Roles of Rebel Gatekeepers in Mid-Space Peacebuilding: A Case Study of Bangsamoro
To seek an alternative paradigm to liberal peacebuilding, this Bangsamoro case study explores how a transformative relationship in the mid-space could be nurtured between rebel groups in a conflict-affected society. Based on ground data collected first-hand in the southern Philippines, this case study focuses on rebel gatekeepers as bridge-builders. What roles do rebel gatekeepers play to mitigate a local armed conflict in vertical and horizontal gaps? What are the elements and conditions that obstruct or enhance a transformative relationship among gatekeepers across different communities? Why do some rebel gatekeepers split and become spoilers? This case study illustrates that ‘hybridity’ in peacebuilding is not only about alternative players and roles in the mid-space but also about their strategy against political violence. One practical way forward can involve harnessing transformative relationships and creating relational dialogue platforms among mid-space gatekeepers. By so doing, they serve as bridge-builders.
KeywordsGatekeeper Hybrid peacebuilding MILF Rebel governance ISIS Philippines
The author appreciates all those who gave so generously of their time and shared their lives, memories both sorrowful and joyful, while treating her as family in their home communities. Special thanks to those who protected her from any harm by risking their own lives and well-being. She salutes their principle and faithful service to their people, offering hope to the grassroots of the society.
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