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Friday, 10 January 2020

New publication \ Peacemaking engagement of Afghans and Syrians in Germany

For several decades now, Germany has become home to significant numbers of Afghans, and more recently Syrians, who have fled war. BICC Working Paper 11\2019 analyses the political engagement for peace by Afghans and Syrians there since the beginning of violent conflict in Afghanistan (1978) and Syria (2011).

Photo: Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Departing from an understanding of peace processes as more than UN summits and diplomatic events, the authors focus on peacemaking initiatives ‘from  below’ by Afghans and Syrians in Germany, with a particular emphasis on activities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). As a guiding research question for this Paper, the authors Esther Meininghaus and Katja Mielke ask: To what extent have Afghans and Syrians in NRW and other parts of Germany engaged in peacemaking, and how are these efforts linked to official talks and the situation inside Afghanistan and Syria?

BICC Working Paper “Beyond Doha and Geneva—Peacemaking engagement of Afghans and Syrians in North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany” highlights how history writing and research have sidelined organically emerging initiatives for peace from within societies facing war—including among those living abroad. In contrast, empirical evidence in this Paper demonstrates that bottom-up engagement of exiles has entailed activities from the grassroots to the highest level. At times, this engagement is comparable to official Track 1 talks that comprise representatives of the major armed factions of a conflict.  In conclusion, Esther Meininghaus and Katja Mielke argue that such Afghan- and Syrian-led initiatives should  receive significantly more scholarly attention in writing the history of war and peace, with a much stronger emphasis on the perspective of those who are concerned the most.  (An upcoming BICC Policy Brief will add related policy recommendations.)

Press release “New publication \ Peacemaking engagement of Afghans and Syrians in North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany” (pdf, in English)

Press release „Neue Publikation \ Friedensengagement von Menschen aus Afghanistan und Syrien in Nordrhein-Westfalen und Deutschland“ (pdf, in German)