Navigating inclusion in peace processes
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Michael Semple examines how international engagement has affected inclusion in peacemaking in Afghanistan. He looks at four peace initiatives with varying levels of ‘inclusion ambition’ – the Geneva process, the establishment of the Taliban office in Qatar, and the Peshawar and Bonn processes. The analysis stresses the potential of sequencing the peacemaking agenda to enable participation of warring parties to achieve agreement on controlling violence, leading to subsequent negotiation processes to address governance, institutions and the social contract. Semple stresses that the history of peacemaking in Afghanistan shows that sustained and broad international engagement is vital to support greater inclusion, but that international peacemakers may be better served by promoting local consensus rather than a particular political configuration.