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Balancing Justice and Peace?

Funder: Royal Irish Academy

Awarded: £1,992

Duration01/01/17 – 31/12/17

Staff Involved: Dr Thomas Hansen

Description

This research project creates a foundation for collaboration between established and early career researchers based in Europe, including Northern Ireland, and African countries to investigate how regional organizations balance the pursuit of justice for serious crimes under international law with the need to achieve peaceful resolution of conflict. The overall aims of the project involve 1) Contributing to the academic development of early-career researchers within the social science disciplines; 2) Strengthening connections and collaboration between researchers based in Europe, including Northern Ireland, and Africa working on the themes of peace and justice; and, in light of the above, 3) Creating the basis for a long-term research project on the role of regional organizations in peace and justice processes, including in Africa, involving researcher from different regions of the world.

To achieve the above, the principal investigator and the co-investigator (prof Korwa Adar, Daystar University, Kenya) created a detailed research agenda on the topic of how regional organizations approach peace and justice processes, including identifying particularly important sub-themes for further research and to be covered by workshop presentations, namely: "The African Union and Transitional Justice"; "Sub-Regional Organizations in Africa and Transitional Justice"; "The ICC, an African Criminal Court and Transitional Justice"; "Peacebuilding, Peace Agreements & Transitional Justice".

Having circulated a call for papers and screened incoming applications, the principal investigator and the host selected 17 early-career scholars (17 PhD and Master students studying at Kenyan universities) who were qualified and capable of advancing this research agenda. A full day workshop was conducted at Daystar University in Nairobi on 18 May 2017 where the presenters received feedback and comments on their papers.

The primary objectives of the research project were all achieved: The selected early career researchers successfully presented their papers; received oral and written feedback from the principal and co-investigator and fellow presenters; and the best of the papers are currently being prepared for publication.