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day and kreutzner

Tags: Williams - Research Handbook on Post-Conflict Statebuilding

Civil Society Margaux J. Day and Christopher D. Kreutzner

  • institutional actors often perceive civil society as a threat
  • civil society can often accomplish what fledgling states cannot
  • civil society is not a given!

Approaches

  • Conceptualizing civil society
    • Gramsci vs Tocqueville
      • Gramsi - Civil society as a way to scruntize governments
      • Tocqueville - Civil society as a community
  • Seven functions in state building put forward by Thania Pattenholz and Christopher Spurk, civil society can pursue any # of these
    • Protection

    • Monitoring

      • Instills a culture of accountability
        • bangladesh Ain o Salish Kendra monitors human rights violations
    • Advocacy

      • Civil society can elevate issues onto the political stage
      • sudan - ousting of al-Basher
    • Socialization

      • Incubator for shared values
      • Generates reconcilation between shared groups
      • tunisia, six civil society NGO’s conducted public workshops for education
    • Social Cohesion

      • Conflict fractures societies
      • Civil society can bridge joint community associations, forms of cultural exchange
      • sierra leone
  • Intermediation & Facilitation

    • civil society can actually play a peace mediation role
    • guatemala - civil society placed a key role in the conclusion of peace
  • Service Provision

    • civil society can provide essential services
    • yemen - movement of civil society from political mobilization to the provision of services as war has gone on

Common Challenges

  • gov restricting civil society engagement
    • often can be done with onerous registraiton requirements
      • sudan passed the Voluntary & Humanitarian Work act, which bars many from participation
    • some staes engage with direct vioklence
  • gov & events indirectly restrict civil society
    • civil society struggles when the gov cannot provide basic services
    • survival over group objects hamper society
  • diversity of civil society views
    • civil society is not strictly good
    • can spoil peace
    • somalia - too many actors want peace but also restrict central government
    • too many civil orgs -> too much coordination -> competition over funding
  • state builders can proritize the state
    • peacebuilding cannot strictly focus on institutional capacity
    • balkans - peace deals heavily prioritized instituional reforms
      • allowed the ethnoationalists to gain ground

Recommendations

  • Engage with civil society early, even mid-conflict to prepare for the end of conflict
    • preserves civil society
    • identifies local needs
    • helps set up monitoring benchmarks
  • support reforms to allow for more civil society partipcation
  • engage with civil society in a legal reform process
    • public education is effective for civil society to mobilize
    • public solication
    • advising legislative design
  • coordinate simultaous support for state and civil society
  • support civil society based on function and objective, civil society is not always a good