Call for Abstracts ll: Deadline 31st May

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Regional Civil Society Engagement in Green Dialogs

Promoting Peace and Stability through Equitable Natural Resource Management

Transcending Regional Tales

Call for Abstracts

The Afghan and Pakistani governments don’t seem to draw lessons learned and utilize and unite neighbourly capacities but instead tend to cling on to historically established narratives about each other that override any joint move towards a forward looking process. It is this nearly habitual repetition of old views, often wrong believes and well established conspiracies played back and forth between the regional countries that commonly keeps actors from civil society, academia and media from establishing a productive dialog and drawing up a new regional vision. The main objective of ‘Transcending Regional Tales’ is to initiate and inspire new ways of thinking about regional relationships. This should happen by transcending the stalled political parameters of mutual distrust and enmity between people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Under the umbrella of the project ‘Civil Society Engagement in Regional Green Dialogs’, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs) with its offices in Kabul and Islamabad is encouraging to let go of nourishing well-known historically established narratives about each other by deconstructing ‘regional tales’ and open new windows by re-imagining past, present and future differently.

We therefore invite writers from Afghanistan and Pakistan to contribute a text that is imaginative, brings in personal reflections and develops own ideas how new forms of relationships could look like in the future and why it is important to change the present discourses. The format is left open; it could be a short story, essay, commentary or even poetry.

Topics to reframe narratives could be regional cooperation on political, economic or ecological levels, conspiracy theories or the influence of neighbouring countries to bring stability to the region. Also a definition of sustainable peace, opportunities for women movements to transcend political distrust or common challenges like climate change, urbanization, water and energy security or radicalization and insurgency could pose thematic areas to develop new imaginations of Afghan-Pakistani relations.

Please note that under this call we don’t look for academic papers such as policy recommendations or research articles!

The texts should be of 1.000 to 2.000 words. The time for writing will be six weeks. Writers will receive a nominal honorarium. The texts will be published in the Regional Green Dialog web dossier on the websites of hbs Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Please submit your abstract of about 200 words, explaining briefly the outline of the intended text, along with a CV to Jacqueline.Wilk@pk.boell.org until 31st May 2017.

(http://af.boell.org/dossier-regional-greendialogs, http://pk.boell.org/regional-green-dialogs)

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Regional Civil Society Engagement in Green Dialogs

Promoting Peace and Stability through Equitable Natural Resource Management

Call for Abstracts

If putting their animosities aside, Afghanistan and Pakistan could have the potential of being the driving force behind development and prosperity of the vast Central- and South Asian region. Given the strategic importance of both countries in geographic, political and economic terms from a regional and international perspective, it seems apparent that they would be able to define their relevant needs and accordingly develop joint strategies towards increased stability, economic prosperity and a new political vision of integrity for the region. Regional infrastructure projects like TAPI and CASA 1000 are promising initiatives, but their realization is overshadowed by distrust between the involved national actors and security concerns. Moreover, instead of supporting the development of regional strategies, Afghanistan continues to promote its potential as an economic hub, looking much more to other regional neighbors than Pakistan. And Pakistan, while promoting its high economic regional relevance through an ever-lasting engagement with investor China, ignores how the country’s restraint from economic and political cooperation with India is contributing to its isolation in the region.

Attempts of the political leaderships in Afghanistan and Pakistan for moving towards a more stable relationship and cooperation are rapidly dismantled through a high level of distrust and a continuing blame-game, with every new set-back through terrorist attacks. Encouraged by established power elites and promoted by national media outlets any approach towards the other has the potential of quickly evoking resistance on a citizen’s level. The result of a persistent tendency of such politically covered ‘finger pointing’ is the fostering of historically established narratives.

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs) with its offices in Kabul and Islamabad is encouraging to bridge these stalled parameters by focusing on shared benefits and mutual interests with the project ‘Civil Society Engagement in Regional Green Dialogs’. The objective of this project is to open new windows for peace by drawing on mutual benefits of the equitable management of natural resources, like water and energy.

Within the scope of this project hbs is inviting experts, activists, and academics to contribute articles for our online web dossier. We are looking for political analyses, expert opinion pieces and short policy papers on topics of regional cooperation and trust building. Specifically, we are interested in the equitable management of natural resources, renewable energies and transboundary water issues. Possible focuses could be: best practices and existing frameworks for cooperation, social and environmental impacts of big infrastructure projects, common risks through foreign investments or traditional water management and the use of indigenous knowledge systems.

The articles should be of 1.000 to 2.000 words. The time for writing will be six weeks. Writers will receive a nominal honorarium. The articles will be published in the Regional Green Dialog dossier on the websites of hbs Afghanistan and Pakistan. Please submit your abstract of about 200 words, explaining briefly the outline of the intended text, along with a CV to Jacqueline.Wilk@pk.boell.org until 31st May 2017.

(http://af.boell.org/dossier-regional-greendialogs, http://pk.boell.org/regional-green-dialogs)

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