ADRi Occasional Paper: “Civil Society Engagement in Addressing Terrorism in Southeast Asia”

It is with pleasure that we share with you Stratbase ADR Institute’s Occasional Paper for February 2020.

Entitled “Civil Society Engagement in Addressing Terrorism in Southeast Asia,”  the paper examines the significance and role of civil society in counteracting and preventing terrorism especially in Southeast Asia considering that the primary threat today is no longer coming from inter-state conflict but from extremist actors.

It comprises of four sections: the first section surveys the current diflculty of defining what “terrorism” is. The lack of precise, comprehensive, and common definition of terrorism that gained universal acceptance has bafled social scientists, politicians, and security experts on how to deal with civil society organizations which advocate for legitimate demands for social and political reforms.

In the second section, the paper examines the types, characteristics, and peculiarities of civil society in Southeast Asia in relation to their engagement with the state. Following the antecedents of the previous section, the third analyses the challenges confronting civil society and state relations given the character of state and regimes in the region and idiosyncrasies of civil society organizations.

Lastly, the fourth section discusses some recommendations and proposals that could be done to strengthen and reinforce the closer engagement between state and civil society in their common fight against terrorism in Southeast Asia.



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