Professional Peacemakers in Ukraine: Mediators and Dialogue Facilitators Before and After 2014
3 Kyiv-Mohyla Law and Politics Journal 2017
20 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 17, 2017
Based on the findings of qualitative empirical study, this article reveals that, in contrast to most violent conflicts in the world, the Ukrainian context is distinguished by the presence of the self-organized, self-conscious and skilled professional community of local mediators and dialogue facilitators. The article outlines each professional community and concludes that for the first time in the history of the armed conflicts, local mediators and facilitators are capable to serve as independent actors in peacebuilding process telling their international colleagues and the government how they see the best practices of dialogues and how to implement them. Both communities still experience pains of professional growth such as making choices between core methods and societal roles: providers of dispute resolution services v. agents of societal changes. The 2014 crisis has brought some opportunities to both professional communities, i.e. they have to respond to increased funding for mediation and dialogue and top-down pressures of the international community for greater use of these tools. As a consequence, these opportunities have also triggered some challenges – increased competition for funding and ideological tensions between “peacemakers” and the other groups of Ukrainian civil society who are inspired by military discourse.
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