Civil Society and Peace Negotiations: Confronting Exclusion

In: International Negotiation
Darren Kew University of Massachusetts-Boston, Dispute Resolution Program, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston MA 02125–3393 USA;, Email:

Search for other papers by Darren Kew in
Current site
Google Scholar
Anthony Wanis-St. John American University, School of International Service, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016 USA;, Email:

Search for other papers by Anthony Wanis-St. John in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



The fact that civil society groups play important roles in post-conflict peacebuilding has entered the mainstream of international conflict resolution dogma. Rarely do local civil society groups get a seat at the negotiation table for peace accords. Although the exclusion of civil society from peace negotiations may streamline the process, the absence of civil society voices and interests at the negotiating table can negatively impact the sustainability of a peace agreement during peacebuilding. Surveying a wide variety of different peace processes, a strong correlation was found between active civil society participation in peace negotiations and the durability of peace during the peacebuilding phase. Cases in which civil society groups actively engaged in peace negotiations seemed to enjoy more sustained peace in the peacebuilding phase. This holds true also for cases in which civil society groups did not have a direct seat at the table, but did exercise significant influence with the negotiators because they were democratic actors. War resumed in many cases not characterized by direct or indirect civil society involvement in the peace negotiations. No claim of causality is made; the sustainability of peace surely rests on causes as complex and dynamic as the initiation of war does. However, these findings do call attention to the need for further research to understand the special impact that civil society inclusion at the peace table may have.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 2199 498 33
Full Text Views 753 93 4
PDF Views & Downloads 1185 199 7