John Darby, the PAM project and the Nobel Peace Prize

13 Dec

It was wonderful to see President Santos of Colombia mention the Peace Accord Matrix project during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. He said:

“The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in the United States has concluded, based on careful studies of the 34 agreements signed in the world to end armed conflicts in the past three decades, that this peace agreement in Colombia is the most complete and comprehensive ever reached.”

This was a reference to the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) project which has a role in the verification of the peace accord. The PAM project was the brainchild of John Darby and the last major project he was working on before he died in 2013. John was a comparative scholar of peace processes and was particularly keen to see if there could be lending and borrowing between processes. The PAM project was a way of allowing the systematic comparison between peace accords and I was pleased to have worked (in a very small way) with John in its foundations, and then subsequently to have worked with Madhav Joshi (Notre Dame) and SungYong Lee (Otago University) on a series of publications arising out of the PAM data.

John Darby didn’t really go in for pride, but he would have been very pleased that the PAM project data is being used in a peace accord.



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