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Winning the peace: Conflict prevention after a victor's peace in Sri Lanka
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7167-609X
Göteborg University.
2011 (English)In: Contemporary Social Science, ISSN 2158-2041, Vol. 6, no 1, 19-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How can a relapse into violent conflict be prevented in Sri Lanka? This article examines how the caseof Sri Lanka effectively exposes the limitations of the international discourse and practice of conflictprevention. Conflict prevention in Sri Lanka has to take place within a global and domestic contextwhich is largely unaccounted for in the conflict-prevention literature and policy discourse. Changesin the international power balance over the last decade have decreased the room of manoeuvre foractors such as the United States and European Union while giving Asian powers such as China—with a different approach to conflict prevention—more influence over domestic policies in countrieslike Sri Lanka. Moreover, the conflict prevention discourse and ‘tools’ tend to assume a negotiatedpeace agreement where the conflict parties have an interest in preventing conflicts rather thanmerely suppressing them. The significant power asymmetry between the winning and the losingsides in the Sri Lankan conflict, coupled with the lack of power or interest of international actorsto influence Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs—have rendered ‘conflict prevention’ a tool for continueddomination and containment of conflicts. The article further highlights the risks that conflictpreventionmeasures may exacerbate conflict or undermine other conflict-prevention measures. Anumber of challenges for conflict prevention—in the areas of (1) demilitarisation/militarisation,(2) political power sharing, (3) justice and reconciliation, and (4) post-war reconstruction andeconomic development—are addressed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 6, no 1, 19-37 p.
Keyword [en]
Sri Lanka, peace, victory, conflict prevention
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-146337DOI: 10.1080/17450144.2010.534491OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-146337DiVA: diva2:398072
Available from: 2011-02-16 Created: 2011-02-16 Last updated: 2016-04-26

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Höglund, Kristine
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