27 April 2021
14.00h - 15.30h
Expert Debate
This format includes the presentation and discussion of emerging topics and trends, new and fresh approaches and ideas by guests who are experts in their field, with lots of space for active engagement of and discussions with the participants of the session.
Virtual Session 2

Spoilers or Legitimate Interlocutors? Engaging Religious Actors in Peacebuilding

In the last 20 years, the role of religion in conflicts has gained new prominence and attention both in academic and policy circles. In recent years, Western political actors have gradually sought links and ways to positively engage with moderate religious actors while maintaining a firm stance towards extremist groups and the enlightenment-induced separation of religion and the state.

In the current global context of ethno-religious nationalism and increasing identity politics, this panel seeks to address the following questions: When and under which circumstances can or should religious actors be included in peacebuilding? Which responsibilities and advantages do religious actors and institutions have? Are there ways for partner countries (e. g. German government) to directly address religious actors in these cases? How should radical groups and religious violent actors be dealt with? How to engage with global networks and transnational religious fields in current peacebuilding practices? And lastly: How can the marginalisation of minorities via Hate Speech and Fake News be addressed while not losing sight of structural root causes of violence? These are some of the issues, which the workshop will discuss along the concrete examples of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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The FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum is a series of events on current and overarching challenges and trends in peacebuilding. With the Peacebuilding Forum, we want to provide future-oriented impulses for the development of peacebuilding and strengthen the visibility and importance of the policy field in its entirety.


Arbeitsgemeinschaft Frieden
und Entwicklung (FriEnt)
c/o GIZ

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 36
53113 Bonn