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Title: The relationship between human rights and peace in ethnically divided, post-conflict societies : theory and practice
Author: Hadjigeorgiou, Athanasia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 424X
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis critically examines the relationship between the protection of human rights and peace in ethnically divided, post conflict societies. It seeks to achieve this in two ways: on the one hand, it undertakes a theoretical analysis of the two key terms and on the other, it compares how protecting the rights to property and vote has affected peacebuilding efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Africa and Cyprus. Peace, as defined in the thesis, consists of three elements – security, justice and reconciliation; these sometimes reinforce and others contradict with each other. Theoretical arguments and real-life examples from the three case studies that confirm the existence of a positive relationship between human rights and peace are abundant. At the same time however, it is possible that the protection of human rights can also undermine peacebuilding efforts, whether inadvertendly or through their explicit demand. Human rights can, for example, promote security to the detriment of justice or reconciliation, thus negatively affectively the peacebuilding operation as a whole. In addition to the existence of a positive and negative relationship, it is also often the case that human rights are not connected to peace at all. This is particularly because in order for peace to be built, it is necessary to induce in the ethnically divided, postconflict society, legal, political, socio-economic and psychological changes. While however, human rights can make important contributions to the legal changes that have to take place, they are less effective in inducing the rest. This more nuanced understanding of the relationship between human rights and peace, calls for the enrichment of the liberal peacebuilding recipe that has human rights at its centrepiece. Policy makers should adopt an alternative strategy, which while valuing human rights, also addresses their limitations by supplementing them with other peacebuilding tools and mechanisms as well.
Supervisor: Zucca, Lorenzo ; Verdirame, Guglielmo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available