This book aims to understand the processes and outcomes that arise from frictional encounters in peacebuilding, when global and local forces meet.
Building a sustainable peace after violent conflict is a process that entails competing ideas, political contestation and transformation of power relations. This volume develops the concept of ‘friction’ to better analyse the interplay between global ideas, actors, and practices, and their local counterparts. The chapters examine efforts undertaken to promote sustainable peace in a variety of locations, such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone. These case analyses provide a nuanced understanding not simply of local processes, or of the hybrid or mixed agencies, ideas, and processes that are generated, but of the complex interactions that unfold between all of these elements in the context of peacebuilding intervention. The analyses demonstrate how the ambivalent relationship between global and local actors leads to unintended and sometimes counterproductive results of peacebuilding interventions. The approach of this book, with its focus on friction as a conceptual tool, advances the peacebuilding research agenda and adds to two ongoing debates in the peacebuilding field; the debate on hybridity, and the debate on local agency and local ownership. In analysing frictional encounters this volume prepares the ground for a better understanding of the mixed impact peace initiatives have on post-conflict societies.
This book will be of much interest to students of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, security studies, and international relations in general.
Introduction: Peacebuilding through the lens of friction, Annika Björkdahl, Kristine Höglund, Gearold Millar, Jaïr van der Lijn, and Willemijn Verkoren 1. Frictional spaces: Transitional justice between the global and the local, Susanne Buckley Zistel 2. Respecting complexity: Compound friction and unpredictability in peacebuilding, Gearoid Millar 3. Frictional commemoration. Local agency and cosmopolitan politics at memorial sites in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda, Johanna Mannergren Selimovic 4. Escaping Friction: Practices of creating non-frictional space in Sierra Leone, Lise Philipsen 5. Sites of Friction: Governance, identity and space in Mostar, Annika Björkdahl and Ivan Gusic 6. The imagined agent of peace: Frictions in peacebuilding through civil society strengthening, Willemijn Verkoren and Mathijs van Leeuwen 7. Friction over justice in post-war Sri Lanka: Actors in local-global encounters, Kristine Höglund and Camilla Orujela 8. The ‘awkward’ success of peacebuilding in Cambodia – creative and incomplete, unsustainable yet resilient, progressing but stalling, Joakim Öjendal and Sivhuoch Ou 9. Frictions in illusionstan: Engagement between the ‘global’ and the ‘local’ in Afghanistan’s imagi-nation-building, Jair Van der Lijn 10. Connections for peace: Frictions in peacebuilding encounters in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sara Hellmuller 11. Problematising global-local dynamics in Timor-Leste, Maria Raquel Freire and Paula Duarte Lopes Conclusions: Peacebuilding and the significance of friction, Annika Björkdahl, Kristine Höglund, Gearold Millar, Jaïr van der Lijn, and Willemijn Verkoren
‘This important volume adds a new dimension to the study of peacebuilding, in the light of recent work on power-relations, hybridity, and the local turn. The notion of 'friction' allows for a more detailed and sensitive understanding of their complex interplay, drawing in new disciplinary matters, foregrounding the overwhelming significance of the subjects of peace and their daily ethico-political struggle, and throwing new light on current policy practices. This volume will stimulate new thinking about peace in the contemporary era.’ -- Oliver Richmond, University of Manchester, UK
‘For some time, debates on international efforts to build peace have been stuck in an intellectual quagmire around "hybrid" political orders. This volume is the first to break out of this now stale debate to offer new conceptual and evidence-oriented analysis of peacebuilding with a fresh conceptual approach of "friction". In studies of key cases such as Afghanistan, Cambodia and Timor-Leste, combined with insightful thematic analysis of transitional justice and civil society, the contributors to this excellent volume provide a significant new contribution to the peacebuilding field.’ -- Timothy Sisk, University of Denver, USA
‘This interesting and very useful book combines theoretical and empirical analyses of post-conflict peacebuilding to advance our understanding of local ownership and hybridity. It accounts for the complexity of global and local efforts with a nuanced and fresh lens. A must read!’ -- Thania Paffenholz, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland