What is this?

Civil conflict management

Civil conflict management lies at the heart of the CPS's work. It primarily takes place at the grassroots level in a society. There, people analyse conflicts, bring those involved together, develop non-violent solutions and prevent violence. Peace that is achieved in this way can grow in the long term.

Civil conflict management is the CPS's main approach: in crisis and conflict regions, stakeholders from civil society and the state work together for peace with non-violent means.

Civil conflict management is possible before, during and after a violent conflict:

  • It has a preventive effect and can forestall violence
  • It promotes non-violent conflict management and contains violence
  • It supports the establishment of democratic structures and reduces violence in the long term

Civil conflict management cannot always prevent or end violence. It can open up ways of living together non-violently. In doing so, it creates a foundation for lasting peace.

Civil conflict management has its specific methods

The specific type of work the CPS does depends on the conflict and the social context. It always starts with a conflict analysis to identify where the CPS can act. Civil conflict management works because it is based on theoretically sound concepts that are tried and tested in practice. These include, for example:

  • conflict and context analysis
  • conflict-sensitive communication
  • facilitation, negotiation, mediation
  • victim-offender mediation
  • psychosocial support for traumatised people
  • support for human rights defenders

A key advantage of the CPS experts is that they provide new perspectives as outsiders which help to initiate peace processes. This position makes it easier for them to contact all parties to the conflict. However, the experts do not claim to resolve conflicts. Rather, they support their local partners in finding their own non-violent ways, contributing their specialist knowledge in the process. The collaboration creates effective and practicable solutions.

Civil conflict management is versatile

Every conflict is different. The procedure must therefore always be adjusted on an individual basis. CPS work is correspondingly diverse. The basic principle is to take all perspectives into account, to strengthen disadvantaged groups and to seek a balance that benefits everyone.

Partners and experts work locally on the following issues, among others:

  • gaining the trust of the conflicting parties
  • promoting dialogue between all those involved
  • dismantling enemy stereotypes
  • conveying the methods and concepts of civil conflict management
  • bringing conflicting parties together
  • strengthening local legal security
  • standing up for human rights
  • providing psychosocial support to victims of violence
  • integrating former combatants back into the community
  • empowering disadvantaged groups to raise their concerns
  • sensitising journalists so that media articles de-escalate tension instead of exacerbating it