In social science, simulation was used as a technique in the 1960s to predict or frame the behaviour of groups and markets. Today in the policy field, an increasing number of strategic and defence planners use computer-based simulation for prediction and discovery. Humanitarian agencies, like the UNHCR, use mapping techniques of refugee movement that draw on simulation to prepare for protection.
This book approaches peacemaking by applying simulation exercises during conflict and conflict-resolution processes, providing an understanding of the risks involved, opportunities available and the price to be paid for peacemaking. The six simulation exercises provided in this book are mostly based on actual or potential negotiations in the ongoing peace processes, but they dispense with some of the rules of role-play. The overarching theme of simulation is to learn from peace negotiations in societies that have been violently divided along ethnic or religious lines by competing claims of self-determination. However, only two of the simulations replicate actual negotiations as they took place in Northern Ireland and Jammu & Kashmir. Two others envisage an imaginary stand in ongoing negotiations (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nagaland) and two are abstract simulations that address critical contemporary debates on ending violence and humanitarian intervention.
This combination permits participants to focus on the different stages of peacemaking and peace-building in deeply divided societies, that make or break issues that are involved, and the changing roles that key actors play. The six simulations in this book cover the following – the early stage of ending the violence to pave the way for a political settlement; the middle stage of trust-building through addressing the root causes; the next to last stage of negotiation and compromise to reach a formal agreement; and the post-agreement stage of reconstruction and reconciliation.
The first of the simulations is based on actual negotiations: the last round of talks to settle the 75-year long Northern Ireland conflict, which yielded the Belfast agreement of 1998. The second situation is an imaginary negotiation involving Bosnia-Herzegovina which took place five years after the internationally brokered Dayton peace agreement of 1995. This agreement put an end to the bloody ethnic war in Bosnia-Herzegovina but it also divided Bosnia-Herzegovina into two entities: a Muslim-Croatian Federation and a Bosnian Serb Republic – Republika Srpska.
The third simulation focuses on a major confidence-building and the measure – wining a ceasefire as the first step towards political resolution of the root causes of conflict. The fourth simulation is set in India and deals with a particularly difficult self-determination conflict: that of the Naga tribes who are spread across four different states in north-eastern India. Through a homeland, Nagaland was successfully negotiated in 1962 with breakaway Naga leaders going into exile in protest at the exclusion of diaspora territories from the homeland and fighting a decade-long civil war to incorporate Naga-inhabited areas of neighbouring states into the homeland.
To sum up, this book teaches how to negotiate peace in deeply divided societies so as to, one, prevent escalation of the conflict; two, initiate CBMs to pave the way for political resolution; three, address the root causes of the conflict and four, arrive at a comprehensive agreement to end the conflict; fifth, adopt peace-building exercises post-conflict; and sixth, prevent the conflict from escalating.
This book will be useful for administrators, negotiators and peace-keeping forces as also students of international understanding.
(Sage Publications India Ltd, B1/1-1, Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Mathura Road, New Delhi-110 044.)