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Civil Society, Conflict and Violence

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In the past decade, civil society space across the globe has been challenged by pressing concerns about national security. The analysis in this chapter demonstrates that CSOs in the twenty-five countries of the CSI examined for this volume report a range of restrictive legal environments and illegitimate attacks from their local or central governments. International law provides for fundamental freedoms of association, but these guarantees have come under attack. As the data presented in this chapter show, CSOs in both democratic and non-democratic states report notable restrictions on their activities. This chapter proceeds as follows. First, it outlines recent trends in legal measures related to security and civil society in order to highlight contemporary challenges facing CSOs across the world. Next, the chapter discusses international legal standards meant to safeguard civil society space. Third, drawing on the CSI Organizational Survey, this chapter analyzes CSO responses to questions concerning the legal environment and illegitimate attacks. It then provides evidence from CSI country reports to further illuminate these findings in the descriptive statistics. Finally, the chapter concludes with reflections on the analysis, recommendations for future research and policy recommendations for CSOs.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License