Opportunities for peace and democracy: civicness in conflict societies

Season 1, Episode 4,  Sep 11, 2020, 12:20 PM

Opportunities for transformative change

In conflict and post-conflict situations it can be easy to get lost in the horror faced by many people in these societies. But we should be wary of this tendency - because it can blind us to the opportunities for change. 

The belief that ‘nothing good’ occurs in conflict regions is typical of a Western-centric bias and a rather 'top down' model of intervention. 

In this podcast we challenge this way of thinking. And we do so by talking about an empirical phenomena we find in conflict ravaged societies - a phenomenon we call civic-ness. We argue that this simple idea can unleash democratic change - and what’s more, it’s an empirical, not an idealistic concept. It’s something we find in all the societies that we investigate on the Conflict Research Programme.  This podcast explores these ideas with reference to Iraq and Syria, looking at movements for gender equality, independent journalism and democratic transformation. 

Featuring Matthew Benson, director of the LSE South Sudan Programme, Henry Radice, Research Fellow in the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit, Rim Turkmani, Research Director of the LSE Syrian Research Programme, Zahra Ali, assistant professor at Rutgers University, Newark, and Aida Al-Kaisy, a media reform advisor and the author of the LSE Conflict Research Programme report, A Fragmented Landscape: Barriers to Independent Media in Iraq. 

This podcast series has been funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office as part of the Conflict Research Programme.

Producers: Luke Cooper, Azaria Morgan
Sound editor: Ben Higgins Millner

Intro music: The Drama by Rafael Krux (used for education purposes under Creative Commons License).