Translating Interests and Negotiating Hybridity: The Contributions of Local Civil Society Organisations to Peacebuilding in South Kivu

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Title: Translating Interests and Negotiating Hybridity: The Contributions of Local Civil Society Organisations to Peacebuilding in South Kivu
Authors: Van Houten, Kirsten
Date: 2018-12-06
Abstract: This thesis examines the role of local civil society organisations (CSOs) in representing and addressing local needs in hybridized peacebuilding processes in South Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). To do so it examines how local CSOs contribute to peacebuilding efforts, as well as who and what influence those contributions. Further, it considers the potential reach of such interventions at the community, provincial and national levels. The research for this thesis examines three locally founded and operated civil society organisations in Bukavu, South Kivu, whose efforts directly respond to known local causes of conflict in the region. Its findings demonstrate how they translate the needs and knowledge of community-level actors to external and international partners, from whom they receive funding and knowledge that support their ability to deliver peacebuilding projects that respond to those community-level needs. While their external international partners were found to maintain material power in relation to these peacebuilding interventions, the local CSOs were shown to hold significant discursive power in this role of translators and intermediaries in these processes. These findings challenge homogenous constructions of the local presented by post-liberal peacebuilding literature. They recognize the diversity of the local including individuals or groups who have been directly impacted by an ongoing violent conflict in a fixed geographical location whose experiences of war are shaped by their identities, and who share long-term interests in potential peace. Understanding the local in this way acknowledges a spectrum of actors contributing to peacebuilding in South Kivu and invites a reconsideration of binary constructions of hybridity. Acknowledging the important role that civil society and other intermediaries play in peacebuilding offers a foundation of understanding hybridity as a process of translation rather than shock.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/38538
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-22791
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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