Chapter 3: Knowledge for peace: integrating power to increase impact
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The rationale for peace research is that the promotion of peace can be improved through adequate knowledge. The general way such knowledge is produced in peace research and how it interacts with the policy of peacebuilding have been debated intensively. However, the dimension of power within the research process has hardly ever been explicitly discussed. This chapter argues that power, beyond being an important component of peacebuilding itself, is also relevant in the sphere of knowledge production. It suggests that a conscious integration of power dimensions into the research process should enhance the quality of research and the impact it has on policy decisions. The chapter specifically describes the relation between peace research and peacebuilding with a focus on power related dimensions and sketches resource asymmetries and the impact of changing political environments that influence these power dimensions. Finally, the concept of conflict sensitivity and the instrument of research partnerships are presented as means to control for power distortions in the production of ‘knowledge for peace’.

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