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CORE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 266931
Funded under: FP7-SSH
Country: Norway

The impact of governance at local level

Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, new forms of intra-state conflicts have emerged globally. These call for revised conflict resolution strategies that consider goals beyond the realisation of political and economic liberalisation.
The impact of governance at local level
The CORE project identified that conventional approaches and strategies do not account for complex social and cultural contexts at local level. As such, researchers worked to enhance understanding of the social and political impacts that governance agendas have on local conflict dynamics. The particular focus was on conflicts in Europe and India, but findings are relevant to conflict resolution and peacebuilding initiatives anywhere in the world.

Project findings helped advance new theories and materials for global governance policies that lack an essential grasp of cultural biases and the dynamics of local politics. The focus was on the cultural premises of governance, as seen from the perspective of the governed. Accordingly, one goal was to determine how these premises meet the needs for peace and security that the governance supposedly addresses.

CORE therefore questioned the conceptions of peace, security, democracy and human rights that are currently employed to devise liberal approaches to conflict resolution and peacebuilding. This was a significant starting point as these approaches are essential to foreign and security policy in the EU. A comparative study of EU foreign engagement and Indian domestic engagement provided an excellent opportunity in this regard. For example, an emerging EU peacebuilding framework was compared to regional strategies focused on conflict on and around the Indian subcontinent.

Ten research teams (five in India and five in Europe) joined forces to examine how governance initiatives affected conflict dynamics in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia, Bihar/Jharkhand, Kashmir and Northeast India.

The initiative made important progress in a number of areas. Researchers analysed how globally expressed and networked rules, norms and policies of governance are impacting conflicts locally. They assessed the degree to which governance measures on different levels affect each other in a multi-level dynamic. Other work involved mapping and analysing specific governance programmes and interventions set up to address conflicts in Europe and India.

CORE refined methods for a fieldwork-based analysis of governance initiatives in societies entrenched in long-term conflict. It improved understanding and knowledge of the cultural dynamics of existing governance, peace and development practices in Europe and India. Taken all together, project findings and outcomes make a significant contribution to global politics, governance, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

Related information


Governance, conflict resolution, cultural contexts, peacebuilding, global politics
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