Habits, practices and routines: the everyday politics of international intervention

By Jasmine Mitchell

24 November 2014: Listen to Séverine Autesserre discuss the findings of her new book, 'Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention'

9781107052109Séverine Autesserre is the author of a new book Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention which explores the largely separate world of interveners and expatriates working in the field of peacebuilding. Debate around reforming peacebuilding and large-scale international interventions largely focuses on macro-level constraints, such as funding or donor agencies, but Séverine offers a new explanation. Based on several years of ethnographic research in conflict-zones, Peaceland looks more closely at the problems, with microscopic proportion.

Focusing on the everyday practices, habits and routines of diplomats, donors, NGO staff and military peacekeepers working on peacebuilding, Peaceland argues the separate world they tend to inhabit and lack of contact with host populations, is counter-productive and inefficient. As a result, local stakeholders are rarely incorporated in the design stage of peacebuilding programmes, it’s largely the remit of external actors often using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to peacebuilding.

Despite the emergence of ‘local ownership’ in peacebuilding discourse, little has changed on the ground. Peaceland serves as timely and important contribution to challenging conventional practice, offering solutions and new models to reform the peacebuilding world.

Séverine has kindly agreed to discuss her findings with Insight on Conflict. You can listen to the interview here: https://insightonconflict.org/media/wp-content/uploads/peacebuilding-podcast-9-peaceland.mp3 

 

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Insight on Conflict is the leading online resource for local peacebuilding and human rights in conflict areas. This article was originally published on Insight on Conflict. Published by Peace Direct, Insight on Conflict is the leading online resource for local peacebuilding and human rights in conflict areas.

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Comments

Francis Kairi on Nov. 26, 2014, 10:51 p.m.

PEACELAND is indeed a wonderful yet true metaphor describing the realities around the world of Peacebuilding programs. Severine hits it on the head - Foregn intervention in the field of peacebuilding is indeed a world of its own - it is a complete set, its philosophical position, it values, principles, strategies, marked specific Outcomes, KPO, habits and culture. In summary it reflects the capitalist world - a opportunity to spread global capitalists influences, values and habits - it is a business proposition. Its wealth creation - who cares about the host population "we are not here to benefit them (host), but ourselves (foreigners intervening)". The UN is not immune in this process, staggering amounts of international funding facilities go towards salaries, housing, holidays, security, allowances (DSAs) and medical insurances of international experts for peacebuilding and yet...and yet 90% of the knowledge and work is don by locals who are paid peanuts. Peacebuilding is about Justice, Peace, Mercy, but it is not seen on the group guys! There is too much at stake...its human lives not market statistics and data. Enough is enough. When will our governments learn? Thanks and hope PEACELAND makes a new headway home for all of us...rich and poor, powerful and weak, advanced nations of G20 and the least developed poor countries of the world.