Research and analysis; experience-based and academic
Kreddha studies various aspects of intrastate conflict, conflict resolution and peace consolidation. Projects include thematic, case specific and comparative studies, as well as academic research, often carried out in cooperation with other institutions. Kreddha believes that in depth study and comparative analysis can contribute to the prevention and resolution of armed conflicts and forms one of the bases for expertise in this field.
An overwhelming majority of armed conflicts today are waged or originate within existing states. They cause tremendous human suffering and destroy the ability of entire communities to lead normal lives, to develop their cultural, spiritual, economic and creative potential and to raise their children in a secure environment. Recent history demonstrates that such conflicts can and do take place in all parts of the world. Consequently they potentially directly affect everyone. It is therefore vital that we learn about the causes and effective ways of addressing intrastate conflicts.
For a long time the concept of non-interference in the internal affairs of states prevented international involvement in intrastate conflict management and resolution. Today it is increasingly recognized that the international community has a responsibility and a role to play in this field. Kreddha carries out research, which can make available new knowledge and insights to help decision makers to effectively take on this responsibility.
Much of what has been written on intrastate conflicts reflects a statist and government perspective. It is also dominated by Western values and opinions. Very little has been written to present the views of diverse population groups on conflict and conflict prevention and resolution. This presents a difficulty for decision makers and conflict resolution practitioners trying to find solutions to or prevent conflicts. Population groups often do not identify with the kinds of solutions that are proposed. Resulting agreements, even if concluded, consequently frequently do not hold and can easily lead to new conflicts.
Kreddha takes special care to ensure that its experience-based research is balanced. To ensure the views and interests of all stakeholders are presented we organize expert meetings. These three day meetings bring together people with practical experience and expertise in intrastate conflicts, intrastate peace processes, international and constitutional law, as well as in indigenous, minority and self-governance issues. Participants are carefully selected to represent a broad range of perspectives on the subject of intrastate peace processes: leaders who have themselves negotiated or implemented intrastate peace agreements and autonomy arrangements - typically government officials and leaders of population groups -, third-party facilitators - often officials of international organizations, governments or NGOs -, and international lawyers and academics. Examples are the expert meetings held and research carried out for our Peace Agreement Implementation Project and our International Adjudication Project.
The other form of research that Kreddha carries out is academic. Kreddha engages scholars from around the world to share their specialized knowledge in order to explore issues that are of particular importance in understanding conflicts and addressing them. Kreddha for example undertook a five-year project of research into the nature of rule and inter-polity relations in Inner and East Asia from the 13th to the early 20th century. This historical research, which involved the presentation of papers by and discussions among over sixty reputable scholars from academic institutions in Asia, Europe, the Americas, was aimed at understanding how those historical relations and their various interpretations impact intrastate conflicts and peace processes. The study was undertaken in collaboration with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of the National University of Singapore, the University of California Los Angeles and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
Building on the results of that project, Kreddha has launched a new project, again involving numerous scholars worldwide, to advance the resolution of the Sino-Tibetan conflict by addressing a key obstacle – a precondition - through academic research and analysis. Conflicting perceptions of their history and how that relates to entitlement to territory and to rule are at the heart of the matter. The organization seeks to move parties from being stuck on mutually exclusive historical narratives to dialogue on alternative ways to legitimize rule.
Much care is taken to ensure that the insights and knowledge gained from all of Kreddha’s research efforts reach the appropriate people. In addition, the results of the research are also used for the training curricula developed by Kreddha.