On the occasion of this years' elections in Nigeria, the issue opens with an interview delivered by the Nigerian political scientist Sadeeque Abubakar Abba. The second contribution by Ubong Essien Umoh and Idara Godwin Udoh employs linguistic theory to explain the use of the numerous adjectives used when we talk about "peace": qualifiers such as "positive", "warm", or "conditional", the authors argue, are employed by peace scholars as peace means different things to different people. Suggesting that thought is influenced by the availability of appropriate words in a given cultural context, they conclude that to examine the discourse of peace is an excellent way to look at the limits of our understandings thereof.
In his article Bryan Nykon takes a closer look at the influence of feature films on our beliefs in the legitimacy of violence. Drawing on the knowledge of conflict dynamics, he puts forward a number of specific suggestions of how to develop humanizing elements within films.
Transitional justice is the topic of Padraig McAuliffe's article. In critically assessing the use of transitional justice mechanisms, he stresses the value of paradigmatic transitions sensitive to local conditions. Paul van Tongeren presents a policy brief on infrastructures for peace, which have received growing attention due to predictions that political violence will increase in the near future. Such structures to deal adequately with ongoing or potential violent conflicts are lacking in many instances and have successfully been built up in a number of countries, as the policy brief shows.
The development of the idea of ombudsing
is traced in the issue's PIONEER
section, which reflects on the multicultural antecedents and especially the Scandinavian origins of the nowadays more and more popular practice. Finally, this issue's PROFILE
presents the work of Mediators Beyond Borders
, an NGO supporting local peacebuilding capacities in underserved areas and advocating the use of mediation in public policy disputes.
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