PeaceLab: Brain & Peace


Even in times when combat and fighting are ongoing, warring parties come to the negotiation table. At the core of these negotiations lies the human factor, encompassing a complex web of values, emotions, trauma, empathy and identity. However, these aspects are often overlooked and not sufficiently considered when designing high-level peace processes.

This PeaceLab brings together neuroscientists, cognitive scientists and psychologists with peace negotiators and mediators from high-level peace negotiations to explore a crucial question: What happens in the brain when warring parties meet around the negotiation table?

We will explore the neuronal processes behind deeply held beliefs and values, dehumanization of enemies and restoration of empathy in the contexts of high-level peace negotiations in Colombia, Northern Ireland, and Afghanistan. Through this interdisciplinary collaboration, new tools and mechanisms will be identified, ultimately developing evidence-based recommendations to strengthen peace negotiations and the design of high-level peace processes.



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