Peace-Making as a Struggle Over the Social Contract: Challenges and Opportunities of the Peace Agreement in Colombia
29 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2018
Date Written: June 29, 2018
How do deep-seated conflict issues affect the development of a resilient social contract, and how do they shape peace processes and agreements? This briefing shares key findings and analysis of the case of Colombia. Marked by profound land inequality and a decade-long reliance on illicit crops as a resource for fueling conflict, the country engaged in complex peace negotiations resulting in an agreement signed in 2016. While the agreement created an opportunity for addressing historical inequalities, Colombian society remains deeply divided. Some of the aspirations of the peace agreement may be too ambitious and exceed the capacities of existing state institutions. In addition, opposition by political and social actors has been significant. At the same time, Colombia has made more progress on the state- and peace-building front than many other countries with a similar conflict background. This briefing argues that many of the tensions Colombia faces can be attributed to the vagaries of building a comprehensive, inclusive, and resilient social contract in Colombia, a process that will last much longer and beyond the implementation of a peace agreement. Based on these findings, policy implications are drawn and recommendations made, focusing on the strengthening of state institutions at the national and sub-national level, revisiting policy strategies for addressing illicit crops and the drug trade, and promoting constructive social relations.
Keywords: Peacebuilding, peace process, FARC, ELN, Colombia, land, illicit crops
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation