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Civil Society, Conflicts and the Politicization of Human Rights

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This publicaton explores violence, conflict and peace. It focuses on the non-governmental component in ethno-political conflicts. Civil society actors, or conflict society organizations (CoSOs), are increasingly central in view of the complexity of contemporary ethno-political conflicts CoSOs are key players in ethno-political conflicts. Nevertheless, the precise relationships underpinning the human rights-civil society-conflict nexus have not been fully examined. This volume analyzes the impact of civil society on ethno-political conflicts through their human rights-related activities, and identifies the means to strengthen the complementarity between civil society and international governmental actors in promoting peace. These aims are addressed in case studies on Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Turkey's Kurdish question, and Israel-Palestine.

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Introduction: Civil society, ethnic conflicts and the politicization of human rights

Civil society actors have become key players in ethno-political conflicts, as both violators and promoters of human rights. This has been facilitated by the transformation of conflicts, increasingly characterized by high-intensity intra-border ethno-religious tensions and strong international appeals for human rights protection. Nevertheless, the precise relationships underpinning the human rights-civil society-conflict nexus have not been fully examined. The overall objective of this volume is thus to analyse the impact of civil society on ethno-political conflicts through human- rights-related activities, and identify the means to strengthen the complementarity between civil society and international governmental actors such as the United Nations and the European Union in promoting peace. These aims are addressed by analysing four case studies in the European neighbourhood: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Turkey’s Kurdish question and Israel-Palestine. Through a comparative examination of these cases, this volume draws policy suggestions tailored to both governmental and non-governmental action.

English

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