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Bowling Together within a Divided Community: Civil Society and the Northern Ireland Conflict

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Global Governance, Conflict and Resistance
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Abstract

Within current literature on global governance and conflict management, it is assumed that a functioning civil society is a prerequisite for a functioning and healthy democratic polity.1 The very phrase civil society,, has become absorbed into the lexicon of academic discourse and has accompanied the rise of that other great mantra of the post-Cold War era, global governance. Despite the terminological vagueness of such phrases, those working and writing in the fields of conflict management are intrigued by the potential of civil society, and increasingly view it as a useful item in the tool-box for reducing, or even preventing, the outbreak or escalation of violent conflict.

There is clearly a need to discuss NGOs and civil society in relational terms, in terms of historically specific global, regional, national and local social-relations. Crude functionalist typologies of the roles of NGOs in democracies and in emerging democracies are unhelpful, as is measuring ‘civil society’ by the numbers of associations registered in a particular country.

(Deacon et al., 1997: 156)

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© 2003 Feargal Cochrane

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Cochrane, F. (2003). Bowling Together within a Divided Community: Civil Society and the Northern Ireland Conflict. In: Cochrane, F., Duffy, R., Selby, J. (eds) Global Governance, Conflict and Resistance. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781403943811_8

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