Drawing lessons from India’s experience in conflict resolution
India’s long history of engaging in dialogue with insurgent groups provides many lessons for those involved in peacemaking all over the world, suggests a recent report, entitled Conflict resolution: Learning lessons from dialogue processes in India. The study, co-authored by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre) and the Dehli Policy Group, finds that engaging in dialogue can be productive even when a sustainable peace is not achieved. The dialogue itself can often reduce violence even while a permanent solution to the conflict remains elusive.
The study seeks to highlight the diversity of India’s experience in peacemaking by focusing on three case studies – Kashmir, Manipur, and the dialogue process with the Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh. It draws recommendations from these dialogue efforts which may be equally relevant to those engaged in solving conflict in other parts of the world. The report also encourages more comprehensive and extensive comparative policy work on this subject.
“India has a long record of engaging in dialogue with those within its borders who disagree with it,” said Michael Vatikiotis, HD Centre Asia Regional Director. “Through this study, we hope to share lessons from India’s complex and diverse conflict landscape with peacemakers internationally.” he added.
The publication also highlights how planning, close involvement of civil society and the media, as well as careful framing of the agenda are crucial to the success of any dialogue process.
This publication is the second in a series of three produced as a result of the HD Centre’s project, Comparative Perspectives on Conflict Management in Asia. The project sought to analyse conflict management and resolution approaches in Asia while considering terrorism, social and economic disparity, marginalisation and radicalism in the context of the region.
The previous publication focused on conflict management in Indonesia, while the forthcoming study will look at conflict management in the Philippines.
The HD Centre wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the MacArthur Foundation (Asia Security Initiative) for its financial support for this study.