Research Journal#12

My first research question is: what is the role civil society in the peace building settlement?  and what could be done differently in the Yemeni context during the national dialogue and after to ensure a stronger impact?

I went through different literature review to understand the role of CSOs in the democracy consolidation and peace building settlement. And also I went through two cases study of CSOs in peace building in two countries Seri Lanka and North Ireland to compare to the Yemeni experience from 2011 till now. And I was optimistic to find a critical role in peacebuilding settlement like forming it or sign on it as a political element especially in the weak government countries. However, the roles of CSOs will vary from country to another (Bell. C & O’Rourke. C, 2007) argue that CSOs could be involved in one or more of the following;

“Humanitarian Relief role, Peace Agreement Monitoring human rights, Legitimating Peace Agreements and Resulting Administrations, Transitional Governance and Institutional Development. Also, Transitional Governance Role and some agreement will state for Protection and Promotion of Civil Society and Institutionalizing Civil Society. In a closer approximation to a formal institutionalization of participatory democracy, some agreements give civil society organizations distinct deliberative forums in order to debate and formulate positions and input into formal government policy processes”( p. 298-303)

The role for most Yemeni CSOs during the NDC and after were focusing overall humanitarian relief role, peace agreement monitoring human rights and sort of  Legitimating peace agreements and resulting administrations if they get the permission from the political elites. And in conclusion, the limitation of the Yemeni CSOs role of the peace building settlement was due to the evictor political environment and organizational weakness between all the CSOs. Based on that here some recommendation:

  • The CSOs should form a strong and untied form or network to be able to coordinate and participate in the political scenes.
  • The international community should push for the CSOs inclusion in all the political transitional process and not only in the humanitarian and the monitoring work.
  • It is very important the complementarity of both the elite power-sharing and grass-roots participatory approaches is critical to building a sustainable peace and to accommodating both traditions in places like Northern Ireland.
  • The CSOs need to start the scale up their work to services provider to re- gain the population trust and to widen their grass root support.
  • The CSOs should be natural and avoid the polarization but I know it is difficult in the poor country.

Research Journal#11

Yemen context and conflict started from the Arabic uprising 2011 update:
Although I lived the Yemeni experience during the Arabic Uprising in 2011 and worked National Dialogue Conference closely, I will try to be natural and rely on international reports and articles to expresses the political transition and conflict since 2011.
According to UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE (2014) report written by Erica Gaston, the Arabic spring revolution started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Libya. In Yemen, the protest led by youth and civil society who was for years dissatisfaction with the regime president Ali Abdullah Saleh due to long-standing frustration over the lack of economic improvement, corruption and the lowest levels in the region for food security, health, and education (Gaston.E, 2014). In addition, there was fragile and unstable political situation between the south (al-Hiraak) and north and government against a minority (Houthi), thus led to central cracking in the Yemeni politics (Gaston.E, 2014). So a number of key political parties, power brokers, and tribal actors joined the protest movement in the street which causes complaint civil activists and makes the ambiguous objective of the whole revolution and protest (Gaston.E, 2014). In November 2011, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreement signed by the country’s main political parties to prevent escalating armed conflict (Gaston.E, 2014). This agreement was two years transition period with arrangements Saleh step down from power and give him immunity (Gaston.E, 2014). The GCC agreement ends the fight to start transitional period lead by Former vice-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and suggest a platform for all political civil to discuss the country problem and critical issues and come with the new constitution to guarantee the rights of all public (Gaston.E, 2014). However, the GCC neglect the important facts of the country situation; a poor economic situation with lacks of state control and law in different areas and a major transnational terrorist problem (Gaston.E, 2014).
National Dialogue Conference started on March 18, 2013, 565 delegates from all the political parties, youth, women, and CSOs (Gaston.E, 2014). It was a hope for all Yemeni to get over the unstable situation and start the new Yemen with solid state (Gaston.E, 2014). In the NDC there were nine discussed issue and the most critical two were the southern and Houthi issues (Gaston.E, 2014). This dialogue was planned to finish after 6 months but it finished after ten months in early August 2013 after hard negotiation in some stages and worth mentioning that all the international support was focusing on NDC and its activities with a shortage in the basic services support (Gaston.E, 2014). The NDC had 1800 outcomes for the 9 issue with consensus from all the delegates even that some outcomes were not fully agreed upon like the formulation of 6 states in Federal context as the new Yemen. The NDC was a public process and had national settlement element but the government focused on the success of the NDC while the population face worsening situation regarding the basic services and need (Gaston.E, 2014). As a result, there was a weak buy-in from the community and that increase the trust gap between the transitional government and the population (Gaston.E, 2014). Because people expected the transitional government to be responsive to their daily need and challenges (Gaston.E, 2014).
After the NDC there was a suspended issue in the state building in how many regions will be in the federal state (Al-Ali.Z & Lackner. H, 2016). President Hadi created a small committee from all the political parties and decided to create six regions and that was highly rejected by the Houthis because it “divides Yemen into poor and wealthy regions.” (Al-Ali.Z & Lackner. H, 2016). Hadi neglects the reject of the Houthis and assumed the will deal with the reality. Then he established the Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC) to move on with the transitional period and translate the NDC’s work into a draft constitution to be submitted to a referendum (Al-Ali.Z & Lackner. H, 2016). The draft had 446 articles and provides an excellent basis for better governance in Yemen but some of NDC’s outcomes were contradictory that leave the CDC with unclear direction how to resolve contentious issues (Al-Ali.Z & Lackner. H, 2016). Even with the excellent basis the draft offer with the adoption of an unconvincing issue to a number of actors including the Houthis and Hirak (Al-Ali.Z & Lackner. H, 2016). The unsatisfactory of political parties lead to political disagreement and end with a takeover of Sana’a alliance with Saleh’s elite forces moving to the south generating the start of a full civil war and give an excuse for the intervention of the Saudi-led coalition (Al-Ali.Z & Lackner. H, 2016). Now Yemen under Saudi-led coalition blockade and attack since 26 of March 2015 and since then the United Nation and the international communities tried to hold national and regional negotiation for peace (Al-Ali.Z & Lackner. H, 2016).
The role of the Civil Society in Yemen during 2011 till now:
According to the World Bank (WB) Group article in 2014 about “A New Role for Civil Society in Yemen”, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) number in Yemen witnessed a rapid growth up to 8,300 registered and a quarter of them raised since Yemen’s transition got underway in 2011 as initiatives and networks. Most of their work was development (capacity building to the community and provide some service) and charity (WB, 2014). The CSOs and their networks had a good grassroots connection to the Yemeni people, including marginalized and have unique access to remote and rural districts and most of the international and government outreach programs rely on them (Sharqieh,2013).
During the NDC the CSOs had 40 seats from different organization and governorate along with 40 for activists’ youth and 40 for activists’ women (Gaston.E, 2014). This was the first time to directly involve the independent’s population in political negotiation (Gaston.E, 2014). And a large number of the CSOs were following the NDC update and made a lot of effort to communicate the processes and outcomes of the NDC to the public and to incorporate broader public consultation on key issues (Gaston.E, 2014). And CSOs was given a massive task to reach the isolated population (only 30 percent of which is urban) and to communicate a number of complex issues through public dialogue tents, awareness campaign and training (Gaston.E, 2014). Also during the NDC the delegates did outreach program outside of Sanaa and hold a number of discussion forums were held both under NDC auspices and outside it to discuss key NDC issues, solicit input, and encourage broader debate (Gaston.E, 2014) in order to increase the public buy in.
Worth mentioning from my involvement that the NDC secretariat and UNOPS tried to provide the independent parties with a free platform with mediators and consultants to unified their vision and input in the NDC and after.
Interestingly during my Google search, I did not find a consolidated report or articles about the role of the civil Society, so I am presenting some of individual report or articles in specific areas. Some highlighted activities of the CSos during the war are;
• Submission of Letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2015 from 53 GSOs inside and outside Yemen as per global research website asking to push the political settlement and warn about the humanitarian crisis.

• Civil society’s efforts to revive a war-ravaged education system in Yemen through The Yemeni Coalition for Education for All (YCEA) as an example which advocates for conflicting parties to protect education facilities from all sectarian, regional and partisan conflicts ( Al Refai , 2016).

• Safer world fund resonate organization to building youth capacities for peace, work with the National Organization for the Development of Society (NODS) on piloting a number of community security project sites and works to promote women’s political participation and address issues of gender, peace, and security(2017).

Research Journal # 10

I finished the literature review that I will use to critice the Yemeni experince of Civil Socity involvmnet in transition period with accopying to two case studies.

Literature review:
The role of the civil society in democracy and peace building is debatable between some authors’ embrace their important in consolidation of democracy and other authors warn against civil society intentions and role (Lerenzo&Fiori, 2010). This started from the definition of the civil society is different throughout history and governmental stages. There are three general arguments for the meaning of civil society. The first one, treat civil society as a domain for associational life that educates the ground for democratic value and contribute to strength the mutual trust and the horizontal connection in their society( build the social capital) (Putnam, 2001). The Second argument sees the civil society as a base for organized citizens face and request the government to widen bottom-up participation and protect civil and political rights (Seligman, 1992). The third argument refers to the German philosopher Hegel, that contrast the other two as he considers the civil society as not- independent actor in the society and it is an instrument for the government to impose and spread their culture and order in the society.
In the past, the civil society role in politics and transition to democracy was not clear and non-appreciable (Lerenzo&Fiori, 2010). As O’Donnell and Schmitter (1986) who give the credit to the political elite in demise the of authoritarian regimes rather than the civil society movements and as Gunther and Higley (1992) who argue that the choices of political elites and the institutional setup is the reasons behind the success of the post-transition period, rather than participation and the action of the civil society groups.
However in the late 1980s-early 1990s, the role of the civil society in democratization and any political transition started to be noticeable and valued and that was only after the mass mobilizations in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.” Civil society had become important in promote political liberalization, prepare the way for democratic reform, support institution building and improve the quality of democracy” (Diamond, 1992; Ignatieff, 1995; Monshipouri, 1997; Pearce, 1997). And it became agreeable that “a vibrant civil society is essential for consolidating and maintaining democracy than for initiating it” (Diamond, 1994: 7).
Interestingly even the Consolidation of democracy and the role civil society are understood in two conceptual. First is the negative way because the grey area between maintaining democracy against a slow erosion towards hybrid regimes due to the residual presence of antidemocratic forces and the weakness of the state (O’Donnell, 1992, 1994, 1998; Carothers, 2002; Valenzuela, 1992; Zakaria, 1997)and for that the civic engagement is relatively less than the institutional arrangements, however the civil society could support the democratic erosion by community mobilization(Lerenzo&Fiori, 2010). On the other hand, other authors view the central and positive role in the consolidation of democracy as a process of constant transmission of democratic practices at both elite and mass levels (Karl and Schmitter, 1991; Pridham, 1995). Civil society could promote vertical accountability through encourage popular engagement (Geremek, 1992). Also Larry Diamond has argued that promotion of the popular participation by civil society could lead mitigate and reduce the polarity of political conflict through structure channels for articulating, collecting and representing interests people (Diamond, 1999). And for Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan (1996; 1997) democracy consolidation “is necessary to secure more than the behavioral loyalty of elites and the constitutional arrangements of institutionalized democratic methods of conflict resolution” (Lerenzo&Fiori, 2010, p.87).
Guillermo O’Donnell believes that developing countries there is a ‘brown area’ Guillermo O’Donnell (1993, p.1360) termed between the urban and rural in democratic development. So that lead for the remaining of the authoritarian reserves longer the local level, especially in rural and less developed areas of a country but the civil societies can contribute to change that. Worth mentioning that Philippe Schmitter (1993) believes that the civil society negatively impact the democracy by making the construction of the majority difficult since each CSO has their own interests and passions and this also, by imposing complicated processes of negotiation in political life (Schmitter, 1993).

 

 

The dilemma of democracy between the idealistic and reality

This course changes my perspective about democracy and its importance.It makes now questioning everything from the both side of the coin. I came to the class with a certain understanding of democracy that it is will define and it is a goal for the success state and development with direct path and step. And the challenges are external factors. Also, I thought activists and civil society could enhance democracy easily.

This class and it reading surprised me a lot, starting from the definition of democracy and how it applies in different countries, to who are the main actor of imposing democracy and why,  it surprise me with the ugly face of the elites everywhere and during the history, it surprise me that how difficult to breakdown of authoritarian regime and there is only tiny chance to reach a safe land.

The most two interesting things for me during the course are the historical scenario and the China State system. First the behaviors of the elite,  the dictatorship and the scenario of state control, most of the time I would visualize the history or the characters with my country model and I became surprised to which extended it matches with the reality that I have seen and it made me wonder how come it happened. However, after watching the video of “Please Vote for Me”, I realize it is the human nature of survival and win regardless of the ideal value and manners. Second, it was interesting to discuss China case in The Dictator’s Dilemma book and other books and how it may affect the democracy understanding and approach.

Research Journal# 9

The role of Civil Society in North Irland:

Byrne (2000) article has shown that there were four efforts failed by the British government pre-1985 to establish a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland. However, the last fifteen years the British and Irish governments as external Ethno-guarantors effectively managed the Northern Ireland conflict (Byrne, 2000).  However, in  the early 1990s the civil society or transformational conflict resolution approach (Woolpert, Slater & Schwerin, 1998) were essential in encourage both governments in forming a peacebuilding environment that inspires intergroup contact to bond relationships, build trust, nurture the middle ground and address the systemic roots of conflict (Byrne, 2006).

The civil societies that had  role in North Irland peace building included different forms; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), religious civil society, and Community Relations Council (CRC).

Since the late 1960s a number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that have been worked to build bonds across communities to eliminate stereotypes and build the bond across the communities (Byrne, 2006). They worked with the middle ground to provide opportunities for people get to hear the fears of other individuals, their suspicions, hopes, and desires (Love, 1995).In 1990 the British government established Community Relations Council (CRC) as an umbrella organization to assist peace building activists and NGOs in both sides to prompt unity and cultural tradition and to develop cross-community contact that breaches the sectarian wall (Fitzduff, 1996). The CRC support and finance number of NGOs to conflict resolution training for local groups throughout Northern Ireland to spread awareness, debate, understanding, and mutual cooperation and to protect the civil and political rights of the citizen (Byrne, 2006). The CRC has successfully worked to nurture a small but steadily growing moderate bloc within both communities (Byrne, 2006).

Also in 1976 Peace People’s Movement (the Nobel laureates Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams, as well as Saidie Patterson), gathered thousands of Protestants and Catholics leaders and ordinary people to march for peace in the wake of the growth of religious murders. (Henderson, 1994) believe that direct impact of the  Peace People’s movement was responsible for the reduction of religious violence. However, Byrne mentioned that in middle term impact the movement failed because context and time were not mature for activating the majority of citizens to work for peace (Byrne, 2006). On the other hand, this movement influenced a future generation of peace activists within local grass-roots community groups, and within the integrated education movement (Byrne, 2006).

Conclusion: In

‘For most of the period of the Troubles British strategy towards Northern Ireland has been relatively straightforward: to build a power-sharing coalition among the more “moderate” parties in Northern Ireland’ (Dixon, 1997b: 22).The Northern Ireland experience demonstrated that the people wanted dialogue and community participation at every level of society, and the democratic accountability of politicians (Pollak & Opsahl, 1993).  From this case study Byrne (2006) concludes the following;

  • The external Ethno- guarantors (British and Irish government) have effectively worked to end and regulate the conflict paramilitary groups.
  • Sharing power strategy was the reason for the peace building agreement but not the normal models that tried for more than 15 years which is the elite bargaining.
  • British and Irish government adopted the long- term perspective power sharing and civil society approaches to recognize the multiplicity of peacemakers and the necessity to create an economic infrastructure to distribute resources equally to empower both communities (Diamond & McDonald, 1996; Irvin & Byrne, 2000, 2001; Keashly & Fisher, 1996; Lentz, 1972).
  • integrated education are also used in Northern Ireland to promote the civil-society approach by challenging the content of stereotypes, thereby building cross-community contact, trust, and a ‘shared identity’ (Byrne, 1997)
  • “Regional sovereignty could serve, therefore, to erode the geopolitical and psychological border between Northern and southern Ireland” (Byrne, 1997).
  • “A new politics of participatory democracy and transformational conflict resolution that empowers the grassroots is also shaping the political terrain of Northern Ireland “(Byrne, 1997).
  • All the civil society intervention and approaches “has successfully worked to nurture a small but steadily growing moderate bloc within both communities” (Byrne, 1997)
  • For any civil society intervention, they should consider the context and the timing of the intervention to avoid the failure. As “The civil-society or constructive conflict resolution approach involves the development of an interactive interdependent web of activities and relationships among elites and the grassroots to build a shared ‘culture of peace’ (Kriesberg, 1998; Lederach, 1997; Rothman, 1997; Schwerin, 1995).

Research Journal # 8

The second case study is North Irland

Consociational and Civic Society Approaches to Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland by SEAN BYRNE (2006), the articles had three objectives, in the coming part I will focus on two related objectives for this paper which are;

” explore the impact of both elite bargaining and citizen participatory democracy on the Northern Ireland peace process and examine some recent efforts of grass-roots citizens to take charge of their political destiny” (Byrne, 2001)

Although, the post-Cold War world has seen the settlement of several prolonged ethnic conflicts, but also the explosion of a number of new violent intercommunal conflicts (Byrne & Irvin, 2000; Carment & James, 1997, 1998).

North Irland context and conflict’s history:

Whyte (1990) has described the Northern Ireland conflict as a clash of identities leads to killed thousands of people. According to the BBC News (2006), The conflict started in the in the 12 century and lead to civil war continued to decades the conflict was due to the area status of North Irland,  as the majority of Protestant Unionist community believed that they should stay part of the United Kingdom. And another group mainly Catholic Nationalist community believes it should leave the UK and become part of the Republic of Ireland. Nationalists feel that they are Irish, whereas Unionists are reportedly unsure about their British national identity (Wallis, Bruce & Taylor, 1986). Worth mentioning that the Unionist community was not a homogeneous group and over the years it was easy to fragment compare to the Nationalist one (Moxon-Browne, 1983; Whyte, 1990).  The beginning was in 1969 when marches by the Catholic civil rights and counter-protests by Protestant loyalists (as in “loyal” to the British Crown) lead to the long civil war (Byrne, 2001).During the 1970s till early 1990s violent were deadly and even” the IRA (Irish Republican Army) carried out bomb and gun attacks in Britain and Northern Ireland that targeted police, soldiers, politicians and civilians” (Byrne, 2001). Finally in early 1990s negotiations took place between political parties and the British and Irish governments (BBC, 2006) and the ceasefires stopped in 1998 when the “Good Friday” agreement was signed (BBC, 2006).

Over the past 27 years, elite bargaining model was used by the British policymakers to manage the Northern Ireland conflict. O’Leary & McGarry (1993) and McGarry & O’Leary (1995) have discussed the limits to ‘coercive consociationalism’, and it did not work. However, Dixon (1997a,b,c) has expanded on the potential of the ‘civil society’ model in the de-escalating conflict in Northern Ireland (Byrne, 2001).

The inevitable push and pull factors toward dictatorship

For me, it is not a clear cut because it depends on the context and the many factors such the economic status of the government, the state institutions strength, the involvement of people (passive or active) in politics, the ideology, and the cultural factors.

During the reading I evoked the contemporary political transformation in my country and the 35 years of what considered democracy and I can relate it to both arguments; Zakaria’s  one regarding the demographics and the cultural polarization in the beginning of 1980s because the conservative and the tribe leading communities and the opposite polarization  in recent incidence due to the globalization, information revolution, fiscal burden. And in between we lived the Bermeo’s argument about the passive role of the ordinary people because they were busy with daily life issue and they trust the authoritarian regime/ political elite (parliament and president) who kept the living situation hard as Mayer reading ” they kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ ” so couldn’t and did not want to think anyway ” so” You are compromised beyond repair” ( Mayer, 1955) . Also, people were passive to neglect any dictatorship acts until it reaches them. Then the shock reaction of people started with blind fellowship to their polarized leaders.

I believe the breakdown of democracy comes from the fragile shape of democracy in the first place then the other argued factors could play a minor or major part according to the basic platform as Bermeo on Brazil and Uruguay arguments regarding the push and pull toward dictatorship.

Research Journal# 7

From the Building Peace in Sri Lanka: A Role for Civil Society? By CAMILLA ORJUELA (2003). The article explores the possible role of civil society in peacebuilding and in the same time mention the challenges that civil society faced.

Sri Lanka Context and conflict’s history:

After the Independence from British rule in 1948, national restorations by Sinhalese/Buddhist start to revive the suppressed local language, culture, and religion, during the colonization (Orjuela, 2003). These restorations worked against the foreign rulers and against the minority population Indian Tamils (about 5% of the population) in 1948 (Orjuela, 2003). The post-independence nationalist politics did many disenfranchising practices against the Tamil like making Sinhala the only official language which restricts employment opportunities in 1956 and university entrance 1971 for the Tamil-speaking minorities (Orjuela, 2003). In Tamils, there were moves and protest against discrimination and violence and from the 1970s and onward revolutionary groups, and the call for a separate state, rather than for equal rights (Orjuela, 2003). As the paper mentioned, there was also conflict between the main political parties in the south which add to the complexity of the conflict, “as opposition parties have often ‘played the nationalist card’ to defeat a government attempting to ‘solve’ the ethnic problem”(Orjuela, 2003, p.198). On the other hand, India faced difficulties with armed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and by the late 1980s, India’s tries to mediate ended up violence in Sri Lanka (Orjuela, 2003). Since February 2002, the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government have agreed to a ceasefire and showed the good intention for the Norwegian-facilitated peace process is under way.

The role of Civil Society in Sri Lanka:

In Sri Lanka villages there were collective organizations to look for people’s concerns however it got controlled by international or local NGO with a top down approach (Orjuela, 2003, p.199).  And in”Early democratization forced upper-class politicians into an alliance with the rural lower middle class, which gave way to political patronage (Stokke, 1998). Also, Mayer comments in that ‘people have developed a passive “receiving-mentality” rather than the awareness to actively demand the fulfillment of certain needs from the respective authorities’, that is, political patronage substitutes for a demanding civil society (Mayer, 2000: 167).

In the 1970s in response to ethnic rebellions and government repression, a lot of nongovernmental organizations were formed focusing on peace, human rights, and democratic reform (Orjuela, 2003, p.199).  However, the real peace movement momentum started 1994–95 (Orjuela, 2003, p.199). In 1995 hundred of different civil-society organizations delegates participated in the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, with the purpose of unified civic groups concerned about peace under one umbrella (Orjuela, 2003, p.200). This National Peace Council and other civil-society groups for peace were doing conflict resolution training, advocacy work and even traveled across the country to raise the awareness about the roots of ethnic conflict and the need for political reform (Orjuela, 2003, p.200).

The role of the Civil Society association varies from;

“Awareness-raising and peace education, Organization of peace marches rallies, and other manifestations for peace, Bringing together persons from different ethnic groups, Advocacy work, Research and information, Informal diplomacy (Key actors from the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE or persons close to them) and Reconstruction of war-torn areas, mobilizing people to satisfy their own basic needs”(Orjuela, 2003, p.200)

Challenges faced the CSOs in Sri Lanka:

  • The small influence of CSOs in the society because of the politicization society between the LTTE supporter and the government (Orjuela, 2003, p.198).
    • The passive reaction and perceptions among ordinary people of what politicians deliver (Orjuela, 2003, p.198).
  • The lack of mass contribution from the community or activities in civil society peace work because most people at a grass-roots level are anxious with their day-to-day and one economic source for poor rural families is payments from the armed forces(Orjuela, 2003, p.200).
    • The mono-ethnic of most of the NGOs and civic groups and their contact with the political parties (Orjuela, 2003, p.200).
  • Lack the democratic structures in some CSOs which decrease the grassroots participation in decision-making, accountability, and transparency. And that reflect on their work and demands (Orjuela, 2003, p.201).
  • Some limitation of outreach peace education, the slow nature of attitude change (Orjuela, 2003, p.202).
  • The big obstacle was the profitability for many people that make it hard to convince them about the peace. (Orjuela, 2003, p.206)

Worth mentioning that with all the challenges the power of the NGOs, peace activists and the groups that reach different parts of the country and different euthenics is a potential factor in massive popular mobilization (Orjuela, 2003, p.202).

In conclusion:

According to (Orjuela, 2003),  the role of civil society in peacebuilding and political transition is crucial but the approaches used were not enough and thus lead us to the necessity of the change the top-down approach of the civil mobilization( p.208). And that massive support and legitimacy for peace processes and agreements ‘from below’ required;

  • Change the short and small-scale activities such as workshops, conflict resolution training and the importance of having ‘from below’ dynamic mass-based social movement (Orjuela, 2003, p.210).
  • The important in getting the society trust by being a good model for the issue you advocate like democratization and cross-ethnic association in structure and work which was the case for most of the organization (Orjuela, 2003, p.210).
  • The clear relation and connection between small-scale activities and large-scale developments impact.

Orjuela, C. (2003). Building peace in Sri Lanka: A role for civil society?. Journal of Peace Research40(2), 195-212.

Research Journal # 6

After the meeting with Dr. Kandhamer and discussed all the feedbacks; we narrow down the focus to the role of the CSOs in democracy and peace building settlement during or after a war? To assess the Yemeni experience of the CSOs engagement in the political settlements during the National Dialogue Conference and what goes wrong even when they had a participation plate form?

I will choose two case studies for CSOs engagement in peacebuilding settlement the first one will Seri Lanka to analysis what went right and what went wrong. I hope by the end of the paper to be able to find out what it should be done to have an effective participation of the CSOs in the peace building settlement and the political form transition.

The Democracy through the Chinese’s eyes

In the Dickson book, democracy in China by the definition and the standard of the west is very low and even not democratic according to the Freedom House Score and the Polity IV dataset. This result mainly because of the one-party authoritarian regime who persecutes the civil and the political right. However, the evaluation of the Chinese opinion during 2010 survey showed a dramatic increase in the level of democracy especially after 1989 and the social and the political reform.

According to the reading, Chinese knew democracy as economic growth and social reform in general. During the survey in 2010 when people asked what does “democracy” means? They answered differently and the top two answers were “By and for the people” in Chinese minsben “The people as the base” p.282. And the second one is I don’t know, worth mentioning that the political rights and election mentioned but as a top priority. In 2014 survey the top definitions were Market economy/ economic outcomes then libertarian. On the other hand, Democracy for the Elite was debatable and they tried to accommodate Chinese word to fit with the western meaning, so they transform the word Minzhu from the original meaning of the chief of the people to the people are chiefs and keep it ambiguity.

So democracy means differently to different people due to a lot of historical and contemporary factors and as Tianjian Shi said,

“Studying people’s aspirations toward democracy without careful examination what democracy means to them would cause researchers to reach inaccurate conclusion about the relationship between people’s support for democracy, regime change, and democratic consolidation” (Dickson, 2016, p.272)