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It Takes a Village: UN Peace Operations and Social Networks in Post-conflict Environments

Gizelis, Theodora-Ismene (2019) 'It Takes a Village: UN Peace Operations and Social Networks in Post-conflict Environments.' Politics and Gender. ISSN 1743-923X

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Why civil society organizations (CSOs) so often are unable to make a difference during the transition process to peace despite the widespread recognition of their potential role in fostering peace? I argue that the involvement and contributions of local civil society organizations and women’s organizations (WOs) in post-conflict peacebuilding should be understood in terms of social networks and connections that emerge in the peacebuilding process. Both linking and bridging social capital shape social interactions essential for successful post-conflict reconstruction. Yet, external actors often implement policies that strengthen hierarchical networks at the expense of horizontal networks; thus, undermining the creation of bridging social capital. To explore the types of networks that emerge in post-conflict reconstruction I use semi-structured interviews conducted in Liberia. The evidence suggests that emerging horizontal networks are more robust in areas where local communities and women have a tradition of organizing. However, these networks remain fairly unstable. The assistance is mostly channeled centrally strengthening hierarchical ties and leading to distortions in the distribution of resources. This type of external intervention has negative implications and hinders bridging social networks even when these networks are present.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction, social networks, women's organizations
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2018 15:27
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2020 14:15

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