State and Non-State Cooperation for Crisis Prevention and Peace-Building Policy

Angelika Spelten, Tanja Hausmann, Miriam Shab
| 2006

FriEnt/INEF Workshop-Dokumentation

How can NGOs and think tanks from the academic field contribute more effec-tively to shaping international strategies for crisis prevention at national and EU level? And how are state and non-state actors already cooperating in crisis pre-vention and peace-building policy? These were the questions at the core of the workshop documented in this report. State actors increasingly acknowledge that their capacities to support or restore peace and security in places where these are challenged are limited and that the-re is a strong need for civil society engagement. This has clearly fostered closer cooperation with non-state actors in national and transnational policy arenas. In some countries, new instruments have been created to establish a new basis for interaction and cooperation between these different actors. The hope and inten-tion is that civil society involvement, not only in implementation but also in shap-ing policy approaches, will make crisis prevention and peace-building efforts more sustainable and effective. However, a closer relationship between government bodies, civil society organi-sations and academia also raises questions about the political implications, as well as the character and formats, of such cooperation and interaction. How do research institutions and NGOs define their roles in such settings? What level of support and what degree of cooperation do they offer, and what are the demands from the governments' side? What are the formats that have been a-dopted so far in these settings, and what experiences have been gained with them? Is there a role for NGOs and think tanks to play in improving crisis preven-tion policy at the EU level as well? The workshop was structured around three panel discussions and a final session of working groups. It opened with a general exchange about the different settings and formats for consultation between state and non-state actors in various coun-tries. The second session looked at specific cases of crisis intervention and the impact of non-state actors on the international response. Panel discussion III reflected on lessons learned from NGO involvement at European level.

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