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Empowering and Engaging Civil Society in Conflict Resolution: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh

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Civil societies in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh have become alienated from the actual process of conflict resolution and need to be engaged in the political bargaining of the issue. This article addresses the importance of engaging civil society more deeply in this process. Only by empowering citizens through greater awareness and engaging civil society will the political elites from all sides of the conflict be forced to act more responsibly and participate in a more sincere and significant dialogue based on compromise rather than threats. To break the current deadlock, a new citizen-based initiative is needed based on a willingness to humanize the alleged enemy, consider options other than war, realize that the lives of immediate family members are at stake, learn about the benefits of compromise, and engage in reconciliation processes.

Affiliations: 1: University of Cambridge, Department of Politics and International Studies 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX UK, Email:


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