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Beyond the political elites : a comparative analysis of the roles and impacts of community-based NGOs in conflict resolution activity.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2000
<mark>Journal</mark>Civil Wars
Issue number2
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)1-22
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


For the past two decades, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have played an increasingly prominent role in progressive social change throughout the world. In three recent centres of political conflict, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Israel/Palestine, a diverse array of peace/conflict resolution organisations (P/CROs) were involved to some degree within the political process, prior to, during and after, the establishment of major peace agreements and ceasefires. To date, the academic literature on these conflicts has concentrated on the elite-level, Track One diplomacy and the struggle between the parties, with little attention being given to the equally important community-based Track Two initiatives, that are essential to building and sustaining peace processes. This article will present new empirical evidence to redress this imbalance. It has two inter-connecting sections. The first will argue that the P/CRO sector has, in different ways (and with varying success) made an important contribution to the peace processes in the three regions. The second section will present new evidence to show that within Northern Ireland, the Good Friday Agreement of 10 April 1998' was organically linked to P/CRO activity since 1969, in terms of both the personalities and the political debate that surrounded the peace process.