Violence in the context of international peace interventions is rarely problematized. It is associated with the conflict belligerents, while the violence deployed by peacekeepers is not conceived as such, but as ‘peace operations’ that mitigate, subdue or deter the belligerents’ violence. This common interpretation comes from a discrimination between ‘local’ and ‘international’ that is considered theoretically necessary to understand interventions. The distinction obscures the ways in which the two kinds of violence are intimately intertwined and tied to competing claims about legitimate agency. This article analyses the peace interventions (2002–11) that led to regime change in Côte d’Ivoire. Based on this case-study analysis, it argues that violence and its representations affect and constitute agency. In Côte d’Ivoire, strict ontological commitments to the ‘local’ and ‘international’ quality of agents neglect the violence used in the context of intense negotiations over, and attempts at imposing, a line between ‘local’ and ‘international’ agency. The analysis points to how violence established, transformed, and enabled agency under conditions of international peace interventionism in Côte d’Ivoire.
The 1999 coup d’état in Côte d’Ivoire shocked Ivorians and members of the international community alike. Yet the political instability and subsequent violence in this country is not wholly unexpectedThis report, which is based on reliable secondary sources, is intended both as a background document and as a basis for further research on the Ivorian conflict.
With the hypothesis in mind that discrimination against women increases the likelihood that a state will experience internal conflict, this article contends that considering gender is a key part of an effective peacebuilding process. Evidence gathered by studying peacebuilding from a feminist perspective, such as in Rwanda and Cóte d’Ivoire, can be used to reconceptualize the peace agenda in more inclusive and responsible ways. Following from this, the article argues that a culturally contextual gender analysis is a key tool, both for feminist theory of peacebuilding and the practice of implementing a gender perspective, in all peace work. Using the tools of African feminisms to study African conflicts, this contribution warns against adding women without recognizing their agency, emphasizes the need for an organized women’s movement, and suggests directions for the implementation of international laws concerning women’s empowerment at the local level. The article concludes by suggesting that implementation of these ideas in practice is dependent on the way in which African feminists employ mainstreaming, inclusionary, and transformational strategies within a culturally sensitive context of indigenous peacebuilding processes.