My big work of words asked why peace talks fail within societies where some people don’t like other groups of people. I looked at two example societies to try understand this question. The first society is in the Middle East and has two groups. The first group is the state of the first People of the Book, and the second group is people who the state of the first People of the Book pushed away. They dislike each other because the second group of people want a state, but the state of the first People of the Book does not like that.
The second society is the long country at the north of the Middle East, that is south of the Black Sea. The two groups are the people who speak the language this state is named after, and a people who live in the south-east of the state, on the edge with other countries who speak a different language. These groups don’t like each other because they speak different languages.
My research found that peace talks between groups in these societies fail because the groups do not like each other. Talking about peace does not make them like each other more. Importantly, leaders of these groups act in a way that makes people of the other group of people like them less. This makes talking about peace harder.
Jonty Katz researched why peace processes in ethnically divided societies fail. “I compared the Israel/Palestine and Turkey/Kurdistan Worker’s Party conflicts, finding that such peace processes fail when the two ethnic groups do not adequately trust each other; and that in peace processes leaders of ethnic communities acted in such a way that undermined support for the peace process in the other ethnic community”.