2011). For mediators, this raises the question of which actors need to be included in order to reach legitimate peace agreements (MSN, a 4). However, more critical scholars argue that the discourse of local ownership is largely used as a tool to legitimize international activities in conflict-affected contexts, pointing to the symbolic and discursive value of calls for broader inclusion and participation (von Billerbeck, 2016; Kappler and
Lemay-Hérbert, 2015). As we demonstrate below, calls for inclusion that aim to build legitimacy through broad participation generally use open and vague framings of the included, leaving their translation into tangible policy options open. Legitimacy-seeking inclusion is thus unable to identify the antagonistic differences at the core of the armed conflict. However, given the fact that seats at the negotiation table are limited, any efforts to make peace processes more broadly inclusive will face the challenge of reconciling the positions of more narrowly defined actor groups.

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