Putting the "Up" in Bottom-up Peacebuilding: Broadening the Concept of Peace Negotiations

in International Negotiation
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A new theory of how nations negotiate is described wherein peoples negotiate, not just political leaders, and the negotiations of the latter are affected by the former. We draw on theories and concepts from Track Two diplomacy, citizen peacebuilding, civic democratization, and social movements to develop an integrated theory of how peoples negotiate. That is, we demonstrate how citizen peacebuilders create the democratic, social, cultural and human capital necessary to effectively engage national level politics by first building peace and democracy at the grassroots and in local politics. Further, we describe the development of a "peacebuilding organism" involving specialized citizen peacebuilding organizations that coordinate to produce mutually reinforcing growth toward peace and democracy at all levels of society. This gives peace a deep-rooted momentum that transforms political resistance. This theory is applied to explain peace movement development in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We close by considering implications of this theory for optimizing international assistance.

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