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“Negotiating Survival” Book Symposium –Dancing with whoever is there: civilian agency, neutrality and the principle of distinction

Ashley Jackson’s fascinating book ‘Negotiating Survival: Civilian –  Insurgent Relations in Afghanistan’ (Hurst 2021) forms part of an important contemporary effort in political and social science literature to turn away from privileging the study of combatant behaviour in war, looking instead more closely at civilian perspectives and responses. The book focuses on the relationship between the Taliban and …

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“Negotiating Survival” Book Symposium – Lessons and Questions for Humanitarian Access in Violent Contexts

Ashley Jackson’s extraordinary book, Negotiating Survival, is a fascinating dive into the complex interactions that characterize relationships between civilians and members of armed groups. In the last decade, understanding how armed groups interact with people under their influence has become a central topic in the study of civil war. While a growing body of research references negotiations …

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Book Symposium “Negotiating Survival: Civilian–Insurgent Relations in Afghanistan”: Introduction

I finished the proofs for Negotiating Survival in the late spring of 2021, just as the Taliban mounted a sweeping offensive across the north of the country. I had spent years researching the insurgency, documenting all of the ways in which it was laying the ground work for this moment. It was disorienting to see …

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Making sense of a duty for non-State armed groups to provide reparations

Reparations by non-State armed groups: why does it matter? Exploring whether and how non-State armed groups (NSAGs), as collective duty bearers, might contribute to reparations for their violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) might appear far-fetched to some or even controversial to others. However, recent developments show that the present-day realities of armed conflicts – …

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The Peace Treaty Initiative: Facilitating the pathway of negotiation through international law

The Peace Treaty Initiative aims to fill a “critical gap in international law” by “developing an international law of peace negotiation”, as Mark Freeman explains in the introductory post of this symposium. This ‘gap’, i.e., the absence of an overarching international legal regime that governs peacemaking, has attracted significant attention in the last decade or …

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