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The Transnational NGO Student Group presents: Dr. Patrice McMahon

341 Eggers Hall

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The Transnational NGO Student Group is proud to present: Dr. Patrice McMahon “The Midas Touch: the NGO sector in post-conflict societies” In post-conflict countries, the presence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) is striking. From providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, to rebuilding infrastructure, to giving training to women, the embrace of NGOs is a stable of peacebuilding exercises. What do NGOs do in these exercises? Why are these actors so prevalent? And, most importantly, what are the effects, specifically in fostering local agents of change? Prof. McMahon’s research argues that peacebuilding exercises, starting in the 1990s were based on the universal belief that peacebuilders needed to strengthen civil society and support local partners to build peace. NGOs were supported, and strengthened because they were viewed as effective and legitimate mechanisms for increasing political engagement, transforming attitudes, and, ultimately, cementing peace and democratic change. Prof. McMahon’s talk will explain the contradictory role played by the international community in supporting NGOs in peacebuilding environments. Patrice McMahon (PhD, Columbia University) is Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. McMahon’s research interests include global governance, ethnic conflict, post-conflict reconstruction and human rights. Lunch will be served

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