chapter  10
15 Pages

Civil society and conflict management

WithThania Paffenholz

Contemporary conflict management is a collective enterprise that requires broad participation by a multitude of local and international actors, and international frameworks have been established in the 2000s to make civil society inclusion in peacebuilding standard. This chapter outlines seven modalities for civil society participation in conflict management processes, using examples from Syria and elsewhere to show civil society peacebuilding efforts in action. However, the chapter also acknowledges that resistance to including civil society in track one negotiations persists, due to the fear that enhanced participation challenges the consensus-building process, and makes it more difficult to reach a peace agreement. In addition, even when civil society actors are included (whether at the negotiation table or otherwise), this does not necessarily mean that they have an influence over the proceeding and outcomes of the negotiations. The chapter concludes by exploring how policymakers can better utilize civil society actors in peacebuilding in order that they can contribute to ending wars, sustaining peace, and managing political transitions.