ABSTRACT

This chapter explores how the peoples can better understand the impact of what civilians do during conflict on human, societal, and state security. It explores how peoples recognise and acknowledge the actions made by civilians, and how they might understand civilian agency. It explores how some scholars have employed the concept of civilian agency and investigates the different ways in which agency operates. Increased knowledge about civilian agency and what civilians do in conflict and war can inform analysis and policy regarding how citizens become a central reference point to peacebuilding and political (rather than solely military) solutions. Civilian agency, therefore, is distinct from protection of civilians. Civilian agency can even complicate protection of civilians. The ordinary civilian, average person, is as much on the continuum of security as assumedly more powerful actors. Civilians can move between negative and positive conceptions of security dependent upon their own reading of the context in which they find themselves at a given time.