Peace beyond Process?

Post-Cold War peacebuilding is increasingly conflated with the smooth functioning of a range of processes associated with democracy, governance, development and securitisation. However, critiques of these approaches tend to focus on their liberal-democratic norms and to ignore their underlying processual logics. This article problematises two facets of process with regard to peacebuilding: its postulation as a basis for peace grounded in everyday human activity and its construction of violence as anti-process. Its goal is to present the critique of process as a means for understanding the complex relationship between international and local actors in the context of peacebuilding, thus enriching the liberal peace debate. Drawing on normative political theory, including that of Arendt and Deleuze and Guattari, the article demonstrates how the problems raised by these two issues can help to explain a range of concerns associated with contemporary peacebuilding and provide starting points for imagining forms of peace that are not so reliant upon processual logics or opposed to those acts which disrupt them, which may in fact be attempts to realise radically different versions of peace. In so doing, it extends and enriches the perspectives offered by existing liberal peace critiques.

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