Addressing the Symptoms Through Civil Society Building

  • Roberto BelloniEmail author
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


The rise and affirmation of intransigent ethno-national leaders in the early phase of peacebuilding induced external interveners to consider alternative avenues to influence domestic political dynamics. They identified civil society as the arena able to mediate and possibly solve peacebuilding contradictions. Focusing on the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, this chapter shows how the top-down, NGO-focused, technocratic nature of civil society building rendered local organizations disembedded from domestic structures. In particular, the attempt to support the ‘demand side’ of reform through the funding of civil society’s anti-corruption activities proved to be ineffective. Since the early 2000s the increasing role of the EU in the country did not improve the situation. Despite the rhetoric on participation, inclusion and ownership, the EU furthered a narrow vision of civil society instrumentally focused on NGOs.


Civil society Anti-corruption NGOs 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social ResearchUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly

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