Moving Beyond the Conflict Setting: Disrelation

  • Jan PospisilEmail author
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


Relating people is a fundamental paradigm in all approaches of conflict resolution. The narrative of inclusive peace argues that peace process outcomes would be the more successful, the more parties, stakeholders, communities and social groups are participating in the process. In contrast, the everyday of peace processes shows that not everybody wants to be included and not everything should be related. While happening infrequently and usually on a small scale, practices of disrelation—in the sense of opting out from the perspective of one unified polity—may occur: either actively, by peace communities looking for a disengagement from violent conflict and related processes, or passively, by conflict parties agreeing on leaving territories and communities out of violent contestation. Related practices of relative disrelation exist as well, such as the often internationally guaranteed so-called safety zones or local peace processes, which are disconnected from a national peace process. These practices offer considerable options for pragmatic transitions by disentangling the conflict setting. However, it is hardly ever possible to replicate or scale-up these efforts.


Peace processes Disrelation Safety zones Peace communities Local peace processes Syria Colombia South Sudan 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ASPR—Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict ResolutionViennaAustria

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