Marc Broere

24 april 2024


Waarom kiezen mensen voor radikalisering, polarisatie en geweld? En anderen juist niet? Lees meer in de nieuwe Engelstalige Vice Versa over de Peace Nexus, een holistische benadering die werk op het gebied van noodhulp, vredesopbouw en ontwikkelingssamenwerking samenbrengt.

Why do people (men, women and young people) choose radicalisation, polarisation and violence? And why exactly do others choose not to? These questions have become increasingly urgent when we look at what is currently happening around the world. Take the Sahel, for example. Only a few decades ago, there were hopeful developments there.

However, it has now become a region of coups d’état and excessive violence against the population by Islamic terrorist groups. The prospects for the population are becoming increasingly bleak. The Wagner Group, a controversial organisation, is now stepping in to help restore order as governments have lost the ability to do so themselves and have severed ties with their former French coloniser.

Or take countries such as Burundi, South Sudan, Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Eastern Congo, where only a spark is needed to make the powder keg explode. And more recently, the attacks by Houthi rebels from Yemen on Western ships sailing through the Red Sea. In doing so, they hope to bring about an end to Israel’s violence against the Palestinian population. Major conflicts are fuelled and provoked, and often are a result of radicalisation. In addition, democracy seems to be on the decline all over the world, with right-wing populist leaders winning one election after another.

The broad field of international cooperation (government, civil society organisations, and science) is also intensively involved in these developments in the world. For many years, this mainly occurred in separate worlds: short-term humanitarian aid, long-term structural development cooperation, and peace-building work.

In the meantime, it is becoming increasingly clear that tackling immense world problems in isolation is no longer feasible; instead, they must be addressed in conjunction. There’s even a term for it: the Peace Nexus. A large number of interrelated factors lead to conflict and people’s involvement in violence. Socioeconomic factors, including poverty, lack of access to education, and also lack of opportunities, can create an environment in which extremist ideologies appear attractive.

The Dutch organisation *ZOA approached Vice Versa to make this special edition. *ZOA has given extra attention to the Peace Nexus by organising a symposium on this subject around its fiftieth anniversary. We reached out to several other organisations and knowledge institutions that are working on the subject of Peace Nexus for their expertise. They all share their experiences in this edition.

Interesting things are taking place, though, at the same time, there is still a long way to go. Funding for this type of work is often still very fragmented, with organisations often remaining in their comfort zone, not yet open enough to collaborate with others. We hope that this special will contribute to further decompartmentalisation.

Read more? Then subscribe to Vice Versa.

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