The issue opens with an interview with the Indian development expert Dr. Kshemendra Kumar Upadhyay, who reflects on the cast system's implications for the Indian society. Elisabeth Mikkelsen's article reports a case study of how 'sensemakings' about conflicts change as they are enacted from the perspective of staff and management in a non-profit organization that participated in conflict management training. In continuation, Bhimsen Devkota and Edwin van Teijlingen present a study that explores the motivating factors of individuals who joined Maoists as health workers in Nepal. The article provides policy-relevant conclusions on how to promote sustainable peace and improve health care services in communities affected by the conflict. In a similar vein, Adam Baird delves into the micro-foundations of peaceful society in his piece "Negotiating Pathways to Manhood ". He uses original empirical data collected in Medellín, Colombia, and a conceptual focus on masculinities to understand why some male youths negotiated a pathway to manhood without joining violent urban gangs.
"Rethinking Development from a Post-colonial Perspective" is the title of Sidi M. Omar's article in which he to proffers critical thoughts on development practice and discourse from the standpoint of post-colonial studies. Abosede Omowumi Babatunde offers an analytical evaluation of the conflict in Nigeria's Niger Delta and concludes that an integrated bottom-up participatory process that secures the quality of life of the people and that protects the environment is the path to sustainable peace and development in the Niger Delta.
The PIONEER article is this time dedicated to the Bradford model and outlines the contribution made by the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford to the field of international peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The PROFILE section presents the work of the Enough Project, which fights to end genocide and crimes against humanity. The issue's book review section reviews Audra Mitchell's 2011 publication Lost in Transformation: Violent Peace and Peaceful Conflict in Northern Ireland.
On the occasion of this years' elections in Nigeria, the issue opens with an interview delivered by the Nigerian political scientist Sadeeque Abubakar Abba. The second contribution by Ubong Essien Umoh and Idara Godwin Udoh employs linguistic theory to explain the use of the numerous adjectives used when we talk about "peace": qualifiers such as "positive", "warm", or "conditional", the authors argue, are employed by peace scholars as peace means different things to different people. Suggesting that thought is influenced by the availability of appropriate words in a given cultural context, they conclude that to examine the discourse of peace is an excellent way to look at the limits of our understandings thereof.
In his article Bryan Nykon takes a closer look at the influence of feature films on our beliefs in the legitimacy of violence. Drawing on the knowledge of conflict dynamics, he puts forward a number of specific suggestions of how to develop humanizing elements within films.
Transitional justice is the topic of Padraig McAuliffe's article. In critically assessing the use of transitional justice mechanisms, he stresses the value of paradigmatic transitions sensitive to local conditions. Paul van Tongeren presents a policy brief on infrastructures for peace, which have received growing attention due to predictions that political violence will increase in the near future. Such structures to deal adequately with ongoing or potential violent conflicts are lacking in many instances and have successfully been built up in a number of countries, as the policy brief shows.
The development of the idea of ombudsing is traced in the issue's PIONEER section, which reflects on the multicultural antecedents and especially the Scandinavian origins of the nowadays more and more popular practice. Finally, this issue's PROFILE presents the work of Mediators Beyond Borders, an NGO supporting local peacebuilding capacities in underserved areas and advocating the use of mediation in public policy disputes.
Since the beginning of 2011, scholars of Peace and Conflict Studies have focused their attention on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Commentators of the MENA uprisings have, however, been strikingly silent on one country, which is currently at a critical juncture in its historical development: Sudan. Jack Shaka interviewed the Kenyan Ambassador Daniel Mboya, first Special Envoy to the IGAD Secretariat in Sudan, on the prospects of peace after the February referendum.
In line with current affairs, the Palestinian author Hani Albasoos examines the drivers behind the upheavals in the MENA and the reactions on part of the international community, led by the United States, up to the time when the editing of the issue was closed. He argues that the events constitute the probably most significant development in global politics of the last decades as they will bear decisive implications for international stability.
Terhemba Ambe-Uva focuses on the role of diasporas in peace building processes in assessing the case of the Nigerian Tiv Diaspora. Two further articles concern themselves with development. Heidrun Zinecker develops a sharpened notion of the concept of civil society and offers a sophisticated conceptual reflection on its role in developing countries. Katharina Merkel adopts a practical perspective on the international efforts in contemporary Afghanistan in critically examining the security-development paradigm for this case.
In continuation, Ramin Jahanbegloo writes on the Ghandian inversion of modern political perception.
Turning to mediation, Renée Gendron's article focuses on the different roles of silence and Eduard F. Vinyamata presents the Neuro-Linguistic Programming approach.
The Pioneers section is dedicated to the life and work of the Norwegian diplomat Leif Hovelsen, written by one of his intellectual fosterlings, Christoph Spreng.
This issue's Profile presents the work of the Olympafrica Foundation and offers a book review written by Andreu Solà of "Who Benefits from Global Violence and War".
JoC 1:1 opens with a comment by the journal's editor on the discipline of Conflictology. Furthermore, it includes an interview with Johan Galtung and a discussion of the work of Adam Curle by Thomas Woodhouse (University of Bradford). Two articles focus on mediation in organizations. Nikolaj Kure and John Winslade examine the implications of transporting narrative practices from a context of mediation in two-party relations to an organizational context, and Josep Redorta presents the results of an innovative mediation strategy applied in a Spanish company.