Prospects and Pitfalls in the Pursuit of Peace

University essay from Lunds universitet/LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management

Abstract: This thesis presented an in-depth qualitative case study of the peace process between the Colombian state and the FARC guerrilla from 2012 and onwards. The purpose of it was to problematize the peace process by investigating the prospects and pitfalls of negotiating peace within a neoliberal development model, by asking what reasons there are to believe that the process will lead to peace, contrasting past experiences. The analysis was made by applying Johan Galtung’s understanding of peace combined with theories on how inequalities are connected to peace and conflict. Through interviews with actors involved in the peace process and by consulting several secondary sources a mixed picture of the prospects to gain peace became evident. On the one hand not discussing the development model could be one of the reasons for the negotiations to proceed while on the other hand experiences from other cases have shown that leaving out root causes to conflict might lead to the continuation of violence after a peace agreement is signed. The interviewed civil society actors lifted the same concerns. This study has shown the complexity of gaining peace and that ending the armed conflict cannot be the sole purpose of a peace process.

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