Varieties of Peace Program
Department of Political Science
Funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
What type of peace is reached after peace processes? How can we explain different varieties of peace? These are questions that will be investigated in a research program funded by Riksbanken Jubileumsfond, Sweden. We believe that we need a better understanding of what peace is and how it can be studied. Peace processes have often been studied during shorter time periods, usually in lessons-learned evaluations five years after the end of the conflict, departing from theories on conflict. The research program Varieties of Peace instead departs from understandings of peace, its variations in terms of quality and features, and perceives of peace as a dynamic societal process of change. It aims at investigating the long-term consequences of peace processes that began during the 1990s. In ten sub-projects peace processes are investigated and explained with regard to variations, internal dynamic and results during a longer course of time.
The Varieties of Peace research program aims to analyze long-term effects of peace processes in conflicts that ended in the 1990s. The central research questions are: what characterizes peace after the peace processes initiated in the 1990s and how does it vary? How can this variation be described and explained?
The Varieties of Peace research program is an ambitious initiative, which starts from a theoretical understanding of peace, its quality and character, and views peace and peace processes as dynamic and transformative. It will investigate and evaluate different types of peace processes from a comparative perspective and 25–30 years after they started, with the ambition of producing generalizable knowledge about peace, what it is and how it can be achieved. As a starting point, the program studies explanatory factors in five areas: 1) the actions, capacity and resilience of civil society, 2) the interests and strategies of the elites, 3) the aims and character of the agreements, 4) the societies’ institutions and resilience, and 5) international involvement. These issues will be studies in at least ten projects, with the ambition to capture and explain variation, internal dynamics and ultimately the results and effects of peace processes, studied over a longer period of time.
“Remarkably, only in recent years has the meaning of ‘peace’ become a field of analysis for social sciences. […] Thus, this proposed RJ project is at the forefront of a new area of inquiry. […] The findings are likely to have direct implications for mediation, negotiation and peacebuilding efforts by national, regional and global actors.”
— Peter Wallensteen, Professor at Uppsala University & University of Notre Dame