Project no 6

Civil Society
Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)


Jonas Schaaf

Image: IWD 2016 Mali Bamako, by UN Women, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Civil Society

In subproject 6, Jonas Schaaf investigates how and why actors of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) include or exclude civil society actors in non-military conflict interventions. Using a practice-theoretical approach, the study reconstructs practices of inclusion and exclusion during conflict interventions in member states as well as at the level of general instruments such as formal participation and outreach structures. A broad understanding of civil society that goes beyond the inclusion of organized social groups (NGOs, CSOs) underlies the analysis and aims to reconstruct patterns in access for individual and collective actors to regional non-military interventions more comprehensively. Interviews at the AU and ECOWAS will focus on practices within formal structures of inclusion as acquired from the literature review of official documents, as well as to identify informal practices beyond them. Moreover, new data on the inclusion of civil society actors in non-military interventions will be collected through interviews and focus groups during field research in two case study countries (Mali, Guinea). For both cases, the field research lays the foundation for a social-network-analysis in order to provide a detailed mapping of civil society actors and their networks with(out) access to AU/ECOWAS interventions. Ultimately, the study reconstructs a typology of forms of participation and identifies frictions and blind spots in the inclusion of civil society actors in African regional non-military intervention practices

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