Brandt School Universität Erfurt

Peace in Colombia: Prof. Richter presented results from an ongoing research project on the reintegration of former FARC fighters

From 14th-21st November 2018 Juniorprofessor for International Conflict Management Solveig Richter stayed in Colombia and presented the results of her recent research project on Colombia.

From 15th-16th November, she participated at CAPAZ International Conference on Transitional Justice and Territorial Peace. She gave a presentation in Pasto, Narino, with the title "Reincorporacion de ex-combatientes de las FARC y elecciones 2018: Progreso o retroceso del proceso de paz?", (Reintegration of former FARC combatants and 2018 elections: A step forward or backwards?). Prof. Richter argued that the peace process in Colombia is a step forward in terms of the high acceptance of the electoral results by the conflict actors and as well because of the transformation of the rebel group in a political party. But at the same time it is also a step backwards since some specific elements of this process are highly contested like the latent uncertainty especially regarding the political participation of potential war criminals without being judged or the security assurances and the possibility of a rearmament by the former rebels.

In Bogotá, Prof. Richter gave two presentations at Rosario University and Los Andes University on Elections in Post-Conflict Colombia: Bridging the Legitimacy Gap of the Peace Process? Her presentation adressed the question in how far the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018 affected the peace implementation in Colombia. notably the legitimacy of the peace process. She argued that the elections were able to bridge a legitimacy gap between a general commitment to a more peaceful society and contestation of specific components of the settlement, especially the concessions to the former rebel group FARC-EP. In order to explain that observation one has to refer to a 'reversed-legitimacy-effect' of the elections, reversing the commitment for the peace process between the local and the national level. The presentations were based on longitudinal media content analysis during the elections 2018, ethnographic field research in two ETCR in Caquetá and Tolima and a community-based micro survey in conflict-affected communities in these regions.

Prof. Richter with Prof. Botero and students from Universidad de los Andes at her presentation on Elections in post-conflict Colombia: Bridging the Legitimacy Gap of the Peace Process?



During her stay in Colombia Prof. Richter also met representatives from Javeriana University, the German Embassy and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to discuss the current political situation and the ongoing peace process in the country.

Prof. Richter with Prof. Kleinschmidt at Rosario University

In addition to her academic presentations, Prof. Richter also strengthened the intercultural exchange between Germany and Colombia: She had the unique chance to meet one of the most famous Colombian musicians, Carlos Vives. You can find some nice greetings from him for all Germans and Colombians in the nice video on top of the page.

The stay in Colombia was financially supported by the German Academic Exchange Service and the German Colombian Peace Institute (CAPAZ). The research project was financially supported by the Thyssen Foundation and the Leibniz Foundation and implemented with support from Laura Barrios, Florencia Aguirre and Johana Botia.