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Legitimate Representation: Civil Society Actors in Peace Negotiations Revisited

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AbstractCurrent research suggests that negotiations which are more inclusive are more likely to achieve durable peace since they speak to the entire population. One way to ensure public support is through the inclusion of civil society groups, either directly at the negotiation table or indirectly in supportive roles. It is argued that through their inclusion there is a positive effect on the legitimacy of negotiations which in turn leads to more durable peace. Nonetheless, the reasons why and how involving civil society groups improves the legitimacy of negotiations remains little understood. This article considers the gap in research by using original empirical data to look at the peace negotiations held in Liberia in 2003 and Kenya in early 2008. A theoretical model of legitimate negotiations will be used to show in what ways the involvement of civil society groups can in fact make the conduct of negotiations and the outcome of an agreement more legitimate for the aggrieved population.

Affiliations: 1: GIGA Institute of African AffairsNeuer Jungfernstieg 21, 20354


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