JSRP Paper 11

Title:  Practice Without Evidence: interrogating conflict resolution approaches and assumptions

Authors:  Tatiana Carayannis, Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic, Nathaniel Olin, Anouk Rigterink, Mareike Schomerus

Date: February 2014

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This paper reviews the evidence base that underpins contemporary approaches to the resolution of violent conflict, in an effort to improve the lives of conflict-affected populations.  By means of a systematic literature review, the paper explores both academic work and grey literature focusing on the experiences of the 'end-users' of conflict resolution efforts.  It finds that current approaches to conflict resolution are often based on weak evidence and normative objectives and make problematic assumptions regarding the actors and conflict structures involved as well as on  the conflict resolution strategies employed. The conclusion highlights the need to strengthen the evidence base of conflict research in order to bring conflict resolution practice into line with empirical realities.

The paper forms part of a series of systematic evidence reviews undertaken by the JSRP. Other papers in the series include a review of evidence on Security|, Justice|, Resources|, and Climate Change|.