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Abstract

The development of the civil society concept in close connection with the political system of liberal democracy has influenced its definition. Civil society actors then take up functions previously conducted by the government. In addition, international peacebuilders often look for civil society partners in situations in which state institutions are contested and fragmented and assign them tasks traditionally performed by governmental actors. Civil society has become a prominent actor in peacebuilding since the end of the Cold War. The termination of the East–West confrontation led to an unblocking of the United Nations Security Council, which finally had the opportunity to fulfil its originally foreseen role as guarantor of international peace and security. The role of civil society was further accentuated by the conflation of peacebuilding with statebuilding.

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