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The Interrelationship Between the Evolution of Civil Society and Progress in Regional Security: The Case of the Balkans

Definition of Civil Society: Distinguished from government and commerce, civil society may be broadly defined as all the natural and voluntary associations in society.

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The Interrelationship Between the Evolution of Civil Society and Progress in Regional Security: The Case of the Balkans
Claude Nicolet *

The Interrelationship Between the Evolution of Civil Society and Progress in Regional Security: The Case of the Balkans (Full Text, PDF, 20 pages, 40 kbs)

Introduction: Why the Case of the Balkans Is Important

During the last decade, the world witnessed a gradual shift in the nature of conflict, from the mainly inter-state conflicts that characterized the Cold War era to predominantly intra-state disputes. This shift has brought with it a change in international response to conflicts, together with an evolution of the debate about a broad conflict-resolution approach into more comprehensive distinctions of international responses, including prevention, management, and transformation of conflicts, as well as peacebuilding. After the gradual growth of the awareness that sustainable peace is impossible without a sound civil society, the international community seems to be convinced that local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) need to be involved at all levels of long-term peacebuilding efforts. After all, peace cannot be achieved by signing an agreement between governments, but will only have a chance if the wider population supports the concept of peaceful coexistence. Accordingly, international organizations and political institutions—including state governments—are gradually being convinced of a need for change in their approach to regional conflicts. The efforts of the Stability Pact in southeastern Europe since 1999 constitute the most prominent example of this shift in international attempts to find an adequate response to regional conflicts. They reflect a greater emphasis on “soft” options, rather than on traditional “hard” or military power, as well as on comprehensive, long-term, and regional responses, rather than the traditional military, short-term, and local types of intervention.

This sea change in the international analysis of and response to political and ethnic conflicts was mainly a result of the turbulent experience in the Balkans over the last 12 years. The difficulties that have confronted formerly communist states after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, and especially the disintegration of former Yugoslavia since 1991, have also spurred efforts to formulate more comprehensive and complex definitions of security in international debates than those that were dominant during the Cold War era. Challenging the realist school, which defined security as pertaining to the relationships between states and vowed to guarantee it through maintaining global and regional balances of power, liberal and pluralist approaches, according to Oliver P. Richmond, have “redefined security in a much broader sense, positing that it tended to depend not only on the actions of states towards one another, but also on the satisfaction of the basic needs of all of the actors within the system, and in particular those of individuals.”

If, however, security is not only required by states—primarily in the military sense—from other states, but also by states from secessionists, and by oppressed minorities, socio-political organizations, and individuals from social, political, cultural, and economic injustice of a structural nature or otherwise, then security needs to be re-conceptualized at multidimensional levels other than that of the state. Therefore, as most actors in the field of international relations have adopted a broad definition of security, the prevention, analysis, and management of conflicts need to be channeled through various actors at different levels. These efforts have to include governmental and non-governmental players, at the global, regional, national, and local levels, all within a network that includes the international community, the state, and civil society to ensure effective coordination and cooperation. Within the context of such multilateral approaches, interventions across international frontiers can be useful, but it is the strengthening of the conflict-resolution capacity of societies and communities within conflict areas that is increasingly set as the key goal of a broad-based approach to conflict resolution. Thus, there is a growing consensus that most of the crucial players within the complex system of conflict resolution are to be found within the local civil society.

The definition of civil society has similarly undergone changes in the past, from a synonym for the state in Cicero’s time, to “society minus the state” in the early 20th century, to a distinctive premise of independent political activity, as defined by Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci in the 1930s. While the term has been broadened in general, comprising ever more social and cultural institutions, there is still no consensus today as to whether the economic sphere in general is part of civil society. For this study, the definition given by the Civic Practices Network (CPN) is most useful. Apart from the concise definition of the term civil society as referring “to that sphere of voluntary associations and informal networks in which individuals and groups engage in activities of public consequence,” it also offers good reason for the exclusion the economic sector in general: “It [civil society] is distinguished from the public activities of government because it is voluntary, and from the private activities of markets because it seeks common ground and public goods [rather than business profit].”

While civil society is not a synonym for non-governmental organizations, NGOs can be defined, according to Elena Triffonova, as “organized appearances of civil society.” They are frequently divided into operational and advocacy NGOs, with the former primarily responsible for designing and implementing development-related projects and the latter mainly responsible for defending or promoting a specific cause and seeking to influence policies and practices. Usually not referred to as non-governmental organizations but nevertheless part of civil society are labor unions, professional associations, and even groups often considered not to be legitimate participants in the system, such as guerrilla groups and criminal gangs, which have an impact on the security environment.

Overview of Events

A resurgence of the term “civil society” since the late 1980s is frequently connected with the rise of anticommunist dissent in Eastern Europe, starting especially with the Polish mass national movement initiated by the trade union Solidarity. However, given the authoritarian character of the communist regimes and the difficulty of challenging them directly, the principal opposition to state authority in these instances became associated with cultural and intellectual circles and was initially focused on ostensibly non-political affairs. Moreover, civil society at the time in Eastern Europe lacked traditional NGOs as their forms or organizers, as most organizations dealing with different issues in civil society were established, financed, and controlled by the state. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that these organizations helped to spark the dramatic popular revolutions of 1989. As the old regimes started to crumble and competitive party politics developed, however, large segments of the intellectual elite made the step from opposition to membership in political parties and the state apparatus, thus triggering a crisis in civil society theory and practice. Still, throughout the 1990s civil society mushroomed in many Central and Eastern European countries. At the same time, it fundamentally changed its character, coming to include far more extensive societies based on voluntary associations than had previously been the case; these larger formations were principally concerned with the general development of democracy. As Vankovska points out, however, there was no solid ground in which to plant the newly envisaged democratic institutions in these states, and the state-building process often employed the tools of the rather undemocratic security sector, the military, or paramilitaries. To counter this trend, many civil society organizations concentrated their efforts on issues related to security—not primarily of the state from external threats, but of institutions, individuals, and their values from state repression—such as the democratic control of armed forces; early warning and conflict prevention measures; humanitarian issues, including protection from land mines; minority or refugee issues; or the raising of awareness of potential problems through concerted efforts by intellectual institutions or the mass media.

Unfortunately, in parallel to this, especially in the region of the former Yugoslavia, the very ideas of democracy and civil society were frequently abused for the ends of ethno-nationalist mobilization and belligerent politics, mostly by the civil society’s darker elements, such as organized crime, private security actors, or guerrilla groups, and often also by a “free,” nationalistic mass media, groups of intellectuals, and the church. It is by no means a contradiction, therefore, that certain segments of civil society are primarily to blame for the fact that even today the population often views peace demonstrations and movements as anti-patriotic or even treasonous. It is thus to a large degree the fault of parts of the civil society in the former Yugoslavia that the security situation has at times sharply deteriorated in the area.

With the painful post-communist transition of the Balkan states, and especially the dissolution of the Yugoslav state, swarms of international NGOs mobilized in the region in an attempt to address the problems. Often, however, these groups concentrated more on promoting their special areas of interest, thus attempting to outmaneuver competing organizations and generate money. While NGOs have in several instances instrumentalized the existing indigenous organizations for their own ends based on Western values and with the bait of funding, most of them only remained in the area until the regional conflict and the associated security issues dropped out of the international headlines. Over the years, however, many local NGOs in the Balkans have learned to operate in the world of grant-getting and intersecting interests on their own terms, though coordination, cooperation, efficiency, or efficacy are not among their strongest characteristics. Although many international NGOs attempted to train locals on these issues, they are at least partly to blame for the deficiencies of local institutions, as the international groups also confront similar problems within their own organizations. In addition, they helped to stimulate the establishment of thousands of new NGOs, many of them largely inactive one-person shows, which fostered the understanding that founding an NGO was an easy way to receive foreign money.

Today, the civil societies in the Balkans differ according to the priority of issues in the respective countries, as well as depending on state legislation. In Albania, for instance, unlike in most other Balkan countries, the primary reasons for insecurity and thus the main focus of civil society are not linked to ethnic or religious divisions but to the problems with the economic and political transition that brought the country close to anarchy in 1997. Not surprisingly, Bulgaria has entirely different civil society initiatives, many of them related to minority issues. The fact that only approximately fifteen percent of Bulgarian NGOs are active and effective, however, is typical for the wider Balkan region. In the still rather weak civil society of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the other hand, most NGOs are oriented toward humanitarian issues or work indirectly on conflict transformation, but all of them are currently threatened by the absence of proper NGO legislation. While Macedonia has a substantial number of NGOs working on interethnic relations, their work is impeded by government legislation that imposes exceptionally high taxes on them and by the fact that many of them, illogically, are mono-ethnic. Multi-ethnicity is also a rarity among Kosovar civil society organizations. After the frustration of not having been able to prevent war and destruction in 1998—99, the opinion is predominant in Kosovo that civil society action can only be effective in the separate ethnic communities, at least in the foreseeable future. Civil society initiatives in Serbia had until late 2000 been restricted by the Milosevic regime and international sanctions, as these circumstances were highly unfavorable for spreading of ideas of an open society, reform, or freedom of expression. Nevertheless, the number of NGOs increased in those areas where the opposition came to power after the 1996 local elections. In addition, pro-election campaigns that sought to convince the citizens of Serbia that reaching an alternative to Milosevic in a peaceful manner was feasible, led by the Otpor activists, stand out as one of the biggest successes of civil society in the Balkans.

In sum, the rapidly expanding number of NGOs in the Balkans after the early 1990s contained many elements that were more in pursuit of profit than of a serious cause in the common interest. Nevertheless, a civil society with sincere NGOs has evolved in the Balkans. As most NGOs perceived the promotion of democratic values as their leading raison d’être, and as every form of democratization ultimately has an impact on regional security, it can be argued that most of the NGOs established in the Balkans are in some way addressing security-related issues. On the other hand, civil societies in the region are rarely the source of advocacy group initiatives in the form of serious peace demonstrations and campaigns, primarily because the populations still often consider such actions as harmful to the national cause. Experience shows, however, that negative characteristics, such as frequent lack of cooperation and efficiency, are common among all sorts of civil society organizations in the Balkans.

Historical Controversies

The European countries are demonstrating with their involvement in the Stability Pact that they are willing to work with civil societies in southeastern Europe for better regional security, rather than seeking to implement their own preconceived projects. This response stems from the growing awareness that all major peace initiatives have to be founded within the local society as well as supported by the local population. The Stability Pact can thus be regarded as a climax of at least the planning—if not yet of the results—of international political debate about the most sensible approach to security challenges in the Balkans ever since former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recommended the comprehensive involvement of civil society in international security policy in his 1992 Agenda for Peace.

Is civil society good or bad for security?

The change in the character of most military, political, ethnic, and social conflicts has also given new prominence to rather malign forms of civil society groups, such as nationalistic lobby groups and guerrillas. Nevertheless, it took years for theorists to include negative elements of civil society within their debates and thus to complicate the picture of exclusively positive impact of civil society on democracy and regional security.

The first influential article that addressed this problem was Princeton professor Sheri Berman’s sobering analysis in 1997 of the role of civil society in Weimar Germany. She demonstrated that Germany’s civil society not only failed to solidify democracy and liberal values, but in effect subverted them, leading citizens’ organizations to shift their allegiance to the Nazi Party and thus to facilitate the Nazis’ rapid ascent to power. In 1999, Martin Shaw summarized his findings on the negative aspects of civil society with the explanation that civil society has positive effects on security only if it is interpreted in inclusive, pluralistic, and democratic, rather than exclusivist and ethno-nationalistic, terms. It was particularly the wars in the former Yugoslavia that brought the negative examples to the fore again, such as the Serbian nationalists targeting the values of multi-ethnic Sarajevo for attack in the early and mid-1990s or the Serb, Croat, Albanian, and Macedonian ethnic nationalists undermining the idea of a plural society by drawing on their diasporas in America, Western Europe and Australia. At the end of 1999, Thomas Carothers offered a concise but comprehensive refutation of nine myths about the positive aspects of civil society influence—including the often-stated contentions that democracy ensures a strong civil society, that civil society is crucial for economic success, and that all real civil society organizations are financially independent from the government.

What level of cooperation is desirable between local and international NGOs?

Even though most civil society organizations in the Balkans need foreign financial assistance and some impetus toward better coordination and cooperation in order to have any substantial impact, they should not be patronized or relegated to the background. International (in most cases Western European and American) NGOs have so often despaired over the different work ethics in the Balkans that those not giving enough thought to the criteria for long-term effectiveness have been tempted to take matters into their own hands and to reduce the role of indigenous organizations to that of assistance. Moreover, a common prejudice has it that, in the cases where organizations in the Balkans are efficient, they are driven by a mono-ethnic, nationalistic spirit and will thus hardly agree with the liberal open society values of the Western organizations that frequently feel superior to the local equivalents anyway. As stated above, however, the idea of local ownership of the peacebuilding process is more widely accepted today. The basic reason is that the local population is suspicious of foreign initiatives, based on the experience of international action that disregarded its wishes. Locals thus tend to perceive foreign action as patronizing, insufficient, insensitive, or even harmful, because it is in too many cases the result of a quick entry into the area, a lack of knowledge of local realities and customs, and the international NGOs’ own competition for financial resources and media coverage.

However, it is not enough for foreign investors and partner organizations to consider local initiatives and to finance indigenous, rather than foreign, operational NGOs. For a healthy civil society to develop as a stimulator of democracy and security, the constituent parts—local NGOs and initiatives—need to be self-sustaining in the long run. Transnational NGOs thus need to develop sound exit strategies to help ensure the sustainability of action in the field.

Since the mid-1990s, influential personalities within the field of conflict resolution, like John Paul Lederach, have argued that indigenous people in conflict areas should be viewed as primary resources for conflict resolution, rather than merely as recipients of the external donor’s goodwill, and that they should thus be encouraged to take up the task of peacebuilding themselves. The first influential, comprehensive work that pointed to a general need for more sensible international approaches to humanitarian aid, conflict management, and peacebuilding was Mary Anderson’s concept entitled Do No Harm, later refined by theorists like the renowned expert Norbert Ropers.

What cooperation exists in the Balkans?

Many international efforts toward peacebuilding and conflict resolution in the Balkans have been criticized in the aftermath of the Dayton Agreement of late 1995 which, in the eyes of many locals and experts on the area, though it succeeded containing the conflicts, assigned too many tasks to the international community instead of to indigenous institutions. The case of Bosnia has thus served as a good example to criticize. Civil society experts and authors have called for more bottom-up, rather than top-down, approaches to the promotion of democracy, as well as for more coherent strategies. They believe that the potential of the local civil society to contribute to progress in regional security exists in the Balkans, but that it is too often restricted by the broad undertakings of the international actors.

Apart from the arguments listed above, international NGOs should be careful not to concentrate their action and support on the more easily accessible cities instead of balancing them between all areas in the region. Nor should they listen only to the loud voices of the elites instead of doing research among representative segments of the population. In spite of growing adherence to such measures to improve their work, international NGOs are caught in a dilemma, forced to decide between maximum local cooperation and potential disagreement, and thus prefer to keep the power of decision exclusively for themselves. While, on the one hand, empowerment has been the buzzword for politically correct and effective efforts to enhance regional security, it has its limits; on the other hand, if the situation comes down to the dependence of locals on internationals for financing and decision-making, then insufficient local involvement will exist for the solutions arrived at to be sustainable.

In sum, even though substantial progress has been made in the field of peace promotion and the prevention of violent conflict in the last decade, significant gaps in our understanding obviously remain to be filled. Specific concerns under current debate are the underlying and immediate sources of violent conflict and its warning signs; the question of political will for preventive action and conflict resolution; the issue of the effectiveness of preventive action; and the organization of responses in more concerted ways between international and domestic governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

Theoretical Relevance

The impact of civil society on security

Civil society organizations have comparative advantages to governmental and economic organizations in the search for answers to these questions, as well as within the field of peace promotion, conflict resolution, and thus the enhancement of regional security more generally. The most obvious advantages are expertise on local realities, the ability to provide information from the field, and the means to communicate with the local population, including mobilizing support. This is not only owing to the fact that these organizations are local themselves, but also because civil society organizations are usually highly specialized in a single field and thus have the potential to offer expertise rarely found in government and the private sector. As we have seen, however, close cooperation and coordination between NGOs and the governmental organizations are a prerequisite for success in standing up to warring antagonists.

Given the rapid expansion of NGOs dedicated to some form of peace promotion, sustainable development, and conflict resolution in the Balkans during the last decade, civil society organizations nowadays cover most fields related to the enhancement of security, and thus need to be included in all phases of action related to security issues. A rough list would include: raising awareness of a problem and facilitating mechanisms for dialogue; providing early warning and transmitting results to the international community; human rights monitoring; relief and rehabilitation functions normally associated with NGOs; conflict resolution activities, such as mediation and reconciliation; advocacy for increased resources for development and empowerment; and facilitating healing mechanisms in civil society.

Local media, academic institutions, and think tanks have the ability to raise international awareness of a problem and to facilitate dialogue. Local NGOs devoted to problems that are neglected by the general population, such as issues pertaining to a specific minority, need to cooperate with the media to be able to enhance awareness. Meetings between NGOs and the media are being organized in the Balkans to address this need. While the gathering and distribution of information is one of the first conditions for dealing with security issues, however, local media in the Balkans often prefer to present their own, biased ideologies rather than objective information. At the same time, scholars at academic institutions and think tanks, if they manage to remain objective in their findings and recommendations, are decried as being unfaithful to the national cause by the more ethnocentric elements of society. On specific issues such as civilian expertise in the area of civil-military relations and the democratic control of armed forces, however, academic researchers and even journalists can make a contribution to regional security as well. Related programs in the Balkans have been established within the NATO Partnership for Peace project.

Early warning and human rights monitoring need to be conducted in a systematic manner and according to clearly defined theories and tools if they are to be meaningful for the international community. Moreover, prominent international projects devoted to early warning in the Balkans, such as the Early Analysis of Tensions and Fact-Finding (FAST) of Swisspeace, recognize that they can only succeed if they rely on local sources.

Relief and rehabilitation functions, to which the largest number of NGOs is still devoted, are primarily dedicated to individual security, but in aggregate they determine to a large degree the security status of an area. Such action needs to be clearly neutral and non-political in the way in which victims of violence and recipients of aid are addressed in order to have a positive effect on overall regional security. A prominent example is the Center for Peace, Nonviolence, and Human Rights in Osjek, Croatia.

Within conflict situations, civil society in general plays an important role as a mediator between government and the citizenry on contested issues. On the other hand, political mediation attempting to lead to a framework agreement can ultimately only be successful if negotiated agreements are accepted by the local population. One of the primary tasks of domestic civil society organizations is therefore to help prepare the ground for favorable reception of negotiated agreements and for reconciliation. A recent example is a campaign sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by local NGOs to finance TV, radio, and print media commercials promoting popular support in Macedonia for the Ohrid framework agreement of August 2001. Ultimately, the best tool for reconciliation would be local and regional Truth and Reconciliation Commissions that would be more productive of collective reflection and repentance than the UN War Tribunal in the Hague. However, as Detrez points out, such exercises are unlikely as long as indicted war criminals are “sold” abroad in exchange for financial aid, while the population at home is reluctant to discuss the issues such commissions would bring forward.

Within this study of the impact of civil society on regional security, it must be repeated, however, that positive results will only be produced if the civil society organizations fight for inclusive, pluralistic, and democratic, rather than exclusive and nationalistic, values. This leads us to the question of the impact of security on civil society.

The impact of security on civil society

As Kenneth Hackett points out, ethnocentric, belligerent advocacy groups often manage to manipulate people, creating violent conflict along the lines of group identity, with fighting aimed at achieving collective rights in opposition to groups of differing ethnicity, religion, or race. Such confrontations, in Hackett’s words, “threaten each groups’ collective identity, indeed their very survival, and can lead to the breakdown of whatever degree of civil society exists.” We have witnessed this situation in the Balkans throughout the past decade. The armed conflict in Macedonia in 2001, for instance, split the society along ethnic lines to such a degree that it led to a general apathy, combined with fears of personal prosecution or public condemnation, for engaging in any activities that could be regarded as promoting national unity. The result was that, in spite of many cases of private indignation at the belligerent rhetoric and action in their region, the citizens of Macedonia never managed to organize a peace movement—not even a peace demonstration that would have attracted wide attention.

Regional security has an additional impact on civil society, which the director of Search for Common Ground in Skopje, Eran Fraenkel, pointed out in 1996 (again using the case of Macedonia) that serves as an example typical of the Balkans in general. Throughout the last decade, mistrust of international NGOs has increased in the local population whenever the security situation deteriorated, primarily because they felt neglected by internationals and at the same time regarded foreigners and their NGOs as mere instruments of their governments. The international NGOs that were devoted to funding, facilitating, and assisting indigenous initiatives thus often had less freedom to act within the conflict areas, which in turn weakened the civil society. Ironically, however, the opposite situation, that of regional security improvement, can also be harmful to civil society issues, if it means that the topics of NGO advocacy drop out of international headlines and the initiatives are thus deprived of their bases of support.

In general terms, therefore, answers to questions about the interrelationship between the evolution of civil society and progress in regional security can be found, on the one hand, in the impact of civil society on security, which depends on the interpretation of the former as inclusive and democratic or exclusive and nationalistic, as well as on sound (especially financial) support from outside and on the local NGOs’ ability and desire for engagement to help improve regional security. On the other hand, regarding the impact of security on civil society, we must look to the degree of will and ability of the local population to engage in civil society action, as well as to the ability and interest of foreign organizations to sponsor, facilitate, and assist indigenous initiatives in situations of either improving or deteriorating security. Regarding the interrelationship as a whole, a generalization can be made in the contention that a strong and healthy civil society has a greater capacity to rebound from disaster and social discord, which can make all the difference between a society’s recovery and collapse. The level of civil society’s influence on regional security is difficult to measure, however, because NGOs usually operate at the grass-roots level, and any successful results will by definition be long-term.



Note 1:  Oliver P. Richmond, “Emerging Concepts of Security in the European Order: Implications for ‘Zones of Conflict’ at the Fringes of the EU,” European Security 9:1 (Spring 2000): 41—67; 49.

Note 2:  See Hugh Miall, Oliver Ramsbotham, and Tom Woodhouse, “Calling for a Broad Approach to Conflict Resolution,” in Searching for Peace in Europe and Eurasia: An Overview of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities, eds, P. van Tongeren, H. van de Veen and J. Verhoeven . (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2002), 71—76; 71; Kenneth Hackett, “International NGOs in Preventing Conflict,” in Preventive Diplomacy: Stopping Wars Before They Start, ed, K. M. Cahill . (New York: Routledge and the Center for International Health and Cooperation, rev. and updated ed. 2000), 273—285 and 316—318; 282. One specific concept embracing these views in the Balkans is the FRESTA initiative. Cf. Michael Wagtmann, “The FRESTA Approach: Stimulating Cross-Border Connections in Civil Society,” in Searching for Peace in Europe and Eurasia, , op. cit., 63—70.

Note 3:  “Civil Society,” Civic Practices Network: Tools. (31 July 2002). For another authoritative, similar definition see L. David Brown, Sanjeev Khagram, Mark H. Moore, and Peter Frumkin, “Globalization, NGOs, and Multisectoral Relations.” in Governance in a Globalizing World, eds. J. S. Nye and J. D. Donahue (Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2000), 271—96; 275—76.

Note 4:  Elena Triffonova, “Civil Society—Key Element of Post-Cold War Zeitgeist: Policy Brief on Civil Society Structure in Bulgaria,” 2002. (31 July 2002), p. [4]. For a more precise definition of NGOs, see Pamela Aall, “What Do NGOs Bring to Peacemaking?” in Turbulent Peace: The Challenges of Managing International Conflict, eds. C. A. Crocker, F. O. Hampson, and P. Aall (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2001), 365—83; 367.

Note 5:  Thomas Carothers, “Civil Society: Think Again,” Foreign Policy 117 (Winter 1999-2000): 18—29; 19—20.

Note 6:  Martin Shaw, “Civil Society,” in Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict, ed. L. Kurtz (San Diego: Academic Press, 1999), 269—78, (31 July 2002); Robert C. Post and Nancy L. Rosenblum, “Introduction,” in Civil Society and Government, eds. R. Post and N. Rosenblum, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), 1—25; 1, 17.

Note 7:  Shaw, “Civil Society,” op. cit.

Note 8:  Biljana Vankovska, “Western Civil-Society Empowerment and the Lessons Learned from the Balkans,” paper published by the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, 7 May 2002; (2 Aug. 2002).

Note 9:  See, e.g., Keitha Sapsin Fine, “Fragile Stability and Change. Understanding Conflict during the Transitions in East Central Europe,” in Preventing Conflict in the Post-Communist World: Mobilizing International and Regional Organizations, eds. A. Chayes and A. Handler Chayes, Brookings Occasional Paper (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1996), 541—81; 574.

Note 10:  Centre for Liberal Strategies, Bulgaria, NIT Report 2001. November 2000. (5 Aug. 2002), 5—9.

Note 11:  Franklin de Vrieze, Franklin, “Kosovo: Civil Society Awaits a Chance for Reconciliation,” in Searching for Peace in Europe and Eurasia , op. cit., 289—308; 299.

Note 12:  Maria Teresa Mauro, Dragan Lakicevic, Zoran Lutovac, and Danijel Pantic, “Serbia: A New Beginning Taking Shape,” in Searching for Peace in Europe and Eurasia, op. cit., 322—339; 333.

Note 13:  Boutros Boutros-Ghali, An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace-Keeping, Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to the Statement Adopted by the Summit Meeting of the Security Council on 31 January 1992 (New York: United Nations, 1992).

Note 14:  Sheri Berman, “Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic,” World Politics 49:3 (April 1997): 401—29.

Note 15:  Shaw, “Civil Society,” op. cit.; Raymond Detrez, “The Tragic Consequences of Nationalism in an Ethnically Heterogeneous Region,” in Searching for Peace in Europe and Eurasia, op. cit., 184—94; 191.

Note 16:  Carothers, “Civil Society,” op. cit.

Note 17:  See, e.g., Miall, et al., “Calling for a Broad Approach to Conflict Resolution,” op. cit., 74—76. Hackett, “International NGOs in Preventing Conflict,” op. cit.

Note 18:  See, e.g., Lederach’s contribution to the proceedings of a conference entitled “Managing Chaos,” transcribed in Pamela Aall, “Nongovernmental Organizations and Peacemaking,” in Managing Global Chaos: Sources of and Responses to International Conflict, eds. C. Crocker and F. Hampson (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1996), 433—443; 438—440.

Note 19:  Mary Anderson, Do No Harm: Supporting Local Capacities for Peace Through Aid (Cambridge, MA: Collaborative for Development Action, 1996); Anderson, Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace — Or War (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1999); Norbert Ropers, “Enhancing the Quality of NGO Work in Peacebuilding,” in Peacebuilding: A Field Guide, eds. L. Reychler and T. Paffenholz (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2001), 520—32.

Note 20:  Ermin Sinanovic, “Building Democracy Top-Down: The Role of International Factors in Promoting Civil Society and Democracy in Bosnia,” in Ownership Process in Bosnia and Herzegovina, eds. Ch. Solioz and S. Dizdarevic (Sarajevo: [n.p.], 2001), 105—117; Roberto Belloni, “Civil Society and Peacebuilding in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Journal of Peace Research 38:2 (2001): 163—180. There are indications that, thanks to general criticism of the Bosnian example, the inclusion of civil society in the peacebuilding process has improved in Kosovo; see Gianni Rufini, “Challenges for NGOs in the Reconstruction of War Torn Countries: The Case of Former Yugoslavia,” in Enhancing the EU’s Response to Violent Conflict: Moving Beyond Reaction to Preventive Action, Conference Report and Policy Recommendations, 7-8 December 2000 (Brussels: ISIS Europe, January 2001), 20—21.

Note 21:  See, e.g., the advice by the senior adviser to Mercy Corps International, who has been involved in a variety of its relief and development activities in the Balkans since December 1995: “They [the locals] should not have power of decision, but their advice should be given respectful attention.” Landrum Bolling, “Lessons from Bosnia on Civil Society Initiatives,” in Three Dimensions of Peacebuilding in Bosnia: Findings from USIP-Sponsored Research and Field Projects, ed. S. Riskin, Peaceworks 32 (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 1999), 32—36; 33.

Note 22:  See Michael Lund, “Preventing Violent Intrastate Conflicts: Learning Lessons from Experience,” in Searching for Peace in Europe and Eurasia, op. cit., 99—119.

Note 23:  See Megan Hodges’ contribution to a workshop in Warsaw, Poland, 4-5 February 1999, on relations between government and NGOs, summarized in “Managing Relations between Government and Non-Governmental Organizations,” East-West Institute Strategy Group for Strengthening Cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, 1999. (4 Aug. 2002), 2.

Note 24:  See Hackett, “International NGOs in Preventing Conflict,” op. cit., 276—77; Aall, “Nongovernmental Organizations and Peacemaking,” op. cit., 436.

Note 25:  See Plamen Pantev, “The New National Security Environment and its Impact on the Civilic-Military Relations in Bulgaria,” Institute for Security and International Studies Research Study 5 (1997); (4 Aug. 2002).

Note 26:  See “Working to Establish Civil Society,” in People Building Peace: 35 Inspiring Stories from Around the World (Utrecht: European Centre for Conflict Prevention, 1999), 186—91.

Note 27:  Raymond Detrez, “The Collapse of Tito’s Yugoslavia,” in Searching for Peace in Europe and Eurasia, op. cit., 195—208; 207—8. Bojan Toncic, “War Crimes — Essential Challenge for Modern Serbia: All Roads Lead to Hague,” Karavan 4 (January 2002) (Periodical Issue of Search for Common Ground), 34.

Note 28:  Hackett, “International NGOs in Preventing Conflict,” op. cit., 275.

Note 29:  Eran Fraenkel, “International NGOs in Preventive Diplomacy and Early Warning: Macedonia,” in Vigilance and Vengeance: NGOs Preventing Ethnic Conflict in Divided Societies, ed. R. Rotberg (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1996), 113—31; 118.

Note 30:  Hackett, “International NGOs in Preventing Conflict,” op. cit., 282.

Note *: Claude Nicolet studied general history at the University of Zurich, where he also earned his PhD on the topic of US policy towards Cyprus, which has since been published as, 'United States Policy towards Cyprus, 1954-1974' (Bibliopolis, 2001). During his studies he was also a researcher at the Centre for Security Studies and Conflict Research at the Federal Institute of Technology. Following the completion of his studies he became the Macedonia program manager for Medienhilfe, a non-governmental organisation. He then became co-ordinator for the International Media Fund in Macedonia, a position based in Skopje. He has a close interest in historic, political and security issues in the wider region of the Western Balkans and also maintains his interest in Cyprus history.  Back.