Talk4Peace project explores Transformative Mediation and Inclusive Peacebuilding

Talk4Peace is a new project funded by the North-South Research Programme, jointly led by Dr Maria-Adriana Deiana, from Queen’s University Belfast and co-director of the Centre for Gender in Politics, and Dr Heidi Riley, from the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin.

This project seeks to further our understanding of transformative mediation as a mechanism for peacebuilding and inclusive dialogue in the island of Ireland, tackling a topic that has received insufficient attention in academic research and policy. 

It explores transformative mediation’s potential to open alternative practices of conflict mediation and peacebuilding that centre recognition, agency and knowledges of a wide range of communities in contexts shaped by armed conflict. 

To achieve these goals, the project explicitly examines how a gender and intersectional lens can be better incorporated into practices of peace mediation as a way to challenge the continuing lack of recognition of women and other minoritised groups as mediators. In committing to an inclusive research process, involving extensive cross-border dialogue across the island, the project also explores the role of innovative tools used to maximise inclusion and outreach in mediation practices, including arts and cultural practices.

The project builds on extensive engagement and collaboration with mediation practitioners and other relevant civil society organisations involved in peace mediation.  One of the project’s publications will be a toolkit for transformative mediation to be shared widely with practitioners and policymakers nationally and internationally.

The project launch in July brought together  practitioners, academics, artists, and policymakers to explore the transformative potential of alternative forms of conflict mediation centred around a commitment to inclusive and creative practices.  

Speakers included:

Ilaria Tucci -Researcher & Practitioner in Tampere University, expert in the use of community theatre methods as a way to encourage inclusive and participatory dialogue. 

Laura Davis -Mediation practitioner, Gender and peacebuilding expert EPLO Brussels.

Patty Abozaglo -Mediation practitioner and researcher based in Maynooth University, worked extensively in Colombia and other parts of South America

Yaser Alashqar -Mediation practitioner and trainer, based in TCD Dublin with extensive mediation experience and specialist in Israeli/Palestinian context.

Bebhinn McKinlay -Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth Network, Northern Ireland representative 

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