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Civil Society and Peacebuilding: Mapping Functions in Working for Peace


Civil society play roles at every point in the development of conflict and its resolution: from surfacing situations of injustice to preventing violence, from creating conditions conducive to peace talks to mediating a settlement and then promoting it, from setting a policy agenda to healing war-scarred psyches. After situating civil society peacebuilding roles in the policy context and highlighting several critiques, this article concentrates on charting the specific functions civil society can play, focusing on initiatives by actors from a conflict zone and their external supporters. It concludes identifying several recommendations and areas in need of further research.