The opening article reflects on the relations between governments and civil society, especially in peacbuilding. In another article, Roger W. Foster and Jayne S. Docherty, Eastern Mennonite University, point to situations when ‘smallness’ in itself is an advantage. James A. Paul, Global Policy Forum, and Henning Melber, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, in their respective articles, picture the UN’s and governments’ attitude towards civil society. Pauliina Parhiala, ACT Alliance, takes up a human rights perspective in her discussion on the challenges of civil society. A number of examples of peacebuilding activities in small spaces are given from former Yugoslavia, Burma/Myanmar and Israel/Palestine.
The Life & Peace Institute works by supporting local civil society organisations in Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
LPI regards the regional aspect as key both in the understanding and the solution to the conflicts in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes regions, and its work is therefore built on a thorough understanding of this regional dimension.