This innovative research project seeks to explore the learning and knowledge production processes of four very different social movements, located in four countries and continents, as they advocate for peace with social justice in conditions of violent conflict and its aftermath. The social movements are all partners in the research, and the project will benefit them by connecting the movements and forging solidarity links based on knowledge exchange and collaboration. The social movements, are NOMADESC, a grassroots NGO based in Colombia; The Housing Assembly, a grassroots movement from South Africa; The HDK (Peoples’ Democratic Congress), a coalition of social movements in Turkey; and the Madhesh Foundation, Nepal, an organisation that works with and for the excluded Madhesh community.
In an era of increasing inequality, conflict and rising authoritarianism, social movements often represent a first line of defence for some of the most marginalized communities, seeking to defend and extend the conditions for a basic and dignified human existence. Yet in the developing world, they often operate and advocate in conditions of state repression, threats and insecurity, conditions which can serve to undermine movement cohesion, solidarity and effectiveness . This is particularly the case in contexts affected by violent conflict.