Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding between Ethiopia and Eritrea

Mira Rølle Attermann

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


This dissertation explores the concept of sustainable peace and discusses ways of creating sustainable peace in areas of conflict, thereby improving unstable and tenuous relations and bringing support to areas in need. Scoones’ concept of sustainable livelihoods, Wæver’s securitization theory, Galtung’s theories of peace and Dawson’s theory on the politics of memory and post-conflict culture serve as theoretical fundament for the dissertation, each emphasizing key components critical to sustainable peacebuilding. By means of the four theories, this dissertation argues that sustainable peacebuilding is dependent on whether the approach to peacebuilding manages to reach beyond the mere symptoms of conflict and rather solve the underlying issues of conflict by taking into considerations the unique context of the area subject to conflict.

The introduction of peacebuilding into a conflict scenario is a complicated and multilayered process, relying on various factors to be ripe for conflict resolution, i.e., objective and subjective conditions, the means of achieving peace, the conditions of the policy environment, the underlying structures of past conflicts and recognition of victims of violence. To examine the underlying structures of sustainable peace and the extent to which peacebuilding takes different forms depending on the particular context, the peacebuilding process between Ethiopia and Eritrea serves as case study, providing the dissertation with empirical evidence. Conflict has dominated the shared history of Ethiopia and Eritrea for centuries, turning the idea of peace into a fragile hope. Attempts at peacebuilding between Ethiopia and Eritrea have taken various forms and both cases of externally mediated processes and processes driven by internal dynamics have occurred, each representing a unique set of advantages and shortcomings. In light of the most recent peacebuilding process, the absence of direct violence and the increasing level of stability have injected hope into the peace process. However, the recent relapse into conflict attests to the unsustainable nature of peace in Ethiopia and Eritrea and serves as a reminder of the vulnerability of the peacebuilding process that is strongly impacted by the tensions of past conflicts. Through the examination of the peacebuilding processes between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the dissertation reveals the complexity associated with the concept. In its essence, peacebuilding is not about the imposition of models of peacebuilding, rather it is about acknowledging the contextual setting of each conflict and adapting the peacebuilding efforts to the particular scenario. Thereby, peacebuilding transforms into a
creative, responsive, organic, unpredictable and open-ended process of maturing objective and subjective conditions while taking into consideration their uniqueness.

UddannelserCand.merc.pol International Business and Politics, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider75