Talk4Peace: Transformative Mediation as a Mechanism for Inclusive Dialogue in Peacebuilding
Principal Investigators: Dr Heidi Riley UCD and Dr Maria-Adriana Deiana Queen’s University
Funder: Higher Education Authorities through the Shared Island, North-South Research Programme.
The Talk4Peace project explores the role of transformative mediation as a mechanism for inclusive dialogue in peacebuilding on the island of Ireland. Drawing on engagement with mediation practitioners globally and across the island of Ireland, the project assesses the potential of transformative mediation practices to promote an inclusive peace through the engagement of women and other minoritised groups as key actors. The project is also intended to challenge orthodox interpretations of peace mediation that rely on the ‘Track system’ and supports dialogue and cultural understanding through a wide array of mediation techniques. In order to achieve these goals, the project maps how transformative mediation is understood and implemented from a practice perspective through qualitative interviews and collaborative focus groups with individuals and organisations involved in peace mediation. In committing to an inclusive research process, involving extensive cross-border dialogue, the project also explores the role of innovative tools used to maximise inclusion and outreach in mediation practices, including arts and cultural practices.
The key aims of the project are:
1. to examine the benefits and pit falls of transformative approaches to peace mediation in its current use, drawing from international and national practices;
2. to assess how, through the lens of transformative mediation, a more inclusive peacebuilding agenda can be constructed;
3. to engage alternative mediation practices that utilise the arts and trauma informed approaches;
4. to develop a collaborative programme of research and knowledge exchange activities across academic and non-academic participants that explores synergies and points of cooperation between practitioners “on the ground” and institutional actors across the island of Ireland;
5. to better link local expertise and knowledge from the island of Ireland with international networks and stakeholders involved in mediation.
The project outreach focuses on policy and public engagement through the development of a number of publications and events. The project also supports a varied blog series and podcast programme via the website www.Talk4Peace.com