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Initiating peace processes is hard to do – and not easy to document or analyse. Formative dialogue initiatives are largely informal, opaque and secret. The reality of peace processes is messy and ‘phases’ criss-cross one another. Armed actors talk and fight at the same time. Negotiations stop, start and mutate over many years. ‘Early’ peacemaking is invariably ‘too late’, as violence and repression are embedded in societies and political systems. These challenges all collide in an era of tense and toxic geopolitics, proxy violence, ‘nested conflicts’ and information warfare.

Explore our full Accord publication, Pioneering peace pathways: Making connections to end violent conflict.


Conciliation Resources is grateful to the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs for support for the Accord Pathways to Peace Talks project. Opinions expressed by all contributors are their own. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Conciliation Resources.