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Abrak Saati

Religious actors in post-conflict constitution-building: are they important for long-term peace?


Constitution-building is one of the most salient aspects of war to peace transitions; it marks a break with the past and the turning of a new leaf. Though constitution-building has traditionally been an elite driven affair, we have since the onset of the peacebuilding era in the 1990s witnessed how this area has become democratized as well. This implies that, today, constitution-building in post-conflict contexts includes a host of different actors – governmental and non-governmental alike – who express their own set of claims; claims that need to be reconciled with each other for peaceful circumstances to prevail.

This sub-project is interested in exploring, analyzing and comparing how religious actors in particular get involved, and behave, in post-conflict constitution-building, based on the premise that their actions and relations with each other as well as with secular parties in such contexts can help us understand why some peace processes are successful in terms of establishing peaceful societies. The cases that will be included in the analysis are: South Africa, Rwanda, Northern Ireland, Tunisia and Lebanon.

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