No Peace Negotiations Without Security

In her latest HSFK-Report Mirjam Weiberg examines the role of security in civil wars

In HSFK-Report 5/2006 "Konzeption und Perzeption von Sicherheit in Bürgerkriegen. Die neuere Entwicklung in Sri Lanka" (Conception and Perception of Security in Civil Wars. Recent developments in Sri Lanka), Mirjam Weiberg analyzes the role of security perceptions of conflict parties. Taking Sri Lanka as an example, the author demonstrates that peace negotiations have little chances of success as long as the adversaries perceive themselves to be less secure than their opponent. This perception often invokes further armament and shielding in order to improve their own security while weakening the opponent's security. Without external support, this security dilemma can hardly be overcome. External actors can promote peace by monitoring the security balance as neutral observers and facilitators. On both sides, this is an essential condition for the readiness to negotiate.

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