Emotional Practices and Listening in Peacebuilding Partnerships : The Invisibility Cloak book cover
1st Edition

Emotional Practices and Listening in Peacebuilding Partnerships
The Invisibility Cloak

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 1, 2021
ISBN 9781032060507
December 1, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

This book analyzes the everyday emotions of international peacebuilding practitioners as practices that hinder – and potentially help – them to listen more receptively to their local partners. It develops ‘‘emotional practices’’ as an analytical concept by integrating critical feminist perspectives insights into practice approaches.

Effective peacebuilding requires international actors to listen to local partners. This sounds simple enough but often fails in practice. Examining how everyday emotions help or hinder internationals’ receptivity to local perspectives, the book challenges the conventional wisdom that emotions do not matter – at least not those of internationals who are the privileged party in peacebuilding partnerships. The book is based on interviews with peacebuilding practitioners, donors and researchers working in the Balkans and East Africa, as well as in the UK, the US and Sweden, and gives a detailed and no-nonsense description of daily dilemmas regarding listening and partnerships. Johansson provides concrete recommendations of how internationals can practice personally, organizationally, and geopolitically to build emotional capacity that will help them listen better to local actors.

Drawing on the author’s expertise in political science and peace and conflict research, this volume speaks to scholars in international relations, political theory, sociology, cultural studies, development studies, critical theory, and anthropology.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Listening Puzzle: Why are internationals so bad at listening to local partners, even though they want to and know they should?

Chapter 2 Emotions Matter: Tense, stressed, and anxious internationals playing contradictory games

Chapter 3 Orienting Emotions: Proud, achieving, and responsible internationals listening within limits

Chapter 4 The Invisibility Cloak: Hiding privilege – hindering partnership

Chapter 5 How Can the Subject Learn to Listen? Practicing purposeful failure and dealing with feelings

Conclusion Emotional practices – privilege - hope

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Dr Pernilla Johansson has headed Sida Partnership Forum since April 2021 and has had extensive experience as a peacebuilding practitioner from civil society before this. She has a PhD in political science from the University of California, Irvine, and has published both academically and popularly on peacebuilding, democracy, embodied practices, cycling activism in LA, and peace activism in Serbia. Her focus areas in research and practice involve learning and culture in organizations working for social change.