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by Kalamalama staff

The symposium on international peace and security brought together a mix of 35 scholar experts and policymakers from international organizations, states, nongovernmental organizations, policy institutes, and development aid agencies. The objective was to help build a research-to-policy bridge on one of the most pressing issues in contemporary international peace and security: How to promote sustainable democracy in war-torn societies.

Experience with conflict management since the 1990s has found that war-to-democracy transitions present a set of thorny dilemmas for protagonists in the conflicts and for external peacemakers alike. How can societies shattered by war move towards democracy when the process of transition toward competitive party-politics, divisive constitution-making processes, and hard-fought elections also can exacerbate conflict among contending social forces? The dialogue at the Vail Symposium made clear the dilemmas and contradictions of peace building and democracy promotion. Both are desirable and necessary, but each process can complicate the other.

The symposium was organized by the University of Denver’s Graduate School of International Studies and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, Sweden. It was sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace, a federal agency in Washington, DC; the Swedish Vetenskapsrådet (Research Council); and International IDEA (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance), an intergovernmental organization based in Stockholm.

Juárez was one of a handful of academic scholars invited to the Vail Symposium, with others coming from Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Queens Universtity-Belfast, Australian National University’s Centre for Democratic Institutions, Uppsala University, and the University of Denver. Other participants included representatives from leading international organizations and think tanks, including the United Nations, the Brookings Institution, the Carter Center, the International Peace Academy, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Juárez joined HPU in 1997 and is a specialist on comparative politics of developing nations, peace and conflict studies, and global governance. He received his Ph.D. in political science from UCLA and has been a research scholar at UC-San Diego, visiting professor in Bogotá, Colombia, and Fulbright scholar to Mexico and the Czech Republic. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (PAAC), the world affairs council for the state of Hawai‘i.

 

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