This volume contains the presentations given at the Civil Courage in the International Arena seminar that took place at the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation on 10 June 2011. The seminar formed part of the activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Dag Hammarskjöld. Attended by NGO activists, several of whom have harsh experience of what it means to show civil courage under duress, writers, diplomats and academics, the seminar had as its purpose exploration of the interpretation and practical expression of the concept of civil courage in today’s world with a view to strengthening ethical principles in the international arena. It is well known that ethical concerns were profoundly important to Dag Hammarskjöld, both as an individual and in his capacity as the foremost civil servant of the international community. This volume seeks to pay tribute to that abiding legacy.
The seminar took place against the backdrop of the dramatic events we have come to dub the ‘Arab Spring’. Since then, however, many new developments have unfolded on the international political stage, not least in the Arab world. These papers should be read in light of the fact that they were written without the knowledge we possess today, a year later.
The aim of this volume is to present inspiring perspectives and substantial analyses of both conceptual and practical matters related to civil courage. We hope the texts offer inspiration and insight to all those engaged in the international arena in the service of peace and justice.