Peace and Experts

Knowledge and the Politics of Peacemaking in the Middle East

Edited by Riccardo Bocco, Nikolas Kosmatopoulos

© 2016 – Routledge

224 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415526234
pub: 2016-01-30

About the Book

This edited volume proposes a new conceptual framework for the analysis of expert knowledge in peacemaking, as well as providing policy-relevant analysis of the Middle East peace process.

Theoretical and empirical investigations from an anthropological perspective of the role of the distinct array of social actors and institutions committed to peacemaking are almost non-existent. This book project addresses this gap, presenting ethnographic and historical accounts of the diverse institutions and actors that act in the name of peacemaking/peacekeeping in the Arab world (UN, NGOs, diplomats, think tanks, consultants, mediators). It analyses the ways in which peace experts produce knowledge, undertake advocacy, secure legitimacy, and address problems and constituencies, as well as delineating the interactions and entanglements of these experts with other professionals in adjacent fields (development, media, state politics, bureaucracy, local community authorities). The volume argues for a new perception of the question of peace in the Middle East that regards peacemaking not through the lens of moral imperatives and normative notions, but primarily as a field of power, expert authority and struggles for hegemony. It argues that expert backgrounds as well as legitimacy struggles among different types of expertise play a significant role in the ways that certain problems, such as socio-political violence, war and conflict, are defined, addressed and acted upon. As such, the book advocates a theoretical re-orientation of the debates on peacemaking in relation to expert knowledge of the field. Finally, the book envisions the possibility of spurring a broader debate on the issues raised within the societies as well as the professional fields addressed.

This book will be of much interest to students of peacebuilding/peacemaking, Middle Eastern politics, peace and conflict studies, sociology and IR in general.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Riccardo Bocco and Nikolas Kosmatopoulos PART I: Anticipations 2. The British Colonial Office’s Expertise in the ‘Transfer of Power’: The Libyan Test Case of Constitutional Engineering and the Colonial Template of UN Peace Agreements and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Practices, Moncef Kartas 3. The Architecture of ‘Peace’: Spatial and Architectural Transformation in Reconstruction and Reconciliation Efforts in Cyprus, Yael Avaro-Yashin 4. The UN Peacekeeping Agenda in a Southern Lebanese Village: The “International Community” and Local Autonomy, Susan Kassem PART II: Knowledges 5. Producing and Manipulating Peacebuilding Knowledge. The ‘Non-Profit Industrial Complex’ in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Hazem Al Namla and Riccardo Bocco 6. Constructing Dialogue for Peace; the Case of the Association Suisse pour le Dialogue Euro Arabo Musulman in Lebanon, Lyna Comaty 7. “Just Go and See…”: Expert Practices in an International Peacebuilding Organization in Lebanon, Zina Sawaf PART III: Entanglements 8. A Discursive Ethnography of Peacebuilding and Civil Society Promotion in the Palestinian Territories, Benoit Challand 9. Water Expert Regimes. Peace and Techno-politics on a Jordanian Border, Mauro Van Aken 10. Building EU Conflict Management Between Internationalization Strategies and Autonomization Processes: the Case of the ‘Expanded’ UNIFIL, Stephan Davidshofer 11. “Observing the Bad Guys”? Critical Peace in a (Post-)”Terrorism” Era, Nikolas Kosmatopoulos Bibliography

About the Editors

Riccardo Bocco is Professor of Political Sociology at the Graduate Institute of Geneva.

Nikolas Kosmatopoulos is Junior Lecturer and a PhD candidate at the Department of Anthropology of the University of Zurich.

About the Series

Studies in Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding

This series publishes innovative research into the connections between insecurity and under-development in fragile states, and into situations of violence and insecurity more generally. It adopts a multidisciplinary approach to the study of a variety of issues, including the changing nature of contemporary armed violence (conflict), efforts to foster the conditions that prevent the outbreak or recurrence of such violence (development), and strategies to promote peaceful relations on the communal, societal and international level (peacebuilding).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Middle East / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General