chapter  4
45 Pages

A voice for the voiceless

Civil society activism in Liberia
ByFranzisca Zanker

This chapter delves into how and in what ways the Liberian peace negotiations in 2003 became more legitimate for the general population. The importance of ‘silencing the guns’ is highlighted as well as a civilian counterbalance to otherwise militarised proceedings. Interpreting the meaning of representation, it argues for the relevance of a self-referential legitimation narrative of ‘motherhood’ among female civil society advocates. Moreover, the chapter highlights that representativeness is judged on the basis of shared experience, and understanding of suffering as well as neutrality. Last, it shows the negative impact of a lack of communication on the legitimacy of the talks.