Peace Mapping in the Basque Country


Photo of AC4 Peace Mapping Team

AC4 Executive Co-Chair Peter T. Coleman, Program Manager Jaclyn Donahue, Director Josh Fisher and Project Coordinator Kristen Rucki recently visited the Basque Country in order to advance the community-based learning and validation component of the Sustainable Peace Initiative, currently in its pilot phase. The goal of this process, known as ground-truthing, is to use a participatory methodology, including narrative-based discussion and engagement with mapping and visualization, to explore several questions, including:

  • How can context-specific knowledge and the expertise of local stakeholders validate and/or refine AC4’s scientific understanding of sustainable peace?
  • How can AC4’s generalized scientific map of sustainable peace and the visualization process be used to provoke new questions, stimulate discussion, and inform effective policies and practices for sustaining peace locally?

This ground-truthing process began in February 2016, when Dr. Coleman and Ms. Rucki piloted a workshop with stakeholders in collaboration with the Agirre Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies (ALC) and EHU-Gune at the University of the Basque Country. Participants included Basque academics and representatives from the public sector and civil society. Using factors and processes that participants identified as being key to sustaining peace in the Basque Country, the AC4 team drafted a causal-loop diagram representing dynamics of sustainable peace in the Basque context.

ALC Seminar_6.14.16

On June 14, the AC4 team discussed this Basque map, as well as AC4’s general science map of sustainable peace, with participants from February’s workshops and colleagues from the ALC. They presented the process of creating the Basque map, asked for feedback, and discussed its potential uses as a tool for understanding and discussion. Participants also mapped factors related to sustainable peace onto the core engine of the Basque model in small groups.

On June 16, AC4 held another workshop at the University of the Basque Country in Leioa, in partnership with the ALC and EHU-Gune, to continue to enrich understanding of sustainable peace in the Basque Country from multiple perspectives. Participants in this workshop represented the public, private, academic, and civil society sectors and fields including business, fine arts, journalism, education, and law. Participants engaged in narrative-based discussion about the essential factors for sustainable peace in the Basque Country and began to organize these factors into maps.

The AC4 team is working to analyze the factors and dynamics identified by both participant groups and synthesize this information into reports addressing central themes, patterns, and cycles related to sustainable peace in the Basque Country. The team is also planning to integrate learnings from the Basque Country into the generalized scientific map of sustainable peace and refine the ground-truthing method for future use in communities.

Author: Kristen Rucki, AC4 Project Coordinator

Photos: The Agirre Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies

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