B/ORDERS IN MOTION Research Group II
Tough Choices: Dilemmas and Decisions in Peacemaking
What sacrifices are we ready to make in the name of peace? For instance, should peacemakers support local ceasefires in Syria to save thousands of lives in the short term, even if this might shift the battlefield to new places, producing many more victims in the long run? Should they bring radical religious leaders together who may agree to peace, but at the cost of gender equality? Should peacemakers engage with “terrorists” because they have the power to stop the violence, even if this indirectly endorses their violent tactics?
Torn between two imperatives, which seem to be mutually exclusive, peacemakers often face tough choices between multiple options that – even with the best of intentions – all risk doing harm. Yet, despite the enormous responsibilities carried by mediators and the harm potentially caused by their decisions, the dilemmas they face receive scant attention in the academic and policy literature.
This interdisciplinary research project aims to improve the way practitioners make decisions in such dilemma situations by developing a 'Tough Choices Framework' for analyzing and guiding those decisions.
The (B)orders in Motion heuristic is crucial for conceptualizing the blurred and dynamically shifting, but often highly contested boundaries of what is not acceptable ('red lines') when making trade-offs in order to solve a dilemma.
The participating institutions – the Center for Peace Mediation (CPM) at European University Viadrina, the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich, the National University of the Kiev-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine and swisspeace – are currently carrying out empirical case studies in contexts as diverse as Columbia, Zimbabwe and Ukraine.
- 6 Mar 19: Teaching Dilemma Management at MAS Mediation in Peace Processes at ETH Zurich
- 28 Nov 18: B/Orders in Motion Research Factory "Excluded Identities in Ukraine: What to do with ´the other Ukrainians`?" at Viadrina
- Kraus/Kirchhoff/Mason (2017): Safe Spaces: Mapping the Red Lines in Peacemakers`Trade-Offs. Research Outline for B/Orders in Motion Seed Money Project 2018-2019.
- Poster for B/Orders in Motion Seed Money Application (2016)
- Viadrina Center for B/ORDERS IN MOTION
- B/Orders in Motion Research Group I Managing Borders in Triadic Negotiation Processes
- B/Orders in Motion Research Factory Workshop Grenzdynamiken in der Ukraine-Krise, Dec 2014