Conflict Transformation

From the perspective of conflict transformation, contemporary conflicts require more than the reframing of positions (conflict management) and the identification of win-win outcomes (conflict resolution). Conflict transformation is a process of engaging with and transforming the relationships, interests, discourses, and, if necessary, the very constitution of society that supports the continuation of violent conflict.

To this end, Pax Christi International recognises that conflicts are transformed gradually, through a series of smaller or larger changes as well as specific steps, by means of which a variety of actors may play important roles, especially the Member Organisations of the network. The key role of Pax Christi International is to support local actors and coordinate external peace efforts that require an in-depth understanding of local socio-cultural dynamics and a long-term time frame.

In all of its activities, Pax Christi aims to operate at three levels within a society, applying a different peace-building strategy at each level. The top-level leaders can be engaged by intervention and outcome-oriented approaches. The mid-level leaders can be engaged by more resolution-oriented approaches, such as problem-solving workshops or peace-commissions, with the help of prominent local individuals.

The third level, where civil society tends to be most active, represents the majority of the population and can be engaged through a range of peace-building approaches, such as local peace commissions, community dialogue projects, or trauma healing.