Featuring:CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND DEMOCRACY DATABASE
There are inherent linkages among the processes of conflict resolution, peace building, and democracy building. Participants in the World Movement have discussed many of these connections during workshops at World Movement assemblies in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2000, and in Durban, South Africa, in 2004. Some connections between conflict resolution, peace-building, and democracy that were identified at the assemblies include:
Democratic structures and institutions help maintain peace by providing mechanisms for managing or resolving conflicts without resort to violence.
The democratic culture of plurality and participation is vital to the process of conflict resolution, and conversely conflict resolution fosters greater participation and inclusiveness and therefore contributes to the culture of democracy.
The elements of conflict resolution and peace building, such as mediation, negotiation, dialogue, confidence building, and reconciliation, are vital for successful transitions to democracy.
Conflict resolution skills, such as listening, building trust and consensus among antagonistic groups, and identifying causes of conflict, are crucial for democratic leadership.
Although these linkages have been discussed at various meetings and conferences and in academic literature, there is a lack of in-depth understanding of such interconnections and their practical implications for peace and democracy. For example, one Assembly workshop in South Africa suggested that “it is a duty of all democrats to work for a peaceful solution to conflict”; however, it is still a challenge for democrats to understand how their democracy-promotion activities, such as human rights advocacy, can contribute to the peace-building process generally. Such understanding can be deepened and enhanced through exchanges among activists, practitioners, and scholars.
The purpose of this Web site is to facilitate such exchange and to help form a community of conflict resolution and democracy practitioners. This community will strive to:
Cultivate a deeper understanding of linkages between conflict resolution, peace building, and democracy, and
Assist organizations working in the fields of democracy promotion and conflict resolution to design cohesive strategies and approaches to democracy and peace building.