M-19's Journey from Armed Struggle to Democratic Politics : Striving to Keep the Revolution Connected to the People

García Durán, Mauricio ; Grabe Loewenherz, Vera ; Patiño Hormaza, Otty


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URL http://edoc.vifapol.de/opus/volltexte/2011/2548/
Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: Berghof Forschungszentrum für Konstruktive Konfliktbearbeitung
Schriftenreihe: Berghof transitions series : resistance
Bandnummer: 1
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2008
Publikationsdatum: 17.01.2011
Originalveröffentlichung: http://www.berghof-center.org/uploads/download/transitions_m19.pdf (2008)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 89.50 (Politische Prozesse: Allgemeines), 89.75 (Internationale Konflikte: Allgemeines), 89.76 (Friedensforschung, Konfliktforschung)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

This case-study is one of a series produced by participants in an ongoing Berghof research project on transitions from violence to peace. The project’s overall aim is to learn from the experience of those in resistance or liberation movements who have used violence in their struggle but have also engaged politically during the conflict and in any peace process. Recent experience around the world has demonstrated that reaching political settlement in protracted social conflict always eventually needs the involvement of such movements. Our aim here is to discover how, from a non-state perspective, such political development is handled, what is the relationship between political and military strategies and tactics, and to learn more about how such movements (often sweepingly and simplistically bundled under the label of non-state armed groups) contribute to the transformation of conflict and to peacemaking. We can then use that experiential knowledge (1) to offer support to other movements who might be considering such a shift of strategy, and (2) to help other actors (states and international) to understand more clearly how to engage meaningfully with such movements to bring about political progress and peaceful settlement. Political violence is a tool of both state and non-state actors, and replacing it by political methods of conflict management is essential to making sustainable peace. With this project we want to understand better how one side of that equation has been, or could be, achieved. Depending on the particular case, each study makes a strong argument for the necessary inclusion of the movement in any future settlement, or documents clearly how such a role was effectively executed. We consciously asked participants to reflect on their experience from their own unique point of view. What we publish in this series is not presented as neutral or exclusively accurate commentary. All histories are biased histories, and there is no single truth in conflict or in peace. Rather, we believe these case-studies are significant because they reflect important voices which are usually excluded or devalued in the analysis of conflict. Increasing numbers of academics, for example, study “armed groups” from outside, but few actually engage directly with them to hear their own points of view, rationales, and understandings of their context. We are convinced that these opinions and perspectives urgently need to be heard in order to broaden our understanding of peacemaking. For exactly this reason, each case study has been produced with the very close co-operation of, and in some cases authored by, members of the movement concerned. As the results amply illustrate, these perspectives are sophisticated, intelligent, political and strategic. So authenticity has in this instance been prized above accuracy. The reader may or may not agree with the perspectives expressed. But, much more importantly, we hope that the reader will accept that these perspectives are valid in themselves and must be included in any attempt at comprehensive understanding of violent conflict and its transformation. We urgently need to understand in more depth the dynamics of organisations who make the transition between political violence and democratic politics, in order to improve our understanding of their role, and our practice, in making peace. The views expressed are those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies or any of its constituent agencies.

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