This study of peace and conflict‐resolution organizations (P/CROs) in South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Israel/Palestine faced several methodological challenges: it had to define P/CROs, draw on both social movement and third‐sector theory, develop research tools to obtain data about P/CROs valid for regional and international analyses, and simultaneously understand P/CROs as a class with common attributes and appreciate differences amongst them. P/CROs are a new organizational classification, different from “peace movement organizations,” an existing classification. The study analyzed P/CROs from three perspectives: social movement theory, third‐sector theory, and the institutional theory of organizations. Four main findings emerged: (1) foreign funding was central to all P/CROs; (2) charismatic leadership was crucial; (3) almost all P/CROs became more professional and formal over time; and (4) while P/CROs played no direct role in the resolution of their respective conflicts, they made important indirect contributions. In particular, P/CROs helped to “sell” future settlements and agreements to their populations. Issues for further research include the preconditions for the emergence of P/CROs, and the assimilation of social movement and third‐sector research.
Keywords: charismatic leadership, foreign funding, future research, indirect contributions, Israel/Palestine, methodological challenges, new organizational classification, Northern Ireland, peace and conflict‐resolution organizations (P/CROs), professional and formal, South Africa
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