|dc.description.abstract||The formal negotiations to reach peace agreements are a unique opportunity to create social and political change, and those who participate in the negotiations - in what capacity, at what stage, to what degree and on what issues - matter.
Although the decision-making process directly affects them, members of civil society are too often not invited to take part in the negotiations, as traditionally the negotiation table has been considered to be a space for the arms-bearers and those who hold the power.
However, an organized civil society may prove to be critical for shaping peace, as it has the power to persuade, propose solutions and influence by example and by the integrity of their moral voice. The question is not whether civil society can contribute to the peace negotiations and to a lasting peace, but how it can do so. This study seeks to contribute to answering this complex question, by looking at ways in which civil society have effectively participated in peace negotiations, in order to identify the elements that have contributed to their effectiveness, the challenges and dilemmas they had to deal with and possible ways to overcome them.||en