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FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam

EUI - Faith-based actors in international conflict resolution

Awarded: NOK 2.3 mill.

Recent decades have witnessed an increased political and academic interest in the peace-making potential of religion, as a response to the well-established links between religion and conflict. This interest has generated important knowledge on the potential of local religious leaders to create a social environment ?conducive to peace?; however, the issue of religious actors in international conflict resolution ? and their particular nature and impact ? remains relatively understudied. The issue of faith-based mediation is interesting because it is located at the intersection between different fields of ?practice? (and, consequently, academic literatures): faith-based politics, conflict resolution and international relations. As such, it requires an interdisciplinary approach that addresses both the micro-practices of faith-based mediation as well as its impact on international politics. Indeed, the phenomenon triggers a number of interesting questions of relevance both for the mediation literature and the IR literature concerned with religion: How do the practices and methodologies of faith-based mediators differ from those of ?conventional? mediators? What does the religious ?competence? or identity of faith-based actors ?mean? in the context of international conflict resolution (when it is necessarily decontextualized or ?applied? transnationally) - and what are its main functions? How do faith-based international mediators position themselves vis-à-vis official bodies of conflict resolution and how do they impact international relations? The aim of this project is two-fold. First, it seeks to develop a practice-oriented approach to faith-based mediation, drawing upon analytical concepts from mediation theory and practice theory. Secondly, it seeks to apply this framework through an empirical case study of the Catholic organization Sant?Egidio and their mediation initiative in Algeria in the 1990s.

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FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam