Governments and the international community remain reluctant to allow space for dialogue with non-state armed groups and have a limited understanding of how to reach and influence them constructively. Yet whilst international policy remains ambiguous, local populations living alongside armed groups may already be in contact.
How to get peace processes off the ground sustainably and inclusively is a vital but comparatively uncharted challenge for peace support. This Accord Spotlight explores priorities for more effective policy and practice.
In the years following 9/11, counter-terrorism laws, regulations, sanctions and policies have proliferated, many with the aim of curtailing non-state armed groups’ access to financial support. Several studies have shown how these measures impact the work of NGOs and civil society organisations providing humanitarian assistance or supporting peace efforts in these volatile contexts. One such impact is bank ‘de-risking’.
Bassel Saloukh examines the evolution of Hezbollah in Lebanon – as a political and social actor that maintains significant independent military capability. Developments inside and outside Lebanon have influenced Hezbollah’s progression from an armed militia and revolutionary party to one of Lebanon’s principal domestic political actors. Hezbollah’s refusal to disarm challenges the authority of the state and is anathema to many in the international community.