The purpose of this research project consists in gaining a thorough understanding of the inter-linkages connecting the conflict – human rights – civil society nexus. On the basis of this understanding, the project sets out the following objectives:

  • Understand the mechanisms and strategies through which civil society actors impact on conflicts through their effects on the violation and respect for human rights.
  • Develop empirical knowledge on the human rights-civil society – conflict nexus in the four selected case studies.
  • Drawing upon these findings to advance wider interdisciplinary research.
  • Presenting a set of policy proposals for improving the effectiveness of non-governmental actors in reducing human rights violations, as far as their internal organisation and direct action is concerned.
  • Producing a number of policy recommendations for enhancing the potential complementarity of civil society agents with governmental and inter-governmental institutional actors, and in particular with EU institutions.

To achieve these aims this research project sets out the following objectives

  • Understand and analyse the link between human rights and conflicts in the successive phases of conflicts (pre, during, post).
  • Understand and analyse the role of civil society in the prevention/generation, amelioration/worsening and resolution/continuation of conflicts through its focus on human rights.
  • Draw lessons on how the action of civil society organisations can be made more effective in human rights protection in a context of fragmented multi-ethnic political communities.
  • Draw lessons on the possible complementarity between the actions and strategies of governmental and non-governmental actors in the case of conflicts.
  • Draw lessons on how the impact of civil society actors in reducing human rights violations could be improved through greater synergies with the official European level.