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October 21 , 2008

Peacebuilding and NGOs

State-Civil Society Interactions


Analysing the relationship between civil society and the state, this book lays bare the assumptions informing peacebuilding practices and demonstrates through empirical research how such practices have led to new dynamics of conflict.

The drive to establish a sustainable liberal peace largely escapes critical examination. When such attention is paid to peacebuilding practices, scholars tend to concentrate either on the military components of the mission or on the liberal economic reforms. This means that the roles of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the impact of attempting to nurture Northern forms of civil society is often overlooked. Focusing on the case of Cambodia, this book seeks to examine the assumptions underlying peacebuilding policies in order to highlight the reliance on a particular, linear reading of European / North American history. The author argues that such policies, in fostering a particular form of civil society, have affected patterns of conflict; dictating when and where politics can occur and who is empowered to participate in such practices. Drawing on interviews with NGO representatives and government representatives, this volume will assert that while the expansion of civil society may resolve some sources of conflict, its introduction has also created new dynamics of contestation.

This book will be of much interest to students of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, development studies, S.E. Asian politics, and IR in general.

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