Young People and Everyday Peace is grounded in the stories of young people who live in Los Altos de Cazucá, an informal peri-urban community in Soacha, to the south of Colombia’s capital Bogotá. The occupants of this community have fled the armed conflict and exist in a state of marginalisation and social exclusion amongst ongoing violences conducted by armed gangs and government forces. Young people negotiate these complexities and offer pointed critiques of national politics as well as grounded aspirations for the future. Colombia’s protracted conflict and its effects on the population raise many questions about how we think about peacebuilding in and with communities of conflict-affected people.
Building on contemporary debates in International Relations about post-liberal, everyday peace, Helen Berents draws on feminist International Relations and embodiment theory to pay meaningful attention to those on the margins. She conceptualises a notion of embodied-everyday-peace-amidst-violence to recognise the presence and voice of young people as stakeholders in everyday efforts to respond to violence and insecurity. In doing so, Berents argues for and engages a more complex understanding of the everyday, stemming from the embodied experiences of those centrally present in conflicts. Taking young people’s lives and narratives seriously recognises the difficulties of protracted conflict, but finds potential to build a notion of an embodied everyday amidst violence, where a complex and fraught peace can be found.
Young People and Everyday Peace will be of interest to scholars of Latin American Studies, International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Embodied Everyday Peace Amidst Violence 2. Half a Century of Struggles for Peace 3. Space, Power, and Terrains of Insecurity 4. Embodied Everyday Violences 5. Resilience and Resistance 6. Notions of Everyday Peace Conclusion
Helen Berents is a lecturer in the School of Justice at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Helen’s research is centrally concerned with representations of youth in political events, and engagement with the lived experiences of violence-affected young people with a particular focus on Latin America. More broadly, she is interested in questions of how people are rendered insecure by institutions of authority and power, how young people are politicised but not seen as political, and how feminist methodologies open space to find the everyday within these explorations. Her work has been published in journals including International Feminist Journal of Politics, Peacebuilding, Critical Studies on Security, and Signs.