We are seeking to develop a long-term research agenda on the role of civilians and civil society actors in conflict and post-conflict contexts through streategic partnerships with researchers in various fields and from various research communities. One central concern is the lack of focus on civilians in systematic studies of conflict processes and peacebuilding - despite the critical role that civilian populstions play and the frequent emphasis on this in policy circles.
Key research questions include:
How are civilians and civil society affected by conflict and peacebuildling initiatives, and what factors explain variations in this across contexts? In particular, how does conflict and peace initiatives affect women's status?
Under what conditions and how do civilians and civil society affect conflict dynamics and cpntribute to peace building?
How can civil society based peacebuildling be strengthened? What works?
Researchers at PRIO involved in the initiation of this project are: Ragnhild Nordås, Scott Gates, Gudrun Østby, Torunn Tryggestad, and Helga Malmin Binningsbø.