Professional Peacemakers in Ukraine: Mediators and Dialogue Facilitators Before and After 2014
Keywords:mediation, dialogue facilitation, civil society in peacebuilding, conflict resolution, Ukraine
AbstractBased 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 a self-organized, self-aware and skilled local professional communities of mediators and dialogue facilitators. The article analyses each professional community and concludes that Ukrainian mediators and dialogue facilitators are capable to serve as independent actors in peacebuilding process, guiding their international colleagues and the government as for the best practices of mediation and dialogue. At the same time, both communities still experience pains of professional growth such as making choices between core methods and societal roles and they need external support. Additionally, the 2014 crisis has brought some opportunities concerning increased funding for mediation and dialogue, and the top-down pressure of the international community for greater use of these tools. These opportunities have, in turn, triggered some challenges such as an increased competition for funding and ideological tensions between “the peacemakers” and the other groups of Ukrainian civil society inspired by the military discourse.
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