Direct Inclusion of Civil Society in Peace Negotiations: A case study analysis of the inclusion of victim delegations in the 2012-2016 Colombian peace process

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This thesis advances a theoretical model conceptualising the causal mechanism that links the inclusion of civil society actors to a strengthening of the legitimacy of a peace process. It finds that there are four necessary, although in itself insufficient, parts that shape the causal mechanism: the idea to include civil society actors, the selection process, the representation, and the attitude of the public. Throughout all of these parts, various actors undertake activities to exert causal force and influence the process to their benefit. Understanding how intervention X (the inclusion) shapes outcome Y (a more legitimate peace process) is fundamental to analyse and evaluate inclusive transitional justice mechanisms. The Colombian peace process (2012-2016) is used as a case-study to analyse how the inclusion of victim delegations has affected the legitimacy of the overall process. I find evidence that illustrates a steep increase in confidence and support for the peace negotiations between 2014 and 2015 (corresponding with inclusion of the victim delegations). A significant body of account evidence and e silentio evidence hints to a positive effect of the victim delegations, but it cannot be decisively demonstrated, to the exclusion of all other possible causes, that this is directly attributable to the inclusion of the victim delegations.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen