Daniel Serwer is a professor of conflict management at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Previously he was Vice President for Centers of Innovation and for Peace and Stability Operations at the United States Institute of Peace.
Today’s international conflicts typically involve multiple actors, interests, and drivers that have sparked long, violent histories. Ending these conflicts relies more and more on facilitated dialogue, a process in which a neutral third party helps a broad spectrum of conflicting parties overcome the many barriers to effective communication.
This volume presents seven case studies of the United States Institute of Peace’s facilitated dialogue efforts in Iraq, Kosovo, Israel/Palestine, Colombia, Nigeria, and Nepal. Covering a variety of conflict situations and peacemaking efforts—from the tribal reconciliation in Mahmoudiya, Iraq, to a justice and security dialogue in Nepal—the cases tell stories of peacebuilding successes, efforts in progress, limitations on what can be achieved, and lessons learned.
Each case study details the conflict’s origins, how a facilitator helped steer the peace building process, and overarching lessons for future facilitators. Contributors highlight the importance of timing the initiative, harnessing the peacebuilding potential of civil society, collaborating with local organizations and facilitators, and engaging alternative voices.