A Communication Toolkit to Build Trust: Lessons from Northern Ireland’s Civil Society Peacebuilders

Charis Rice, Emily Stanton , Maureen Taylor

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    Abstract

    Civil society organizations (CSOs) have important roles to play in building trust in post-conflict societies. This research examined how 25 CSO peacebuilders use communication to build trust in Northern Ireland. Our findings suggest that peacebuilders work across different levels of society as trust intermediaries. Communication is central to CSO peacebuilders’ practice in engendering trust and in demonstrating their trustworthiness as individuals, inter-group facilitators and organizational representatives. Synthesized from our data, a communication toolkit from ‘low level’ communication intervention to ‘high level’ persuasion explains the strategies that CSO peacebuilders employ to mitigate distrust and nurture trust as they work towards peace in Northern Ireland. We propose this toolkit might be malleable to trust building in other conflict-affected contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1154-1164
    Number of pages11
    JournalVoluntas
    Volume32
    Issue number5
    Early online date9 Jul 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

    Bibliographical note

    The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11266-021-00376-0

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

    Keywords

    • Civil society
    • Trust
    • Communication
    • Post-conflict
    • Peace building
    • Northern Ireland

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