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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Imagining the Great Lakes Region: discourses and practices of civil society regional approaches for peacebuilding in Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo
Author:Leeuwen, Mathijs vanISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic terms:Great Lakes region
Congo (Democratic Republic of)
civil society
foreign intervention
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/30224890
Abstract:The idea has gained ground in recent years that, as conflicts in the countries of the Great Lakes Region are strongly interlinked, regional approaches are necessary to resolve them. This interest in regional dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding also gains currency in other parts of the world. Attention to regional approaches is reflected in the efforts of international organizations and donors to promote civil society peacebuilding. They assume that regional cooperation and exchange between civil society organizations contribute to peace, and provide an alternative to single-country interventions or regional diplomatic initiatives. This paper explores how such assumptions work out in practice. Experiences in the Great Lakes Region show that local and international organizations have difficulty in analysing the regional character of conflict and arriving at collaborative regional strategies. Moreover, local civil society organizations are deeply embedded in the politics of regional conflict. Consequently, the shift to regional peacebuilding approaches remains more theoretical than practical. This paper suggests that international supporting organizations need to adjust their ambitions in regional peacebuilding, but nonetheless have roles in fostering regional identification among civil society organizations. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]