Civil Society and the Global Civil Society

Project: Translating Civil Society Globally

This sub-project grounds the question of global civil society in an interrogation of how national civil society actors negotiate transnational political space. This process of negotiation defines if, to what extent and how a semblance of a global civil society can be identified. Specifically, the sub-project draws on a multi-sited and comparative ethnography of internationally administered rule of law reforms and humanitarian governance in conflict and post-conflict societies. The cases are chosen due to the intense - yet highly contested - involvement and influence of civil society actors in what are public concerns that have traditionally been assigned to the state. Danish civil society actors have been heavily involved in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Governance and reform processes are necessarily emerging here and transnational spaces open to definition. Consequently, battles of definition are key. The sub-project specifically traces how a variety of civil society actors, ranging from NGOs, volunteers, media professionals, consultants and academics, connect to propel shared visions of what the role of international law should be, and how it must be enacted to accommodate humanitarian values and concepts of human security and rights.

The sub-project intervenes in burgeoning debates within International Relations (IR), international legal theory, and International Political Economy (IPE) on experts and expert networks working within both public and private spheres to template for reform and development. 

The project is carried out by Maj Grasten.

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