New report co-authored by Edinburgh Law School's Christine Bell launched by the British Academy

Professor Christine Bell, Co-Director of the Global Justice Academy, is lead author in a major new report launched today by the British Academy in London.

The British Academy report, Navigating Inclusion in PeaceSettlements: Human Rights and the Creation of the Common Good, points to the need for more politically astute approaches to the implementation of human rights in fragile and conflict-affected states.

It addresses the ways in which peace processes in conflict situations have run aground in many contexts, leading to renewed violence. It argues that while peace settlements are usually successful in resolving immediate violence, they often produce compromises between parties. This can lead to an uncertain peace in which the root causes of the conflict are not resolved but are carried into new political and legal institutions. 

With a focus on the experiences of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Nepal and Burundi, the report recommends a more political approach to human rights implementation; one which takes account of both the challenges and the opportunities of post-agreement environments.

Professor Bell said:“As we debate the tragedy of terrorist attacks in the UK, understanding how deeply divided societies manage their disagreements so as to resolve and prevent conflict is very important. The UK has played a major role in supporting peace processes at home and abroad, and important lessons can be learnt from this experience. In the last few years, global conflict, having dropped since the end of the Cold War, is on the rise again. This report talks about ways in which protection of human rights plays a role in ensuring inclusive peace and a society with a common commitment to the common good".