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Negotiation, Exclusion and Durable Peace: Dialogue and Peacebuilding in Tajikistan

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Peace negotiators concentrate their mediation efforts on leaders of armed factions in their pursuit of political agreements to stop a civil war, and they exclude noncombatants and interest groups that can "spoil" the bargaining. This practice of exclusion often creates agreements that fail during implementation. Track two diplomacy efforts can overcome this failure by providing channels to include other interest groups and active parties. In Tajikistan, participants in a sustained dialogue intervention provided crucial influence to the negotiation of a civil war settlement, but the agreement itself only created a greater centralization of political power and institutions that excluded public political participation. However, participation in the dialogue transformed members and even some observers into effective practitioners developing a large number of public associations committed to conflict resolution. Therefore, the Inter-Tajik Dialogue in Tajikistan illustrates a successful strategy for overcoming the dynamics of exclusion that drive political settlements between military leaders. More importantly, sustained dialogue demonstrates possible strategies for building peace by stimulating the development of a more inclusive civic culture.

Affiliations: 1: Air Command and Staff College, 225 Chennault Circle, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112 USA;, Email:


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