This report seeks to address the question
"what happens to protagonists for change once that change has been achieved?"
by analysing the transformations of peace/human rights civil society organisations
(CSOs) during peace processes and democratic transitions in South Africa
This is a theoretical discussion drawing
from a diverse body of literature from political theory, philosophy, and
the social sciences, to the work of peace and conflict studies and practitioners
of reconciliation and conflict management.
This paper examines the driving factors and transitional stages of conflict transformation in protracted social conflicts, from social dynamics that address difference through violence to a system for the peaceful management of diversity, in order to generate more accurately focused criteria for the design, timing and nature of peacemaking and peacebuilding interventions.
This study is an initial attempt to present
the promising systemic approach to conflict transformation. It draws on
our own experience with this approach as well as on a comprehensive review
of the relevant research and on dialogue with many colleagues involved
in the theory and practice of conflict management.
The article argues that the demand for local ownership in externally funded conflict transformation projects is counterproductive, if it is seen as a concrete project objective. Nevertheless, the demand has an important function as policy ideal, pointing to the necessity for change in present international cooperation. Instead of aiming towards the impossible goal of literal "local ownership"of a foreign-funded project, which by definition inscribes the roles of donor and beneficiary, the focus should be on the nature of the relationship between the donors and the beneficiaries.