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 this eight-year research program funded by Riksbanken Jubileumsfond.
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 begun 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.
Participating departments and units at Umeå University
The Varieties of Peace research program aims to analyse long-term effects of peace processes in conflicts that ended in the 1990s.
We ask two research questions: Firstly, how robust is peace and how does it vary in terms of stability, security, participation, and democracy? Secondly, what explains the variation?
Thus far, peace processes have been studied in shorter perspective, usually in ”lessons-learned” evaluations 5 years after conflict termination, and usually with theories of conflict as a starting point. 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 as a dynamic transformative process. It will investigate and evaluate successful, partly successful, and failed processes from a comparative perspective 25–30 years after they started, with the ambition of producing generalizable knowledge about peace, what it is and how it can be achieved. The most important explanatory variables at the core of research activities are: 1) the actions, capacity and resilience of civil society, 2) the interests and strategies of the signatories of the agreements, 3) the aims and character of the agreements, 4) the societies’ institutions and resilience, and 5) international involvement. These issues will be studies in ten sub-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.