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.




The reader has in his or her hands a book covering a rather important theme in our age: the relation between states and nations, with civil society as an intervening, in-between factor, often using human rights to bolster its cause. The cases chosen are certainly filled with human drama: Israel versus Palestine, Cyprus Greek versus Cyprus Turkish, Turkey versus Kurds, and the whole Bosnia-Herzegovina conglomerate. Having worked on about 30 such cases, including these four, trying to mediate (see my book 50 Years: 100 Peace & Conflict Perspectives, TRANSCEND University Press, 2008, www.transcend.org/tup), the authors have kindly asked me to contribute to this impressive study with a foreword outlining how I see the issue.


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