Given the frequent failure of internationally established reconciliation tools, traditional conflict resolution mechanisms are increasingly integrated into transitional justice programmes in order to locally root peace. However, traditional justice mechanisms can be highly ambivalent; they can be, at the same time, inclusive and exclusionary, thus promoting peace or triggering new conflict. In Eastern Indonesia, where the author has conducted extensive field research, local actors took up these challenges and try to adapt local justice mechanisms so that they can cope with mass violence and the reintegration of conflict parties and society. Social engineering is promoted as one solution to the problem. This article looks at various conceptualisations and implications of social engineering – from a top‐down authoritarian to a bottom‐up participatory approach – and discusses how far this controversial concept and the deliberate adaption of local traditions to new challenges should be taken into account in future peace research and work as well as in anthropological debates.
Social engineering the local for peace
Ecological engineering on the Sichuan frontier
Socialism as development policy, local practice, and contested ideology1
China's Western Development Policy redefines the Sichuan frontier as backward economic hinterland, and as ecological buffer zone for the coast. State planners see the ‘farmland to forest’ plan and hydropower development as achieving socialist modernisation through ecological engineering. Local people like the reforestation plan that maintains subsistence on the land, but they protest land expropriation that accompanies dam construction. In negotiating the terms of this new national integration, protesters draw on both historical memory and a new discourse of human rights and the rule of law to assert ‘popular socialism’ against state brokerage of the commons under market socialism.
Environmental mitigation and the limits of commensuration in a Chilean mining project
Focusing on a controversial gold mining project in Chile, this article examines how engineers and other mining professionals perceive and help shape Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Compensation agreements, environmental management, and community relations programs rest on what I call a logic of equivalence that makes the environmental consequences of mining activity commensurate with the mining companies’ mitigation plans. For example, legal codes enable engineers to measure, compare, and reconcile the costs and benefits of a project. However, the law is neither fixed nor uncontestable, and companies must respond to increased public scrutiny and the growing demands of communities, governments, and international actors. In Chile, campaigns against mining focused on the presence of glaciers at the mine site and the project’s possible effects on water availability. By introducing new moral dimensions to debates over corporate responsibility, these campaigns challenged established strategies of commensuration and existing ethical guideposts.
Making Place for the Modern Road
The Road Exhibitions in Brussels (1910) and Liège (1930)
This article describes how two temporary road exhibitions before World War II functioned as tools to frame the Belgian road project as a rich cultural venture. In the absence of a comprehensive policy and any diverse cultural engagement by the government, a particular relationship between culture, technology, and society crystallized in the museological arrangement of these exhibitions. The article argues that, while these exhibitions relate the road project to a broad cultural field, they simultaneously instill a rigid way of reasoning about the modern road.
The Design Mode of Interwar Engineering in Belgium
Greet De Block and Bruno De Meulder
This article traces the implicit spatial project of Belgian engineers during the interwar period. By analyzing infrastructure planning and its inscribed spatial ideas as well as examining the hybrid modernity advocated by engineers and politicians, this article contributes to both urban and transport history.
Unlike colleagues in countries such as Germany, Italy and the United States, Belgian engineers were not convinced that highways offered a salutary new order to a nation traumatized by the First World War. On the contrary, the Ponts et Chaussées asserted that this new limited access road would tear apart the densely populated areas and the diverse regional identities in Belgium. In their opinion, only an integration of existing and new infrastructure could harmonize the historically fragmented and urbanized territory. Tirelessly, engineers produced infrastructure plans, strategically interweaving different transport systems, which had to result in an overall transformation of the territory to facilitate modern production and export logics.
Making the best of an inappropriate textbook
Using an ‘international edition’ to teach critical thinking and intercultural understanding
Kristina C. Marcellus
the first (and remain the only) sociologist to teach an introductory sociology course at this small but dynamic engineering university. The language of instruction is English, although nearly all students speak English as a foreign language. Most
“For Girls to Feel Safe”
Community Engineering for Sexual Assault Prevention
Day Greenberg and Angela Calabrese Barton
Learning and practice are grounded in historical, physical, and contextual location ( Bright et al. 2013 ). In STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), sociohistorical narratives about who can develop and succeed in these subjects
(Re)Constructing the Baikal-Amur Mainline
Continuity and Change of (Post)Socialist Infrastructure
Far East. Construction of the BAM was the largest engineering project of the late Soviet period, accompanied by communist propaganda, a mass population influx, and the formation of new groups and identities. The project was filled with the myths and
Shivani Daxini, Agustin Diz, Ella Delaine, and David Orr
. Arguably, this may reflect the level of institutional commitment to Asian American studies both within educational spaces and across contemporary American society. Hydropolitics: The Itaipu Dam, Sovereignty, and the Engineering of Modern South America
Zheng Nengliang and Pedagogies of Affect in Contemporary China
-lived intersubjective dynamics. Affect here does not induce the engineering of new subjects through wider political and economic apparatuses but rather produces moments where individuals experientially exceed their social reality. In recent years, the Chinese state