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Bridging divides: civil society peacebuilding initiatives

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While governments are reluctant to loosen their monopoly on peacemaking, the need for movement in the peace process creates openings for civic contact across the conflict divide. Each country’s civil society actors have mutually incompatible visions for the future of Karabakh: assessments of their mediatory potential must take this into account. Hasanov and Ishkanian summarise the weaknesses and contributions of NGOs, noting the impact of regional approaches and the prevalence of women’s groups. NGOs have played a role by maintaining dialogue, promoting human rights and facilitating the meeting of individuals from the parties to the conflict. In the future, the priority is for civil society to act as a conduit for wider, more informed participation in the peace process.

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