Inclusion Dilemmas in Peacebuilding and Dialogues in Ukraine

  • Citation: Holper, Anne, and Tetiana Kyselova. “Inclusion Dilemmas in Peacebuilding and Dialogues in Ukraine.” Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 27, no. 3 (August 2021): 475–85.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • Ukraine
    • pro-Russian Ukrainians
    • lack of inclusion
    • peacebuilding
    • exclusion
    • dialogue

This article aims to elucidate the reasons underlying the lack of inclusion of Ukrainians with “pro-Russian” political views in peacebuilding and dialogues in Ukraine. Based on an analysis of empirical data from interviews and focus groups, we argue that the following 4 factors contribute to patterns of willful and unwillful exclusion during facilitated dialogues: (a) the absence of a political will and a societal agenda for inclusion of people holding “pro-Russian” political views, (b) high security risks connected with Russian hybrid warfare, (c) difficulties in identifying this group and the loss of their agency after 2014, and (d) the risk of their identity being transformed, thereby again de facto excluding “pro-Russian” views. By providing a first mapping of the observed factors and underlying dilemmas, the article aims to raise critical awareness of these difficulties in the field. By formulating the key open questions, it seeks to stimulate honest and constructive reflection among dialogue practitioners, civil society organizations, international donors, policymakers, and scholars in order to scrutinize and redesign inclusion approaches in Ukraine with the aim of better responding to the realities of the conflict and the dialogue system of this country.