Mapping Civil Society and Peacebuilding in Ukraine: Peacebuilding by Any Other Name
47 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2020
Date Written: June 1, 2019
The study provides contextual knowledge about civil society actors in peacebuilding, their dynamics and functions in Ukraine based on the functional approach to peacebuilding developed by the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative, Geneva. After introduction into the conflict context and understanding of civil society in Ukraine, the paper goes on to analyze unique features of peacebuilding in Ukraine such as avoidance of peace terminology, politization and marginalization of peace discourse, multiple contradictory peace discourses and some legitimacy of the power-based approaches to peace in Ukraine. Then, the paper looks deeper at the role of Ukrainian civil society in peacebuilding by highlighting major peacebuilding “bubbles” and tensions between them. The main part of the analysis summarizes peacebuilding actors and their activities according to seven peacebuilding functions – protection, monitoring, advocacy, socialization, social cohesion intermediation, and service delivery. This study has found that the functions of protection and inter-mediation across the contact line are least developed in Ukraine because they have been overtaken by the Ukrainian Government and international organizations. The function of social cohesion – bringing people together – is most developed in comparison to other functions while in respect to the overall situation in Ukraine it still requires a great deal of effort and support. Other functions such as monitoring, socialization and service provision are partially developed. Finally, the least developed activities refer to peace advocacy and peace journalism where this study has identified only a few projects mostly initiated by international organizations.
Keywords: civil society, peacebuilding, Ukraine, Russia
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