Peace is elusive and the quest for peace is perpetual. In Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East, peace and war exist in parallel and contemporary peace support operations simultaneously involve combat operations and building peace. Hence, the goal of establishing just and durable peace is a fundamental challenge to contemporary peacemakers and academics alike. In order to shed new theoretical and conceptual light on the problematique of building just and durable peace and to offer policy-relevant advice, the project has identified three critical challenges.
The first challenge focuses on the quest for justice in contemporary peace processes, which has become increasingly apparent as several violent conflicts and wars are distinguished by gross human rights violation and ethnic cleansing.
The second challenge concerns the quest for durable peace. Several contemporary conflicts tend to resist negotiated settlement. Yet, the ones that do reach a peace agreement still have a poor track record on implementation.
The third challenge relates to the quest for effective strategies, particularly concerning the involvement of international actors in peacebuilding. These challenges are addressed through an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on insights in peace and conflict research, international law, political science and international relations.