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Realizing Nonviolent Resilience

Neoliberalism, Societal Trauma, and Marginalized Voice

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Edited By Jeremy A. Rinker and Jerry T. Lawler

Current neoliberal social and economic realities have had enormous impacts on the abilities of oppressed groups and marginalized communities to realize resistance and innate resiliencies. How does the ubiquity of neoliberal economic forces exacerbate traumatized populations’ helplessness, and, thereby, influence their inability to grapple with their oppressors and engage in fruitful change solutions? This edited volume asks how nonviolent conflict practitioners might intervene to ‘treat’ traumatized, and often marginalized, populations suspended in the predicament of ‘acting in’ and ‘acting out’ their collective traumas. Treating trauma is an integral aspect of successful peacebuilding work. This work aims to explore the role of trauma in peacebuilding and illuminate the ways that neoliberal marginalization impacts trauma-informed peace work.

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Chapter Seven: Peacebuilding Work in Restricted Political Environments: Local NGO–Government Relations in the South Caucasus (Margarita Tadevosyan)

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Peacebuilding Workin Restricted PoliticalEnvironments: LocalNGO–GovernmentRelations in the SouthCaucasus

MARGARITA TADEVOSYAN

Conflict and post-conflict situations put significant constraints on the social, political, and economic fabric of any society. Violence and war leave long-lasting scars within the society and obstruct the usual and peaceful operations of all systems. Local and international actors often get involved in conflict and post-conflict environments to help restore and rebuilt broken systems. International actors in the form of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) often respond to the outbreak of violence in a particular region through the development and implementation of special projects and programs for intervention. In recent years there has been significant attention to the role and place of local actors (local activists, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and grassroots initiatives), their expertise, and approaches in facilitating the resolution of conflicts or transition from immediate post-conflict to sustainable peace situations. Operations in post-conflict environments continue to remain challenging for all actors involved; however, international and local actors share different risks and face different consequences operating within the same conflict settings. If international actors often are protected from the harassment and intimidation carried out by the government ←177 | 178→structures and via officially negotiated mandates, or given their ability to withdraw at any time, local actors are more vulnerable to intimidation and harassment and often must take greater personal risks.

In post-conflict settings, the state and state structures often hold a monopoly over the political resolution of the conflict. This monopoly frames...

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