Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding Case Studies
ICNC’s Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding Case Studies Report features in-depth research and analysis on the interplays of civil resistance (CR) and peacebuilding (PB). These case studies are based on the analytical framework developed by Veronique Dudouet in the ICNC Special Report, Powering to Peace: Integrated Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding Strategies, and provide illustrative and specific examples from single, country-specific conflicts. These studies demonstrate how civil resistance and peacebuilding strategies worked together or separately in four identified phases of violent conflict: (1) latent (2) overt (3) settlement and (4) post-settlement. After receiving 20 applications, ICNC selected a case study on Macedonia and a case study on Nepal. The published case studies will be available to the public in the Fall of 2018.
Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding: Macedonia Case Study
Title: A Tale of Two Conflicts: Transcending Macedonia’s Ethnic Divide Disarms a Political Cartel and Allows for a Democratic Reset
Author: Kurt Bassuener
Abstract: Macedonia’s wide divide between ethnic Macedonians and Albanians ultimately caused a violent conflict in 2001 with the potential to escalate into further violence and disarray. The Ohrid Framework Agreement ended that conflict by creating a power-sharing system, as is often prescribed by conflict management and resolution tool kits. However, the results of that agreement helped entrench a kleptocratic elite, based on a trans-ethnic political duopoly. Civil resistance was essential to transcending the ethnic divide among majority Macedonians and minority ethnic Albanians to a degree that a political conflict with the Nikola Gruevski regime ultimately resulted in its ouster, despite efforts by the embattled government to spark ethnic conflict. This case study demonstrates the interplay between the imperatives to end and prevent further inter-ethnic violence and the cross-ethnic demands for political accountability.
Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding: Nepal Case Study
Title: From the Hills to the Streets to the Table: Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding in the Transformation of Nepal’s Maoist Conflict
Authors: Ches Thurber and Subindra Bogati
Abstract: From 1996 until 2006 Nepal experienced a civil war that resulted in an estimated 17,000 casualties. Remarkably, the conflict ended when the Maoist insurgents forged an agreement with the country’s political parties to jointly launch a civil resistance campaign to oust the King. The civil resistance campaign succeeded in overthrowing the King, the former rebels have been integrated into normal democratic politics—even holding the premiership on multiple occasions—and Nepal has not seen a reversion to large-scale violence. However, many of the social tensions that initiated the conflict still have not been resolved. Protests are a regular occurrence and there has been a proliferation of armed groups in Nepal’s southern plains and Western hills. What caused the Maoists to take arms? How were they convinced to transition to civil resistance? What accounts for the success and failures of the subsequent peace process?
We attempt to analyze these questions by utilizing the framework developed by Veronique Dudouet in her 2017 ICNC Special Report, Powering to Peace: Integrating Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding Strategies. We trace the development of conflict from a period of latent conflict with high levels of horizontal inequalities and structural violence to an outbreak of overt, but initially violent conflict. We then illustrate how a transition from civil war to civil resistance was made possible and led to a successful conflict settlement. However, flaws in the conflict settlement process have produced a turbulent post-settlement process, one that falls short of the goals of reconciliation, transitional justice, and sustainable peace.
Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding: Liberia Case Study
Title: Liberia: Resisting Marginalization and Promoting Peace through Civic Advocacy
Authors: Janel B. Galvanek and James Suah Shilue
Abstract: From the establishment of the Liberian state in 1848, the Americo-Liberian settlers – descendants of freed slaves from the USA – imposed a form of indirect rule over the indigenous Liberian population that oppressed, marginalized and exploited the majority of the population. This treatment of the native population became increasingly unsustainable, and in 1980 the settler government was overthrown. A 10-year dictatorship was followed by a violent civil war that lasted until 2003. Using the framework developed by Veronique Dudouet in her 2017 ICNC Special Report, Powering to Peace: Integrating Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding Strategies, this case study examines the methodologies and approaches of the various actors involved in civil resistance and peacebuilding throughout the various phases of conflict in Liberia, from a period of latent conflict to the post-settlement phase after 2003. Many different actors in Liberia pursued strategies of peacebuilding and civil resistance simultaneously, which led to the complementarity of their work and increased the impact they had on both political and civic reform, as well as on the ultimate peace process. The case study takes an in-depth look at the impact that the strategies had on each other in their common pursuit of peace and justice in Liberia.