Dev Raj Dahal, Head FES-Nepal
Peace building as a practical area involves a set of goals, policies and strategies which aim to prevent the occurrence of violent conflict, minimizes the risks of structural and direct violence and seeks to maintain a modicum of order for all the stakeholders to peacefully participate in the nations' productive life. Peace building in
The conflict system in
Rather than just focusing on the creation of numerous ineffective commissions alone or distributing state patronage, peace building stresses on rebuilding the state because the ending the state of nature and establishing democracy, development and peace can be fostered only within it's boundaries. Conceptual approach to identify the numerous key sequences for a just social contract and actions is required during transition phase in order to establish a stable and durable political community. The Nepali state has lost its monopoly on power due to its erosion on its capacity for governance, growth of competitive violence, birth of a neo-patrimonial culture and erosion of policy sovereignty. Restoration of the reasons of state and core state functions is central to protect human rights. But, politics must resolve two deadlocks: between the tendency of SPA to system maintenance and revolutionary polarization for its deconstruction of
Approaches to Peace
The systemic approach to peace bridges the works of various disciplinary sciences by offering an integrative peace-building frame. One can classify peace building into five major clusters: national security and pacification of all non-state armed groups, democracy building through smooth political transition on the way to electoral legitimacy, expansion of the space of development through joint development projects, reconciliation of divided societies through productive engagements in social, economic and political processes, rehabilitation of conflict residues and building a shared future. Within these clusters, one can cover various other issues of inclusion, restructuring and transformation underlined in CPA, such as Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) and Security Sector Reforms (SSR), protection of human rights, institutional reform, power sharing, CA elections, economic rehabilitation of conflict victims and the poor, and establishing a mechanism for transitional justice.
The need to design peace-building strategies according to the complex realities of the conflict situation involves: First, identification of strategies to promote activities in a sequence of priority. Second, these activities should be coordinated and integrated to reinforce each other in a virtuous cycle. Third, activities should take place at various tracks, such as the geopolitical, national, district, and community levels. Finally, the strategy should contain short, medium, and long-term time frames for achieving the goals of peace building. This kind of general planning needs to happen early in the intervention to ensure an effective and coordinated strategy aimed at peace building, rather than a short-term focus on ending the occurrence of violence. In many cases, the focus on holding elections as a measure of success fails to address the root causes of conflict and expose the state to another cycle of vicious conflict. The CPA, Local Peace Councils and strengthening people's civic institutions, rather than class, ethnic, caste and religion-based ones, should work in tandem to resolve conflict through the bonding of cross-cutting social capital.
Social learning of actors of conflict is a must to understand the successes and failures of various policies and changing nature of context, issues, rules and actors. It helps to explain the challenges to peace-building and many ways in which various national and international actors are engaged to overcome these challenges, draw attention to the policies that do not succeed and examine non-violent alternatives. Similarly, the role of civil society and various political parties in promoting security should be critically examined to see whether they contribute to human security or anti-state discourse that fosters lawless frontiers to penalize the weak and women. Integration of multi-track feedback including the role of women is central to change the structures, behavior and beliefs of actors.
Peace building is more than signing peace accord. The sincere implementation of CPA's provisions help one to understand which policies work best under various changing conditions. The next step is to analyze which policies are realistic and effective, why, and when. Then policy makers must know how they should be implemented on the ground. Knowledge about the context gives confidence in understanding a framework condition for improving the knowledge of who, what, when, where, and why of successful peace-building efforts in
A movement toward a balance of interests of politically significant groups rather than monopoly of power and resources by a few organized interest groups of society is crucial to maintaining political stability. International community should act as a balancer, take side of weak and create their stake in peace.
Optimization of interests of all actors rather than maximization of a few powerful can contribute to the notion of citizen equality as equal claimants of rights and connection of citizenship to nationality. Because combined value generated by all is more powerful to prevent the collapse of state and enable it to perform basic state functions on governance. To achieve peace the powerful actors should not destroy the less powerful but should provide incentives for cooptation into the established order.
Formulation of a mechanism to foster overlapping interests of all for the invention of a common ground than absolutization or instrumentalization of interests against each other.
Acquisition, use and transfer of power must follow democratic principles so that opponents hold trust on the rules of the game and pin a hope on the possibility to return to power non-violently. Sustainable peace-building requires peace workers, peace education and a culture of peace. Mode of resolving conflict of interests by sheer physical power gives birth to a culture of violence. True power of a leader consists in empowering followers to act in the institutional interest of society and the state.