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Exploring the links between experiences of injustice and violent conflict

By: Will Bennett

Experiences of injustice increase the risk of violent behaviours. In this policy brief, the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law and Saferworld make the case for a better understanding of experiences of injustice; and, how addressing those experiences could have a significant bearing on conflict dynamics.

To this end – Exploring the links between experiences of injustice and violent conflict – recommends thinking of injustice as a series of multi-stakeholder problems to be solved. This opens up a vast array of policy and programming options to tailor peace and justice work to each context, and moves us away from single policy thinking (on security and justice, rule of law, SSR, business, gender, the environment, education, etc.) that is unlikely to resolve the complexity of people’s day-to-day justice problems. More collaboration by diverse actors in the spaces where their fields connect and collide would offer a much richer selection of ways and means to work.

This brief argues that providing justice is not the preserve of justice providers. Coherence is crucial; and whilst Goal 16 –  on peace, justice and strong institutions – provides welcome impetus for peace and justice work, there is little agreement on how to deliver on its ambitions. So a commitment to experimentation, better coordination and more knowledge sharing ought to be a matter of priority.

Finally, this brief suggests asking three questions to advance this way of working on justice:

  1. What is the justice problem and how is it governed?
  2. How is it connected to violence?
  3. What changes are needed, and what coalition of actors and fields could offer the most transformative response?
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Uploaded on: Aug 21, 2018
Year Published: 2016
Author: Will Bennett
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