Maria Stephan, senior policy fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on March 21, 2017 on "Responding to the Global Threat of Closing Civic Space: Policy Options."
From Hong Kong’s boulevards and Nairobi’s Uhuru Park to the maidans of Kyiv, Cairo and Tunis, millions of people have massed in recent years to demand greater democracy and transparency from their governments. Dozens of similar campaigns have been fought more quietly. A quarter-century of worldwide growth in such non-violent civil resistance movements has sharpened a question both for their activists and for practitioners of traditional peacebuilding: How can such resistance movements and conflict-resolution work be combined to build more stable, democratic societies?
Endemic corruption is padding the ranks of militant fundamentalist groups. Here's how communities are fighting back.