Inside the World of Armed Conflict Mediation w/ Pierre Hazan

30 Jan 2024 – 17:30 - 19:00 GMT
SOAS Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice (CCRJ)
Brunei Gallery

You are warmly invited to the SOAS Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice (CCRJ) launch of Pierre Hazan’s book, Negotiating with the Devil: Inside the World of Armed Conflict Mediation, insider reflections on the political and ethical ‘red lines’ that shape talks with armed interlocutors based on his work on Ukraine-Russia, Syria, Colombia, Central African Republic, Israel-Palestine and other conflicts.

Pierre will be in conversation with Jonathan Cohen (Conciliation Resources) and Pilar Domingo (Overseas Development Institute).
Chair: Phil Clark (SOAS)

After many years in the little-known world of back- channel mediation, helping sworn adversaries to prevent, manage or resolve conflict, Pierre Hazan felt compelled to re-examine the acute practical and ethical dilemmas that affected his work in Bosnia, Ukraine, the Sahel and the Central African Republic. What is the mediator’s responsibility when two belligerents conclude a peace agreement to the detriment of a third? Should mediators never be party to ‘ethnic cleansing’, even if it saves lives? Is a fragile peace worth sacrificing justice for—or will that sacrifice fuel another cycle of violence?

In an increasingly dystopian world, Negotiating with the Devil offers both practical guidelines and a moral compass for mediators whose field of action has transformed dramatically. We have gone from soft to hard power; from ‘peace dividends’ to war in Europe; from the end of one Cold War to a new East–West confrontation in Ukraine; from Pax Americana to a multipolar world; from the dream of an all-powerful UN to the organisation’s marginalisation.

Against this tapestry, Hazan sheds light on the complex work of those steering peace negotiations, blending vivid first-hand observation with sharp insights into the psychology of compromise as a first step towards peace.


‘You need to deal with everyone — including the really bad guys.’ Read Pierre Hazan’s interview with the Telegraph Magazine.

About the author

Pierre Hazan is a senior advisor with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Formerly a Harvard Law School fellow, United States Institute of Peace fellow and Libération diplomatic correspondent, he has advised NGOs, governments and armed groups on justice, amnesty, reparation, truth commissions, forced disappearances, international humanitarian law and human rights.


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