Involving local people in tackling violent extremism

Towards an Inclusive Peace 2017

24/08/2017
Towards an Inclusive Peace 2017

 

The first edition of Towards an Inclusive Peace (TIP) took place from 23-26 July 2017 during the Caux Forum. The event sought to discover new ways for peacebuilders to address violent extremism. Recently, approaches to addressing violent extremism have moved away from traditional security-based methods towards a more inclusive and local emphasis. TIP 2017 aimed to equip participants to include local communities in the process of building peace.

Andreas Hirblinger, from the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative, introduced Community Based Indicators (CBIs) as an early warning mechanism and a way of predicting increasing radicalization or conflict within a community. One such indicator might be an increase in hate graffiti. Once a community has identified and understood such indicators, it can take more proactive steps towards peace.

‘Peace and conflict are complex social phenomena,’ Hirblinger stated. Because of this, local stakeholders must be involved. ‘The indicators are not goals in themselves,’ he stressed, but rather an essential part of the process of involving and integrating local people in conflict transformation. When local people are involved, the process of healing begins, and the results are more legitimate and sustainable than those produced by prescriptive processes constructed for global application.

The event focused on promoting personal action for global change. CBIs allow an individual to take initiative to bring their community together. Levels of conflict can be indicated by such simple, daily issues as whether taxi drivers can travel around safely or whether basic goods and services are available. Lack of work or an increase in hate crimes are indicators of increasing radicalization.

Participants commented on the richness of the exchanges, with so many people contributing from different perspectives. Towards an Inclusive Peace will continue to tackle violent extremism with a focus on restorative justice and search for new ways to cultivate peace next summer, from 11-15 July 2018.  

By Tara Howell, Communications intern 2017
 

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