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This dissertation is designed to illustrate the meanings, beliefs and norms that underlie the attitudes and behaviors of civil society regarding the building of peace in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. This research is based on the assumption that social beliefs and norms are often unspoken and unwritten, therefore, through data collection and analysis {semi-structured interview responses, focus group data, natural group observations and general participant observation} in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan between 2009 and 2013, I am able to illustrate the underlying meanings and norms that guide civil society's attitudes and behaviors towards the building of peace. There were two main findings in this dissertation. In both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the understanding that the movement from negative to positive peace will transform the conflict context leads to civil society's performance of a number of activities to reduce structural and cultural violence. Secondly, civil society's choice of a collaborative strategy in Tajikistan, and a combative strategy in Kyrgyzstan are illustrative of how civil society creates the meaning of peace in society as well as interprets the permissibility of peacebuilding activities vis-a-vis their competitive authoritarian regimes. Using the following research question: How is civil society able to perform peacebuilding activities in hybrid regimes classified as competitive authoritarian? I investigate how civil society's shared normative understanding of what will reduce structural and cultural violence and increase positive peace impact the performance of peacebuilding activities and the strategies used to perform those activities. I highlight and problematize three key concepts: civil society, competitive authoritarianism and peacebuilding. Civil society remains a challenged concept among scholars studying Post-Soviet contexts, specifically between those that claim civil society can perform a Western, liberal role outside of the reach of the state and those that claim that civil society can not escape the capture of regimes that are illiberal and undemocratic. By studying civil society in two Central Asian countries, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, I will illustrate how the historical and modern context has influenced the construction of civil society as a sphere independent of the state in both countries. Using the social constructivist approach that stresses the important influence the context plays on attitudes and behaviors, I will illustrate how the historical context has also influenced the composition of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as competitive authoritarian regimes. Lastly, this dissertation does not focus on the individual actors, but instead, uses a function-based approach to the study of civil society's performance of peacebuilding activities thereby expanding the literature on the shared meaning behind the performance of peacebuilding functions in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The dissertation is broken into several chapters. Chapter one will provide an overview of the literature reviewed for this dissertation. It will discuss the concepts that underpin the research and will highlight the relevance of the literature to the dissertation overall. Chapter two will discuss the research methodology in more detail. It will highlight the foundation that constructivism plays in this research project and will outline the logistics of the entire field based research component. Chapter three will highlight the historical background of the region and the modern-day peacebuilding challenges facing Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Chapters four and five will provide analysis from civil society in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan respectively, illustrating the construction of the meaning of peace and the role of civil society in peacebuilding, resulting in specific activities that were performed by civil society in order to reduce direct, structural and cultural violence. It will provide an opportunity to show how the strategies used by civil society illustrate how they understand the "space" available to broker peace vis-a-vis the competitive authoritarian regime. Chapter six provides a cross-national comparison of the findings to highlight the similarities between the shared understanding of the peacebuilding challenges and necessary activities to eradicate these challenges. It will also discuss the differences between the collaborative and combative strategies used to perform these activities as examples of the limitations placed on civil society's ability to broker peace by both competitive authoritarian regimes.