Legitimacy and peace processes: from coercion to consent
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Hannes Siebert explains how national dialogue processes seek to address entrenched and protracted conflict through constructing forums for political reform and constitutional change. National dialogues prioritise domestic ownership as the stakeholders determine the process, decision-making and implementation mechanisms. They have evolved as ways to try to fix discriminatory or dysfunctional political systems and constitutional frameworks that contribute to violent conflict. They look to bring together major political decision-makers and other stakeholders and can help to promote political representation by incorporating key interest groups in society. National dialogues are extraconstitutional, and so a key challenge is how to link them effectively to existing or transitional constitutional bodies in order to effect real structural change.