Raja Karthikeya presents "Afghanistan & Iraq: Empirical approaches to Community-level Peacebuilding."
Community-level peacebuilding has found praise in recent decades, but how it tangibly connects to national level peacebuilding has been under-discussed. How can community peacebuilding reframe national political debates? In a country in conflict, how does peacebuilding in the hinterland, far from the frontlines, affect larger reconciliation? What approaches can help leverage composite identities of a people in conflict for peacebuilding? How can tangible short-term outcomes such as protection of civilians and return of displaced populations be achieved through community peacebuilding? How can external actors empower grassroots peacebuilders? How does knowledge sharing between community peacebuilders working in geographically-disparate conflicts enhance local peace outcomes? Using the background of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq over the period 2011-17, this presentation shares empirical learning from community peacebuilding efforts and suggests approaches to community peacebuilding for a range of stakeholders.