Negotiating Peace in Deeply Divided Societies: A Set of Simulations


Edited by: Radha Kumar

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    Each of these simulations was tested and rewritten through trial runs in seven different Indian universities over a period of two years. There were 42 trial runs in all, conducted as part of a Delhi Policy Group project on ‘Developing Durable Peace Processes and Partners’, funded by the EU–India Economic Cross Cultural Programme (ECCP). Special thanks are owed to the University Coordinators who ran our simulations with their students, Professor Udayon Mishra and Rajib Handique of Dibrugarh University, Dr Tasneem Minai and Dr Kaushikee of Jamia Millia Islamia, Professor Siddiq Wahid and Professor Ranjit Kalra of Jammu University, Professor Sanjukta Bhattacharya and Professor Partha Prathim Basu of Jadavpur University, Professor Afzal Qadri of Kashmir University, Professor Parthasarathy of IIT Mumbai and Professor Shahjehan of the Tata Institute of Social Studies.

    Special thanks are also due to Ellora Puri for her early work in assembling the simulations and to the Delhi Policy Group team that ensured the trial runs for the simulations took place: Rajneesh Verma, Anita Ganesan and Imran Nabi Dar.

    Finally, for the 400 students who participated in the simulations, thank you for making us believe in their worth.



    Up until the 19th century, simulation was generally seen as a deliberate or wicked act of deception in the Western Christian tradition, ‘as it is symylacion of holynes, be whiche is double wickidnes’ (Wyclif 1888: 302). It was distinguished from other forms of deception thus: ‘a Deceiving by Words is commonly called a Lye, and a Deceiving by Actions, Gestures, or Behaviour, is called Simulation’, said the theologian Robert South in 1688 (South 1697: 525), and in 1711, the satirical writer Richard Steele clarified that ‘Simulation is a Pretence of what is not, and Dissimulation a Concealment of what is’ (Steele 1953: 1).

    Eastern traditions had a more ambiguous view. They distinguished between simulation as possession and simulation as deception. Possession by divine spirits was and continues to be treated as a sign of holiness rather than deception by most Hindus. At the secular level, simulation is also used as a means of sharing in an ordeal in some tribal regions of India, such as the Santhal Parganas, where men are encouraged to simulate childbirth as their wives undergo the actual process.

    On simulation as deception, both the 4th century Hindu text, Kautilya's Arthashastra (laws of political economy) and the 5th century Chinese martial handbook, Sun Tzu's Art of War, expound on the manifold uses of simulation and dissimulation against the enemy. Moreover, ancient Hindu literature debated whether and when deception was morally permissible in war. In both the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita, deception was allowed only in exceptional circumstances, such as response to treachery, even during war. Of course, when it came to war, simulation and dissimulation were considered essential tools in the Western Christian tradition too, and not only for war. Lies, said Machiavelli in the 17th century, were essential to diplomacy; a hundred years later, Clausewitz described war as merely the extension of foreign policy. More often than not, states have gone to war because they misinterpreted simulation or dissimulation by another state, even though that state may have adopted tactics of pretence or concealment as a form of self-defence.

    Analytically, simulation began to be dissociated from deception in the 19th century. According to the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, simulation first began to be used as a tool for learning in the field of medicine—in particular, psycho-analysis—in the mid-19th century. Baudrillard is caustic in his criticism of alienation and regression as blurring the lines between reality and ‘irreality’. He similarly critiques military simulations as substituting virtual war for real war (Baudrillard 1988: 166–84).

    Baudrillard's criticism is pertinent at a time when the popularity of war games using computer-based simulation is multiplying by leaps and bounds across cultures and nations, especially amongst school children. But not all simulations make the same claims to reality.

    In the social sciences, simulation crept in as a technique in the 1960s and it has generally been used to predict or frame the behaviour of groups and markets, though Axelrod and Riolo have both used computer-generated simulations to derive principles of cooperative behaviour (Axelrod 1997: 203–26; Riolo 1997). In the policy field, an increasing number of strategic and defence planners use computer-based simulation for prediction and discovery. Humanitarian agencies like the UNHCR use mapping techniques of refugee movement that draw on simulation to prepare for protection.

    At the same time policy, diplomatic and humanitarian circles have also begun to explore the uses of simulation as training exercises. Simulations based on historic or current peace negotiations do not claim statistical accuracy or predictive capability, let alone virtual reality. If anything, they sharpen awareness of human fallibility because they help analysts, policy-makers and activists put themselves in the shoes of key actors in order to gain a more effective understanding of the costs and opportunities of making war or peace.

    The six simulation exercises published in this book are mostly based on actual or potential negotiations in ongoing peace processes, but they dispense with some of the rules of role-play. The overarching theme of the simulations is to learn from peace negotiations in societies that have been violently divided along ethnic or religious lines by competing claims to self-determination. However, only two of the simulations replicate actual negotiations as they took place (Northern Ireland and Jammu and Kashmir). Two others envisage an imaginary stage in ongoing negotiations (Bosnia–Herzegovina and Nagaland), and two are abstract simulations that address critical contemporary debates on ending violence and humanitarian intervention.

    This combination permits participants to focus on the different stages of peace-making and peace-building in deeply divided societies, the make or break issues that are involved, and the changing roles that key actors play. Each simulation deals with a specific aspect of self-determination conflicts and their resolution. Taken together, the six cover the following: the early stage of ending the violence to pave the way for a political settlement, the middle stage of trust-building through addressing the root causes, the next to last stage of negotiation and compromise to reach a formal agreement, and the post-agreement stage of reconstruction and reconciliation.

    The simulations do not, however, appear in that order in this book. Rather, they follow an order of cumulative learning, beginning with peace negotiations about which a great deal of reliable information is readily available, both in published form and electronically, so that participants can prepare their roles in detail. Then, going to negotiations about which information is less readily available but which the participant can research. Interspersed between these two are abstract negotiations that derive general principles from concrete cases on a key peace-making theme, such as how to achieve a ceasefire or the role of third parties in brokering peace. In other words, by the time participants come to abstract exercises in which they have to exercise imagination, they will already be acquainted with the nature of conflict in deeply divided societies and the structural characteristics of important actors in the peace process.

    The first of our simulations is based on an actual negotiation, the last round of talks to settle the 75-year long Northern Ireland conflict, which yielded the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement of 1998. Under the Belfast Agreement, the British and Irish governments agreed to give up their competing territorial claims and established a joint body for bilateral cooperation. Northern Ireland's Protestants and Catholics agreed to create a common assembly and executive, and set up a joint mechanism with the Irish government to oversee six cross-border cooperation programmes. The Belfast Agreement also set up Human Rights and Equality Commissions, and ensured the early release of Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners, the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons and wide-ranging reforms of justice and policing, including renaming and retraining the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). It was separately agreed that the British army would withdraw in phases tied to the implementation of the agreement.

    Much of the substance and detail of the Belfast Agreement built on the The Framework Documents released in February 1995 by the British and Irish governments, but it took the parties another three years to negotiate their proposals. The stage for The Framework Documents was set in 1994, when a ceasefire by the IRA opened the way for a peace process. It was generally expected that the ceasefire would be quickly followed by talks between influential political parties in Northern Ireland and the release of The Framework Documents was clearly intended to nudge talks along. However, the British government's insistence that the IRA should begin to destroy its weapons before talks took place delayed them until September 1997, when negotiations towards a settlement began under the chairmanship of US Senator George Mitchell. In April 1998, Mitchell announced that the time was ripe for an agreement.

    When the April talks began, most participants and observers were pessimistic. Some of the Protestant parties were still demanding that the IRA begin decommissioning as a token of good faith before an agreement could be concluded. The Sinn Fein held fast by its demand for reunification of Northern Ireland and the Republic. The chief actors seemed poles apart. And yet, within days, there was an agreement. What made it possible? How did the parties come to realize which issues were deal-breakers and which permitted an imaginative solution?

    Part of the objective of this simulation is that participants should be able to understand the political dynamics that made the agreement possible among antagonists with diametrically opposed objectives. At the same time, participants will be aware (as the actual participants of the talks in 1998 were not) of the difficulties that were encountered in implementing the settlement and its political impact.

    The second simulation is an imaginary negotiation involving Bosnia–Herzegovina, which takes place five years after the internationally brokered Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995.

    The Dayton Peace Agreement put an end to the bloody ethnic war in Bosnia–Herzegovina but it also divided Bosnia–Herzegovina into two entities: a Muslim–Croatian Federation and a Bosnian Serb Republic, Republika Srpska. Each entity had its own president, government, parliament, police and other bodies. A weak central government and a three-member rotating presidency provided an overarching framework that was intended to bring the two entities together. At the same time, a transitional international authority, under joint UN–EU leadership, superseded the presidency and entity administrations. And an international North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led force protected the country and the entities.

    Dayton brought peace but it was, and remains, a controversial agreement, its critics arguing that it created a de facto partition along lines that reinforced separatism and nationalism at the expense of integration. Its defenders say that it was the best chance of ending ethnic war, that it needed to be ambiguous about reintegration in order to bring the warring parties on board and that it did include significant provisions for reintegration. For instance, it enshrined the right of those displaced by the conflict to return home. And it created binding mechanisms for implementing the War Crimes Tribunal.

    Unlike the Belfast Agreement, which comprised a package that could be reviewed ten years later, some provisions of the Dayton Agreement were clearly transitory, such as international administration and security, and others were more ambiguous when it came to review. For example, the Bosnian Constitution that was part of the Dayton Agreement included provisions for constitutional amendment but the Bosnian government needed international support for amendment. In this simulation, five years into the implementation of the Dayton Agreement, we ask whether the 1995 Constitution should be amended to bring the two entities into a closer federal relationship. While this is an imaginary scenario, it is based on a proposal that was in fact made five years after Dayton. The Social-Democratic government that came to power in the 2000 elections proposed that the Bosnian Constitution be amended by the legislative assembly; the international community, led by the US, turned down their proposal.

    A number of issues were involved in amending the Constitution. Would provisions for a closer federal relationship sharpen or weaken existing divisions? What was the priority: to lessen the authority and responsibilities of the international administrator and increase the responsibilities of the federal government, or to use the present structure to get better, reintegrative mechanisms in place?

    While the previous simulation was a peacemaking exercise in how to reach and structure a peace agreement, this simulation is a peace-building exercise. It aims to get participants to ask what are the best constitutional and administrative mechanisms to enable recovery once the war has ended, taking into account the different strengths and weaknesses, fears and required courage, of the key actors, including the US, the EU and the UN.

    The third simulation in this book focuses on a major confidence-building and Stage One measure: winning a ceasefire as the first step towards political resolution of the root causes of conflict. Ceasefires were essential to the prospects for a political settlement in Northern Ireland because the chief parties involved had close links with illegal organizations engaged in political violence. Similarly, an indefinitely extended ceasefire made the Naga peace process possible and ceasefires would have had the same impact in Bosnia–Herzegovina and Jammu and Kashmir if they could have been achieved.

    This simulation is set in an imaginary Asian region called Aboltabol, which is plunged in violent conflict for independence or secession from the federation of Omiya. The self-determination groups do not command enough public support across Aboltabol to be able to wrest independence by force, but they are strong enough to keep the region mired in political and/or ethnic violence until the federal government negotiates a settlement with them.

    A new federal government has just come to power and its President/Prime Minister has appointed a negotiator to explore options for a settlement with political and armed Aboltabol groups that are demanding independence or secession. If the various parties embroiled in conflict can agree to cease fire, the chances are high that they can move towards a political settlement.

    What is each group prepared to concede in order to achieve a ceasefire, keeping in mind the long-term goal of a political settlement? Do they need to discuss the framework of a settlement as the basis for ceasefire negotiations? Can they commit to maintaining a ceasefire even when negotiations for a full settlement get rocky?

    The purpose of this abstract simulation is twofold — first, to enable participants to focus on the structural elements of a successful peace process, in particular, to distinguish which confidence-building measures (CBMs) play the make or break role. And second, to enable participants to explore the qualities—objective as well as subjective—that are vital in a good peace negotiator.

    The fourth simulation is set in India and it deals with a particularly difficult self-determination conflict, that of the Naga tribes who are spread across four different states in Northeastern India. Though a homeland, Nagaland, was successfully negotiated in 1962, breakaway Naga leaders went into exile in protest at the exclusion of diaspora territories from the homeland and fought a decades-long civil war to incorporate Naga-inhabited areas of neighbouring states into the homeland.

    In February 1997, the Government of India (GoI) and the chief breakaway group, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland NSCN (I-M), signed a ceasefire. Since then, there have been more than 50 rounds of talks between the NSCN (I-M) and the GoI, represented by former Minister K. Padmanabhaiah. Most of the talks were held in foreign locations and a few in New Delhi. In early 2007, the two sides held talks in Nagaland for the first time, during which they decided to extend the ceasefire indefinitely. While the talks were on, Naga civil society groups demonstrated in favour of a peaceful settlement and the participants decided that the next round of talks would take up the demand for a common Naga administration.

    The decision to indefinitely extend the ceasefire showed determination on both sides to arrive at a negotiated settlement. By this point, NSCN (I-M) leaders had begun to hint that they were prepared to consider non-territorial forms of selfdetermination, paving the way for cross-border proposals that would not disturb the present boundaries of any other Northeastern state, which are in any case open.

    While the chief onus for success in the talks was on the GoI and the NSCN (I-M), there were several other voices in the Naga movement that had been instrumental in bringing the talks to this stage. Naga civil society groups played an important role in pushing the NSCN (I-M) to take a flexible position. Their continuing influence could make all the difference while arriving at a comprehensive peace agreement.

    The critical role that civil society actors generally play in a successful peace process has been relatively undervalued. This simulation is built around a Naga civil society conference that aims to set the agenda for the next and purportedly comprehensive round of talks between the GoI and the NSCN (I-M). The simulation is a projection exercise insofar as it envisages a meeting that is yet to take place, and it encourages participants to conceptualize the role that civil society can have in setting the agenda for final negotiations.

    The fifth simulation deals with a very current issue—the Jammu and Kashmir peace process between India and Pakistan. In May 2006, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up five working groups to produce ideas on how to move the Kashmir peace process forward. The members of the working groups were drawn from Jammu and Kashmir's political parties, representatives of its different ethnic communities and civil society leaders. The self-determination or ‘separatist’ groups (as they are called in South Asia) refused to participate in the working groups until they included members from Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

    The working groups were another step in the peace talks that India and Pakistan initiated in 1999, hoping to end the 60-year-old Kashmir conflict. The peace talks gathered momentum only in 2003, following a ceasefire between the two countries. Two India–Pakistan summits, in 1999 and 2000, respectively, broke down amid violence by armed groups. But since 2003, the Indian and Pakistani governments have refused to let terrorist acts derail talks.

    As a result, the back channel discussions between Indian and Pakistani envoys advanced steadily. Though the Indian government's efforts to open talks with the Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella organization of Kashmiri independence or separatist groups, were fitful and beleaguered, they did produce a rough set of ideas based on open borders, self-governance and demilitarization. Now, the working groups have an opportunity to combine all three baskets of issues in a comprehensive framework.

    This simulation is based on the working group dealing with centre–state relations because it touches on the crux of the problem: Kashmir's political status. The working group on centre–state relations met much later than the other groups did because it was plagued by indecision when it came to appointing a Chair. Its first meeting, in December 2006, was boycotted by the largest Kashmiri political party, the National Conference, to protest continuing human rights violations. In the second and third meetings in February and March 2007, respectively, the debate was so heated that they ended without any agreement even on issues for further discussion. There was a long hiatus after the third meeting, until the Chair called a fourth meeting for September 2007, to wrap up and produce a report.

    It was, by now, widely rumoured that the back channel discussions were close to an agreement. Therefore, when the working group went into its fourth and supposedly final round of deliberations, one of the key issues before it was whether its proposals should be part of a wider settlement involving India, Pakistan and Kashmiris from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), or whether they should be worked out only between New Delhi and Srinagar. Which was more likely to produce a lasting settlement? The other key issue before the working group was to frame recommendations that would be acceptable to the independence or separatist groups, or at least sufficiently attractive to draw them into the consensus-building process.

    This simulation is what one might call a ‘pre-agreement’ exercise: recommendations produced by the working group could provide a draft for discussion with Kashmiri political and self-determination groups, which might then feed into a final peace agreement.

    The sixth and final simulation in this book is again an abstract one. It is set in an imaginary country called Samia in Africa that has been plagued by famine and recurrent ethnic conflict, despite—or perhaps because of—being geo-strategically important and wealthy in minerals and energy. This country has recently been engulfed by a new wave of conflict in which tens of thousands have died and hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes.

    Humanitarian agencies, NGOs and the media are convinced that perhaps as many as two million people will die, if the international community does not intervene rapidly. Samia's government has absolutely refused to allow any humanitarian agencies to enter, though the numbers of internally displaced are rapidly rising. Diplomatic pressure has not worked so far because different members of the international community have different interests and ties with Samia and its neighbours. Remembering international failure in the case of Rwanda, the international media is baying for military intervention to prevent the catastrophe and public pressure is building in influential countries for the governments to act.

    This simulation is an exercise in humanitarian intervention. It posits an emergency meeting at the US State Department called by the US administration to discuss whether diplomatic tools will succeed in getting humanitarian aid to the victims of the conflict, and if not, whether military action should be taken. The key questions before the participants are—can a humanitarian catastrophe be prevented by speedy deployment of international aid and protection? If military intervention is required, who will provide the troops? Will a sufficient number of countries support military intervention, so that it has international backing? Is there an exit strategy?

    In contrast to the other simulations, this simulation can be called a conflict management exercise in which the goal is to prevent the conflict from escalating to crisis. It encourages participants to consider third party roles in mitigating or alleviating, and thereby possibly containing ethnic conflicts.

    To sum up, the six simulation exercises in this book cover the following aspects of negotiating peace in deeply divided societies—one, preventing escalation of the conflict (also called conflict management); two, initiating CBMs that pave the way for political resolution; three, addressing the root causes of conflict; four, arriving at a comprehensive agreement to end the conflict; and five, post-conflict peace-building. Taken together, the simulations have been designed to be useful for administrators, negotiators and peacekeeping forces, as well as students. The roles and situations in which participants are placed cover a gamut of contemporary engagement in domestic as well as international relations, and will, I hope aid a better understanding of how government and community actors can alter conflict behaviour in such a way as to make resolution of the conflict possible.

    Axelrod, Robert1997. ‘The Dissemination of Culture: A Model with Local Convergence and Global Polarization’, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 41: 203–26.
    Axelrod, Robert1997. The Complexity of Cooperation: Agent-Based Models of Competition and Collaboration. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 145–77.
    Baudrillard, Jean1988. Selected Writings. (ed. MarkPoster) Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    Kumar, Radha1993. A History of Doing: Movements for Women's Rights 1900–1990. Delhi: Kali for Women.
    Riolo, R.1997. ‘The Effects of Tag-Mediated Selection of Partners in Evolving Populations Playing the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma’, Santa Fe Institute Working Papers 97-02-016.
    South, Robert1697. Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions (
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    ), Volume I. London: Thomas Bennet.
    Steele, Richard (ed.). 1953. The Tatler, 213: 1. London: Lewis Gibbs.
    Wyclif, John1888. Works, 302, cited in the Oxford English Dictionary: 1971, Volume II: 289.
  • Appendix: Note for Simulation Setters

    For those who might use our simulations as part of their course-work or training, as we hope will happen, the following lessons that we learned might be of use.

    First of all, it is very important to brief participants thoroughly and give them adequate time to prepare their roles (for university students a week to two weeks, for practitioners four to five days).

    Second, it is essential to have a sufficiently large control group who are also well-briefed, so that each negotiating group in the simulation has at least one outside advisor who can ensure that participants do a regular reality check and who is with participants throughout the simulation.

    Third, doing one or two simulations is not enough for lessons to be firmly learned; a minimum of four exercises is required.

    Last, do not hesitate to adapt the simulations to fit your training exercise: you can, for example, cut some of the ancillary roles if you want the focus to be on key players; but in this case, it is important for the participants to be given the full simulation text, so that they are also aware of the smaller roles that were played in reaching or failing to reach an agreement.

    About the Editors and Contributors

    The Editors

    Radha Kumar is Director of the Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Jamia Millia Islamia University, India and trustee of the Delhi Policy Group. Formerly Senior Fellow in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (1999–2003), she is currently a member of CSCAP India, and on the board of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

    Dr Kumar's books include Making Peace with Partition (Penguin: 2005); Divide and Fall? Bosnia in the Annals of Partition (Verso: 1997); and A History of Doing: Movements for Women's Rights and Feminism in India, 1900–1990 (Kali for Women and Verso: 1993). Her articles have been published in Foreign Affairs, the World Policy Journal, the Brown Journal of World Affairs, Feminist Review, Indian Economic and Social History Review, Economic and Political Weekly and Seminar. She is a frequent OpEd contributor to The Indian Express, DNA and other Indian newspapers. She had edited or authored roughly 30 reports, of which the most recent are Delhi Policy Group publications, Frameworks for a Kashmir Settlement (2007, 2006); Peace-Building: European and Indian Views (2007); and Peace Agreements and After (2006).

    The Contributors

    John Doyle is Director of the Centre for International Studies in Dublin City University, Ireland, and Director of their graduate programmes in international relations. His research interests include comparative nationalist and ethnic conflict, especially the use of flexible models of sovereignty in peace processes; Northern Ireland and international security and foreign policy.

    His recent publications include ‘Irish Diplomacy on the UN Security Council 2001–02: Foreign Policy-making in the light of Day’, Irish Studies in International Affairs Vol. 15: 73–102 (2004); ‘New Models of Sovereignty for Contested States: Some Empirical Evidence of Non-Westphalian Approaches’ in Howard Hensel (ed.) Sovereignty and the Global Community: The Quest for Order in the International System, (New York: Ashgate, 2004); ‘US Power after Sept 11—Increasing International Insecurity’, Development Review, 2002: pp. 31–50 (with Eileen Connolly), and ‘Citizenship in Contested States Post 2000: The Northern Ireland Peace Agreement and its Global Implications’, in Sai Felicia Krishna-Hensel (ed.) The New Millennium: Challenges and Strategies for a Globalizing World (New York: Ashgate, 2000).

    Adrian Guelke is Professor of Comparative Politics in the School of Politics and International Studies at Queen's University, Belfast. He was Director of the school's Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict, and the Jan Smuts Professor of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg from 1993 to 1995.

    His recent publications include ‘Negotiations and Peace Processes’ in John Darby and Roger Mac Ginty (eds), Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Peace Processes and Post-War Reconstruction (Palgrave Macmillan 2008); ‘Israeli Flags Flying Alongside Belfast's Apartheid Walls: A New Era of Comparisons and Connections’ in Guy Ben-Porat (ed.), The Failure of the Middle East Peace Process? A Comparative Analysis of Peace Implementation in Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland and South Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); ‘Great Whites, Paedophiles and Terrorists: The Need for Critical Thinking in a New Age of Fear’, Critical Studies on Terrorism, Vol. 1, No. 1, April 2008, ‘The Lure of the Miracle? The South African Connection and the Northern Ireland Peace Process’ in Christopher Farrington (ed.), Global Change, Civil Society and the Northern Ireland Peace Process: Implementing the Political Settlment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); ‘The Northern Ireland Peace Process and the War against Terrorism: Conflicting Conceptions?’, Government and Opposition, Vol. 42, No. 3, Summer 2007; Terrorism and Global Disorder: Political Violence in the Contemporary World (IBTauris, 2006), (Co-editor), A Farewell to Arms?: Beyond the Good Friday Agreement (Manchester University Press, 2006); and Rethinking the Rise and Fall of Apartheid: South Africa and World Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

    Anjali Puri is a Senior Editor at the Outlook magazine, and was senior correspondent for The Indian Express.

    Before joining Outlook, Ms Puri directed the Student Programme with the New Delhi-based think tank, the Delhi Policy Group, on the EU-sponsored project titled ‘Developing Durable Peace Processes and Partners’, for which the simulations published in this book were originally written.

    Ellora Puri is a political scientist based in the University of Jammu. Her research interests include: issues of political violence, identity politics and political institutions, specifically in the context of South Asian politics. Before joining the University of Jammu, Ms Puri worked as Senior Research Associate with the New Delhi-based think tank, the Delhi Policy Group, on the EU-sponsored project titled ‘Developing Durable Peace Processes and Partners’, from which this book emerged. She has held several other research assignments in various places.

    She has published a number of research articles in prestigious peer-reviewed journals like the Economic and Political Weekly. As a graduate student she was a recipient of number of academic honours, rewards and fellowships.

    Udayon Mishra retired recently as Professor and Head of the Department of English, Dibrugarh University. Formerly a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla, he is currently a member of ICSSR.

    His doctoral work on 19th century British writing on India has been published as The Raj in Fiction (New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 1984). Apart from his research in post-colonial literature, Mishra writes extensively on the society and politics of India's North-East. His publications include ‘Naga Peace Talks: High Hopes and Hard Realities’, Economic and PoliticalWeekly, February 15, 2003, The Transformation of Assamese Identity (H. K. Barpujari Endowment Lecture, 2001); The Periphery Strikes Back: Challenges to the Nation-State in Assam and Nagaland (IIAS, Simla, 2000); ‘Immigration and Identity Transformation in Assam’, Economic and Political Weekly, 22 May 1999, Nation-Building and Development in North East India (Guwahati: Purbanchal Prakash, 1991); and North-East India: Quest for Identity (Omsons Publications, Guwahati, 1988). He also writes for several leading newspapers and contributes regularly to Economic and Political Weekly and The Book-Review.

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