Friday, 6 August 2010

'Negotiating with the ‘Enemy’: perspectives past and present - 24th September 2010

University of London School of Advanced Study, Institute of Commonwealth Studies-Open University Empire and Postcolonial Group and Ferguson Centre for African & Asian Studies

Workshops on Counterinsurgency and Colonialism

'Negotiating with the ‘Enemy’: perspectives past and present

Friday 24 September 2010


Venue: Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of
London, Court Room, South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU


Counterinsurgency, 'homeland security' and 'The War on Terror' have led to a renewed interest in historical case studies of counterinsurgency, including case studies from the British Empire and Commonwealth. There has been debate in the US and UK of military
strategies, 'winning hearts and minds', and policing for international operations. But the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the peace process in Northern Ireland, demonstrate that another, relatively neglected area can have a major impact on such campaigns. This is the 'negotiation' with, and 'persuasion' of, militant elites and their key civilian supporters. The Northern Ireland peace process was developed through complex, often secret, contacts. The Iraqi insurgency was turned around as much through the 'Anbar Awakening' as by a 'surge' and new counterinsurgency policy. The question of how to negotiate, persuade and buy over Taliban leaders and supporters came to the fore in Afghanistan policy in 2009-10. This workshop will look at a variety of ways and contexts, contemporary and historical, in which 'enemy' leaders (military and civilian) have been targeted for persuasion and negotiation.

Enquires: To apply to attend without a paper please email Troy Rutt:


Registration 9.00-9.15

Opening 9.15-9.30

Session 1 9.30-11.00 Negotiating with tribal societies – AfPak perspectives
  • Negotiating Frontier Relations: Britain & Wazistan (Hugh Beattie, Open University) Discussant: TBC
  • The Political Officer: Managing the Pashtun tribes of the NW Frontier of India 1901-1947 (Chris Tripodi, Kings College London, DSD) Discussant: TBC
  • Pashtun Perspectives on negotiating with the Soviets & British, 1839-1987 (Rob Johnson, Oxford University) Discussant: John Bew

Tea 11.00-11.15

Session 2 11.15-12.45 Levels of Negotiation: surrender & loyalty transfer

  • Negotiating with Mau Mau: pseudo-gangs and surrender schemes, 1952-56 (Huw Bennett, King’s College London) Discussant: Karl Hack.
  • Communist perspectives on coming to terms with the British & semi-autonomous local politicians: Malaya 1948-60’ (Karl Hack, Open University). Discussant: TBC.
Lunch 12.45-1.45

Session 3 1.45-3.15 Covert peacemaking: Northern Ireland experiences
  • Covert peacemaking: Clandestine Negotiations &Backchannels with the IRA during the early ‘Troubles’, 1972-76 (Andrew Mumford, University of Hull) Discussant: TBC
  • Behind the Scenes: Negotiating with Republicans & Loyalists and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, 1980s-90s (Paul Dixon, Kingston University) Discussant: TBC.
Tea 3.15-3.30

Session 4 3.30-5.00 Paradoxes, Paradigms and Problems
  • The Northern Ireland model re-examined: conditions for successful negotiation (John Bew, Kings College London) Discussant: Paul Dixon
  • The Paradoxes of Negotiation (Isabelle Duyvesteyn and Bart Schuurman, Utrecht University, Netherlands) Discussant: TBC.
Roundtable/overview 5.00-5.30

For further details see the full programme.

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