A new edited volume, “Civil Society, Peace and Power,” by David Cortright, Melanie Greenberg and Laurel Stone discusses how civil society plays an increasingly powerful role in the global landscape, emerging as key actors in preventing and managing conflict, and building more peaceful and sustainable societies.
The multiple case studies featured in this volume illustrate the growth of civil society involvement in national, regional, and international peacebuilding policy. The focus is on multi-stakeholder, systems-based approaches to peacebuilding and human security that involve diverse civil society groups (NGOs, religious organizations, media, etc.), government agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and security forces. This unique comprehensive approach encompasses diverse stakeholders seeking to understand the drivers of conflict and the possibilities for working together to build peace. The book illustrates how the involvement of civil society can result in better informed, more inclusive, more accountable government decision making, and more effective peacebuilding policies.
Importantly, a number of the case studies provide a gender perspective on peacebuilding and civil society issues, voicing and giving attention to women’s perspectives without being focused only on gender issues. Further, authors from the Global South offer the perspectives of those directly immersed in ongoing struggles for justice and peace.