Conflict Prevention and Local Engagement

Question

Please identify key recent literature on effective conflict prevention, particularly related to engagement with local communities, politicians and analysts in the country concerned.

Summary

Conflict prevention refers to approaches to avoid, minimise, and/or contain potential violent conflicts, and to prevent violent conflict from re-emerging. Engagement with local actors such as civil society, politicians, and community groups can have an important positive impact on conflict prevention, both in situations that have not yet experienced violent conflict and in post-conflict recovery and stabilisation where the objective is to prevent a return to violent conflict. The success of donor efforts for conflict prevention depends on the interaction between external interventions and local context, including the strength of the domestic constituency for peace and the perceived legitimacy of external interventions. Conflict prevention is more likely to be effective when interventions are designed to work with the domestic political settlement, identify and support domestic constituencies for peace, and feed into local initiatives (Cramer at al. 2010). For these reasons, good knowledge of and integration with local actors is important. Some specific types of interventions include the development of early warning and response systems, containing electoral violence, economic and private sector development, working with the media, and engaging with inequalities along ethnic lines.