Interior of The Hague's modern city hall; The Hague, Netherlands

Report: Conflict Prevention in The Hague and the Metropolitan Area – Phase One

Interior of The Hague's modern city hall; The Hague, Netherlands

The Hague Institute is pleased to share Conflict Prevention in The Hague and the Metropolitan Area – Phase One. The report  presents the main findings and recommendations from the first phase of a study led by the Conflict Prevention Program between 2015 and 2016 in the context of The Hague and its metropolitan area.

The purpose of the project was to facilitate dialogue among key representatives of institutions and groups to determine how to strengthen the prevention of violent conflict and the constructive management of non-violent conflict in The Hague. The project consisted of a series of meeting and consultations held over the course of a year, involving more than 100 representatives of various sectors in the city, including the municipality, the police, health sector, education, the private sector, civil society, youth, students, and academia, among others. Participants in the consultations shared their experiences and perspectives on conflict dynamics in The Hague, and discussed possible approaches to improve preventive efforts and responses to violent conflict.

The report comprises a foreword by Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague, and four sections that summarize the background and findings of the study.  The findings involve three main themes: the understanding of conflict dynamics in The Hague and the metropolitan area; the value and limitations of existing approaches to tackle and prevent violence; and the responsibilities of the different actors in conflict prevention efforts.

The report presents and discusses the main recommendations emerging from the latest phase of the consultations. Focal points are the strategic role of language and communication, the need to adapt responses to the changing nature of conflict and the interdependence of actors and institutions in conflict prevention efforts.

Looking ahead to the next phase of the project, the report presents a range of concrete measures identified by the participants in order to implement the recommendations.  Among other aspects, the measures look at possible initiatives to stimulate debate and interaction in schools, build bridges between police and youth and promote more active involvement of businesses at the community level.

The findings and recommendations presented in the report also have a significant relevance for other cities in Europe and beyond. Dr. Abi Williams, President of The Hague Institute, discussed the report at the 2016 edition of Chicago Forum on Global Cities, which took place on 1-3 June in Chicago. Follow the discussion on Twitter using #GlobalCities2016.

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