An Impediment or Inducement to Peace? The Inclusion of Civil Society Actors in Peace Processes

Project Leader

Desirée Nilsson, Associate Professor

Project Period


Project Participants

Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs, Assistant Professor

Ibrahim Bangura, PhD in Economics

Project Description

Does the involvement of civil society actors in civil war peace processes affect the success or failure of the peace negotiations, and does it affect the long-term prospects for sustainable peace in developing post-war societies? These are pertinent questions that local and international mediators and policy-makers grabble over in a large number of contemporary peace processes, notably those in Mali, Syria, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Colombia. The purpose of this project is to identify both the conditions under which civil society actors may influence the dynamics and outcome of a peace process, and explore the more long-term effects of such involvement on the prospects for establishing both sustainable peace and democratic governance in war-torn societies. In particular, this project aims to address key questions about the relevance of the number of civil society actors involved, the type of actors, and their various roles and function during the process.

Main Financial Support

The Swedish Research Council (Development research)

Related Publications

Nilsson, Desirée. 2014. “Civil Society in Peace Accords and the Durability of Peace”, In Accord 25: Legitimacy and Peace Processes, London: Conciliation Resources.

Nilsson, Desirée. 2012. "Anchoring the Peace: Civil Society Actors in Peace Accords and Durable Peace", International Interactions 38(2):243-266.

Nilsson, Desirée. 2009. “Crafting a Secure Peace: Evaluating the Liberia Comprehensive Peace Accord”, Uppsala & New York: Uppsala University & the Mediation Support Unit, Department of Political Affairs, the United Nations.