Armed Conflict Project

‘Negotiating an end to armed conflict in Northern Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina: lessons for conflict resolution in African states?'

Participants:

Dr. Sinisa Malesevic

Dr. Niall Ó Dochartaigh

Prof. Tom Lodge

Professor William Schabas

Details:

Dr. Sinisa Malesevic, Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway has been awarded funding under the IRCHSS Research Development Initiative Scheme 2010 for his project ‘Negotiating an end to armed conflict in Northern Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina: lessons for conflict resolution in African states? from a

The project will develop a model for multilevel conflict negotiations comparative study of negotiations to end armed conflict in Northern Ireland and Bosnia Herzegovina and will apply this model to contemporary conflicts in selected African states, including Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project will focus on three interrelated aspects of negotiations to end armed conflict:

1.Examining the micro-sociological dynamics of armed groups in order to understand how such groups come to decisions to end their campaigns, and how and when a leadership is able to persuade the armed groups to demilitarise;

2.Analysing dialogue and negotiation between states and third parties on the one hand and armed groups on the other as a strategy for conflict resolution;

3. Investigating the tensions between law and politics in such negotiations.

Each of these areas constituted a central area of difficulty in the peace processes in both Northern Ireland and Bosnia while they also constitute key obstacles to progress in conflict resolution efforts in several African states.

The project will build collaborative work in this area through staff exchanges with INCORE (the University of Ulster's International Conflict Research Centre) and the School of Sociology at Queen's University Belfast, and the inclusion of colleagues from both of these institutions and other interested Irish institutions in the final project conference involving international experts in the field.

Dr. Malesevic team members include Dr. Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Lecturer, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway; Prof. Tom Lodge, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Limerick and Course Director of the MA in Peace and Development Studies; and Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, and Professor of Human Rights Law.

The project start date is February 1, 2011 and will run for 18 months.