In this month’s edition of Peace and Justice News we turn from the somewhat depressing issues of the last few editions to something which is hopefully more uplifting: the role of Civil Society in democracy movements, after it was noted by the editorial team that huge advances have been made in recent years and it is good occasionally to step back and appreciate what has been achieved.
Despite this there is a very long way to go. Thus Douglas Shaw highlights for us some of the issues in the US electoral system, the ways in which the electoral roll is restricted and many voters are disenfranchised, as well as the way in which money (it seems) will always buy power.
Varsha Gyawali also takes us through the compound problems which NGOs both face and cause in post-conflict situations, stressing the importance of taking the long view, and of cultural sensitivity.
And as usual we have Unsung Heroes, in which Brian Larkin describes for us the work of the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee and the role it played in the Civil Rights movement, Centre News, News from around the Movements and two short book reviews, both of which focus on the positive sides of civil society involvement in democracy.
In next month’s Peace and Justice News the focus will again be a hopeful one; following on from the Edinburgh Peace Initiative Symposium in October, our theme will be Peacebuilding and Civil Society. Since we know many of our readers have a wealth of experience in this area, we must entreat you to share it! If you wish to con tribute an article or a short piece, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 22nd November.