Research Program: Just Peace Governance

In 2009 PRIF started its new research programme "Just Peace Governance". Under this title PRIF analyses the tensions between these three terms/concepts which have always had considerable theoretical significance and praxeological outreach for peace and conflict research. As in the case of “Antinomies of Democratic Peace”, PRIF seeks to reveal hidden frictions and contradictions within as well as between the three concepts. The aim is to find out under what conditions implicit or explicit ideas of justice held by political stakeholders lead to violent conflicts and under what circumstances they can form the basis for sustainable peace.

The research program focuses on justice-related conflicts and the ways in which peace and justice can be achieved at the same time. It starts from the assumption that although peace and justice are equally important political values, they nevertheless compete with each other and come into conflict from time to time. Some argue that justice claims have to be restricted after civil war if peace is to be achieved through reconciliation; others maintain that peace can be breached in order to promote justice. We understand Just Peace Governance as a form of political action by means of which actors strive towards attaining sustainable peace by considering justice related issues and constructively managing justice conflicts.

In order to contribute to this end, PRIF’s research department analyze in their particular field of expertise to what extent conflicts are determined by matters of justice and under what conditions particular forms of governance enable a peaceful management of justice-related conflicts. Three generic forms of conflict are considered: (1) conflicts that arise from global power transition and the rise of new powers, (2) conflicts that stem from competing norms and ideas and (3) conflicts that emerge with the development and transformation of governance institutions.

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Just Peace Governance: Research Program of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, PRIF Working Papers, No.01, 2011, Frankfurt/M.