November 1, 2018

Left Perspectives on Civil Crisis Prevention

Jan van Aken

Between critique and concrete intervention

As members of DIE LINKE, we are often asked what our alternative is to military deployments on foreign soil. The favoured response follows the lines of civil conflict management and crisis prevention. Although this is undoubtedlythe right approach, as a succinct response, its flaw lies in its over-simplicity. This is because civil conflict management is not a left-wing concept per se: in some cases, it is wholly apolitical (and yet still the right course of action). We, as members of the party, must develop a more concrete idea of what form left-wing civil conflict management might take.

This paper is based on our experiences in the left parliamentary group, where we have repeatedly seen our theoretical and practical knowledge concerning the possibilities and difficulties
of civil crisis prevention stretched to the limits by the challenges inherent to real-life political decision-making processes. Our hope is that left-wing practitioners of conflict management and crisis prevention, as well as leftwing theoreticians, will take up and further develop the issues explored within this paper.