Government of Peace addresses a major question in world politics today: how does post-colonial democracy produce a form of governance that copes with conflicts, insurgencies, revolts, and acute dissents? The contributors view social governance as a crucial component in answering this question and their narratives of governance aim to show how certain appropriate governing modes make social conflicts more manageable or at least also occasions for development. They show how government often expands to cope with acute conflicts; money is made more readily available; the transfer of resources acquires frantic pace; and so society becomes more attuned to a money-centric, modern life. Yet this style of governance is not the only approach. Dialogues from below challenge this accepted path to peacebuilding and new subjectivities emerge from movements for social justice by women, migrants, farmers, dalits, low-caste, and other subaltern groups. The idea of a government of peace sits at the core of the interlinked issues of social governance, peace-building, and security. By exploring this idea and analysing the Indian experience of insurgencies and internal conflicts the contributors collectively show how rules of social governance can and have evolved.
Ranabir Samaddar is Director at the Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata, India.
’This collection of essays draws on while extending Foucault’s concept of governmentality to make sense of the governance of peace in postcolonial contexts. Peace, as the book argues and demonstrates, is always a product of governmental strategies aimed at preventing dissent, disorder, and the rise of the unruly. As such it should be required reading for anyone working through the contemporary problematics of peace in a world still dominated by naÃ¯ve understandings of peace as the absence of war.’ Julian Reid, University of Lapland, Finland