Engaging the Next Generation: A Field Perspective of Youth Inclusion in Myanmar’s Peace Negotiations

In: International Negotiation

Abstract

Literature examining the participation of youth during peace processes is limited. Previous work has often focused on youth as “peacebuilders” and agents of change or threats to peace in the post-accord period, with little emphasis on how young people participate during the negotiation phase. This article seeks to fill this gap by assessing youth inclusion and participation in Myanmar’s ongoing peace negotiations. The study finds that, while youth have not had formal inclusion avenues in the peace negotiations, there are cohorts of young people who perceive themselves to be legitimate stakeholders in the peace process, who have attempted to gain access to decision-making in the peace negotiations, and have played active roles in supporting the process. It is argued that recognizing youth as key stakeholders in the peace accord will play a vital role in building sustainable peace within Myanmar’s nascent democracy.

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