Civil Society in Conflict Transformation: Strengths and Limitations




Fischer, Martina

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Berghof Foundation


This book chapter focuses on the potential contribution that civil society actors can make to peacebuilding. There is also an examination of what types of activities international and transnational NGOs undertake in order to influence international politics in a way that contributes to coping with global challenges. The author explores key questions such as: What are the strengths and limitations of civil society actors? What types of activities do NGOs undertake? What problems and dilemmas are faced in the development of civil society in war-torn societies? What is the role and potential of (local) civil society actors in war-to-peace transitions and what problems and dilemmas stem from the development of civil society in war-torn societies? She uses the example of Bosnia-Herzegovina to explore the limitations of civil society's contributions to peacebuilding, and how civil society relates to state-building. Finally, the chapter addresses how such considerations impact theoretical conceptualizations of the term "civil society".



Civil Society, Conflict Transformation, Peacebuilding, Statebuilding