Inclusive Peace & Transition Initiative
Broadening Participation

The Broadening Participation Project

The multi-year research project “Broadening Participation in Political Negotiations and Implementation” focuses on inclusion in peace processes and political transitions. The overall research objective is establishing how and under what conditions included actors may participate in and/or influence complex peace-making and political transition processes, including consideration of eventual implementation of negotiated agreements. 

This project examines the various contributions made by included actors in selected cases, tracing the development of central dynamics and identifying common factors which enable and constrain actors’ abilities to influence negotiation and implementation processes. The “Broadening Participation” qualitative dataset comprises 40 case studies of multi-stakeholder negotiations within peace and transition processes, covering 34 countries, and ranging from 1989 to 2014. The cases are categorized according to seven inclusion modalities and a range of potential actors.

The first phase of the project (2011-2012) found that inclusion in peace and transition processes may take place across multiple levels and modes of interaction - not only at the formal negotiation table between official representatives. Derived from empirical cases, this preliminary research identified and described a broad variety of common inclusion modalities that are possible both at the table and alongside of it (see seven inclusion models in box below).

The second phase of the project (2013-2014) applied a comparative case study framework to the negotiation and implementation of selected peace and political transition case studies (see 40 cases below), analysing the functioning of the inclusion models in more detail. Case study analysis focused on the rationale for why inclusive processes were conducted; the diverse contributions made by included actors across modalities of participation and over time across process phases; and the context-specific factors which enabled and constrain actors’ ability to make their respective contributions.

The third phase of the project (2014-2017) analysed collected data by applying both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. The project has also begun to investigate new cases, such as the case of the Tunisian National Dialogues (2013-2015).

Led by Dr. Thania Paffenholz, the “Broadening Participation” project was conducted at the Centre on Conflict, Peacebuilding and Development (CCDP) at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). The second phase was conducted in cooperation with Dr. Çerağ Esra Çuhadar and her team at Bilkent University in Ankara, who supported some of the case study research and coding of data; case study research during this phase additionally benefitted from cooperation with Tufts University in Boston. Between mid-2015 and 2017, the project has continued at the IPTI (Graduate Institute).

Ⓒ Photo: Fardin Waezi / UNAMA

Key findings

  • Inclusion does not only take place at the negotiation table - different phases and locations also matter
  • Involvement of more groups does not matter per se, it is the quality of influence that matters
  • Broader inclusion is often motivated by pragmatic/strategic reasons rather than normative considerations
  • The involvement of women's groups, when they were influential, was strongly correlated with successful negotiation and implementation
  • Process factors determining the level of influence include the existence of strong coalitions, decision-making procedures, selection criteria and procedures, transfer strategies used by groups to ensure their inputs reach the negotiation table, attitude of mediators, and support structures for participants
  • Relevant contex factors include power politics and elite resistance, regional and geopolitical context, and public buy-in


1. Direct representation at the negotiation table

a. Inclusion within negotiation delegations
b. Enlarging the number of negotiation delegations
c. National Dialogue (peacemaking, constitution-making, reforms)

2. Observer status: Selected groups or public via media

3. Consultations: official/unofficial; elite/broader/ public

4. Inclusive commissions

a. Post-agreement commissions
b. Commissions preparing/conducting peaceprocess
c. Permanent bodies

5. High-level problem solving workshops (Track One.5)

6. Public decision-making (i.e. referendum) 

7. Mass action


  • Aceh (Peace Negotiation 1999-2003)
  • Afghanistan (Negotiations and Political Transition 2001-2005)
  • Benin (Political transition 1990-2011)
  • Burundi (Peace negotiations and implementation 1996-2013)
  • Colombia (Peace Negotiations 1998-2002)
  • Cyprus (Negotiations 1999-2004)
  • Darfur (Peace Negotiations 2009-2013)
  • DR Congo (Inter-Congolese Dialogue 1999-2003)
  • Egypt (Political Transition 2011-2013)
  • El Salvador (Peace Neg. and Impl. 1990-1994)
  • Eritrea (Constitution Making 1993-1997)
  • Fiji (Political Transition/Constitution making 2006-2013)
  • Georgia-Abkhazia (UN Negotiations 1997-2007)
  • Guatemala (Peace process 1989-1999)
  • Israel-Palestine (Geneva Initiative 2003-2013)
  • Israel-Palestine (Oslo I 1991-1995)
  • Kenya (Post-election violence 2008-2013)
  • Kyrgyzstan (Political reforms 2013 – present)
  • Liberia (Peace Agreement and Implementation 2003-2011)
  • Macedonia (Ohrid FA Peace Process 2001-2013)
  • Mali (Political Transition 1990-1992)
  • Northern Mali (Peace negotiation 1990-1996)
  • Mexico (Chiapas uprising and peace process 1994-1997)
  • Moldova-Transnistria (Negotiations 1992-2005)
  • Nepal (Peace Agreement and Constitution making 2005-2012)
  • Northern Ireland (Good Friday 2001 2013)
  • Papua New Guinea (Bougainville Peace Negotiations 1997-2005)
  • Rwanda (Arusha Peace Accords 1992-1993)
  • Solomon Islands (Townsville Peace Agreement and Constitution Making 2000- 2014)
  • Somalia (National Peace Conference 1992-1994)
  • Somalia (National Peace Conference 2001-2005)
  • Somalia (Djibouti process 1999-2001)
  • Somaliland (Post-independence violence negotiations 1991-1994)
  • South Africa (Political Transition 1990 – 1997)
  • Sri Lanka (Ceasefire, Peace Negotıatıon and Elections 2000-2004)
  • Tajikistan (Peace negotiations and impl.1993-2000)
  • Togo (Political transition 1990-2006)
  • Turkey Armenia Protocols 2008-2011)
  • Turkish-Kurdish (Peace Process 2009-2014)
  • Yemen (National Dialogue 2011-2014)