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Title: Conflict and peace in India's northeast : the role of civil society 
Author: Das, Samir Kumar
Date: 2007
Publisher: Washington, D.C.: East-West Center Washington
Abstract: This monograph examines the role of civil society groups in peace building in three conflict regions in India's Northeast—Assam, Naga Hills/Nagaland, and Mizo Hills/Mizoram. These political conflicts are complex with each conflict representing a cacophony of competing, often zero-sum demands. In investigating the role of civil society groups, the study distinguishes between "official" (between the Government of India and certain insurgent organizations) and "unofficial" peace processes at the local level that makes coexistence of diverse communities possible despite the continuing violence. These two processes reflect very different ways of addressing conflict and defining the role of civil society groups in peace building. In the official peace process, the role of civil society groups is to bring warring parties to the negotiating table, set forth potentially agreeable ceasefire terms, and suggest possible settlements. The emphasis is on finding solutions at the macro level in the belief that settlement will also lead to resolution of micro level problems. In contrast the role of civil society groups in the unofficial processes is to constantly negotiate across ethnic boundaries and make it possible for rival communities to live together in the same village, locality, or neighborhood. Compromise is required at every level for conflict resolution. Popular initiatives also help insulate the general population from rebel groups.The official and unofficial peace processes often proceed on parallel tracks with minimum impact on each other. It is important for the two processes to be connected. For civil society groups to be more effective in peace building, they must be socially integrated and develop synergy with other constituents and stakeholders.
Series/Report No.: East-West Center (Washington, D.C.). Policy studies ; 42
Description: For more about the East-West Center, see
Pages/Duration: ix, 85 pages
LC Subject Headings: Ethnic conflict - Effect of civil society on - India, Northeastern
India, Northeastern - Ethnic relations
India, Northeastern - Politics and government
Civil society - India, Northeastern

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  • East-West Center (Washington, D.C.). Policy Studies [61]
    Policy Studies presents scholarly analysis of key contemporary domestic and international political, economic, and strategic issues affecting Asia in a policy relevant manner. Written for the policy community, academics, journalists, and the informed public, the peer-reviewed publications in this series provide new policy insights and perspectives based on extensive fieldwork and rigorous scholarship.


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