JICA Ogata Research Institute

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Contextualizing the Sustaining Peace Approach in Contemporary Armed Conflicts: From High-Level International Mediation to Pragmatic Peacebuilding Initiatives in Syria

This paper considers the importance of pragmatism and adaptiveness amidst the changing nature of violent armed conflicts, and recognizes that peace needs to emerge fundamentally from within conflict-affected situations while being assisted by international actors such as multilateral organizations, bilateral agencies, and international non-governmental organizations. Through the examination of international cooperation for peace in the context of the Syrian armed conflict, between 2011 and 2015 when no ceasefire or dominant party was foreseen, this study argues that due to the complexity and ineffectiveness of high-level international mediation, pragmatic peacebuilding initiatives represent an alternative along Syria’s pathway to sustaining peace.

JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute Senior Research Fellow Muto Ako and Research Fellow Rui Saraiva underline that emerging peacebuilding narratives and current armed conflict trends are leading peacebuilding actors to highlight the need for coordination, pragmatism, adaptation to complex situations, and the inclusion of national and local actors. In the face of challenging trends, sustaining peace and peacebuilding require greater flexibility and politically viable short-term and medium-term actions.

This article was published in a special edition dedicated to “peacebuilding and human security” of the Journal of Human Security Studies, edited by Furuzawa Yoshiaki at Hiroshima City University.

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