ISA 2018 Panel: "Negotiating with Islamist Armed Groups?"


Welcome to the panel "Negotiating with Islamist Armed Groups?" on 7 April 2018 at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention in San Francisco. The panel is organized by Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs (Folke Bernadotte Academy), Core Group member of "Resolving Jihadist Conflicts?", and will gather a number of leading scholars to discuss conflict resolution in Islamist conflicts.  

One of the most pressing challenges on the contemporary global agenda for peace and security is armed conflicts involving militant Islamist groups. While such conflicts constituted a small minority of all armed conflicts at the time of the end of the Cold War, the picture has now changed dramatically. In 2016, 56 percent of all armed conflicts recorded were so called Islamist armed conflicts (involving armed groups fighting for self-proclaimed Islamist aspirations). These conflicts also tend to be the most violent conflicts of our time, with 91 percent of all recorded battle-related deaths.

These types of conflicts have both grown in absolute numbers, and have been largely untouched by the general trend in decline of armed conflicts since 1991, which has served to significantly increase their proportional share. Why is this the case? In spite of a growing literature on conflict resolution in civil wars, we know surprisingly little about the conditions under which these conflicts may be brought to an end, especially beyond military means. The purpose of this panel is to address this problem through presenting findings from five different in-depth case studies of negotiation attempts with armed groups with an Islamist agenda.

Chair: Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs
Discussants: Mark Juergensmeyer (University of California, Santa Barbara); Isak Svensson (Uppsala University)
Panelists: Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs; Marie-Joelle Zahar (University of Montreal); Arthur Boutellis (International Peace Institute (IPI)); Mona Kanwal Sheikh (Danish Institute for International Studies); Stig J. Hansen (Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Emy Matesan (Wesleyan University)

Date & Time: 7 April 2018, 4:00 - 5:45 PM

Please note that attendance at the ISA Convention in San Francisco requires registration, follow this link to register: ISA San Francisco 2018. We hope to see you there!