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Local Governance in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding
On 2 December 2019, the EUISS organised a workshop on Local Governance in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding to discuss the challenges related to conceptualising, measuring and strengthening local governance institutions in order to promote countries’ internal peace. The workshop brought together scholars and experts of governance, local peace and conflict dynamics, and conflict prevention and peacebuilding, with versatile geographical expertise and methodological backgrounds covering research in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe.
The expert workshop focused on sharing knowledge and best practices on how to better understand and empirically capture complex local governance institutions – including formal local government layers and the so called informal institutions, such as traditional authorities – as well as on how to support decentralisation processes and local governance institutions in a peace-promoting way. The event was motivated by the important role that support to local governance often plays in development and peacebuilding efforts, while it is also recognised that the weakness and challenges of local governance can incite conflict or undermine development efforts. Among other things, the workshop discussions highlighted the need to conduct careful risk assessments and mapping of the relations among and trust towards local institutions and actors as a basis for any local governance support programmes.
Dr Katariina Mustasilta, Senior Associate Analyst focusing on conflict research, chaired the workshop, which was opened by the EUISS Deputy Director, Dr Florence Gaub. The insights of the workshop will be integrated in an EUISS research report on conflict prevention.