For the past 20 years, at least, Israelis, Palestinians, and peace sponsors have been implicated in a seemingly endless peacebuilding project—best known as the Middle East or the Israel-Palestine peace process. Indeed, much of the abundant
A Protracted Peacebuilding Process
Katy A. Crossley-Frolick
Since the end of the Cold War, Germany has assumed a greater profile in addressing global security concerns. This article analyzes the evolution of Germany's approach to peacebuilding in the post Cold War era. It argues that while Germany could play a unique and important role in such missions, it has largely demurred. The muted quality of German leadership in international peacebuilding reveals a foreign policy role identity that remains circumscribed by a culture of restraint (Kultur der Zurückhaltung). From a constructivist perspective, this “culture of restraint” acts as a cognitive map for political leaders and policy makers, privileging a set of norms that guide policy-making. Peacebuilding missions present opportunities for Germany to operationalize the most fundamental tenets undergirding Germany's postwar foreign policy identity: the preference to cooperate with other states through multilateral institutions, the use of economic instruments to obtain foreign policy goals, and support for supranational institutions to address global problems. But such opportunities are not seized due to the absence of political elite consensus, inter-party, and inter-ministerial dissensus, institutional fragmentation and insufficient material support for international peacebuilding endeavors.
Reconciliation, reconstruction, and everyday life in war-torn societies
This special section of Focaal explores processes of social recovery and peace-building in the aftermath of radical violence and political upheaval. The articles draw on detailed ethnographic case studies from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country that was shattered by war and ethnic cleansing in the 1990s, and raise issues of relevance to other post-conflict situations. Challenging “reconciliation” as a moral discourse with universalist claims, the articles highlight the dynamics of its localization in different contexts of intervention in post-war society. The four contributions explore different facets of this dynamic as it is played out in the key areas of justice, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, and NGO peace-building activities. They illuminate what happens when the global paradigm of reconciliation encounters and filters through meanings and motivations of actors in local contexts. They also note that everyday interactions between former adversaries take place not as a moral engagement with reconciliation but as part of rebuilding a sense of normality. The findings point to the need to critically investigate the conditions under which such encounters may empower or prohibit the rebuilding of social relations and trust in post-war societies.
Tourism and Neoliberal Peace-Building in Divided Societies
Deeply divided societies that have undergone extreme civil violence are often framed as "collectively traumatized" or in a state of "melancholia." Such aetiologies support peace-building initiatives, which seek either to normalize society by forgetting the legacy of violence and starting anew or by engendering societal remembering to work through trauma and bring about societal healing and eventual "closure." Examining the case of Northern Ireland, this article considers how these discrepant processes regarding collective trauma have become bound with fierce ethnopolitical debates and counter-insurgency methods regarding how to promote the region to tourists. I argue that both approaches represent nostrums, which do little to support peace-building and are ultimately complementary with neoliberal designs concerning the relationship among tourism, economic prosperity and conflict-regulation. Discourses concerning "collective trauma" must therefore be viewed as political strategies to shape the nation, which are finally embodied in the tourist journey to "traumatized sites."
What Can We Learn from Hybridity?
The term hybridity as it is currently used with reference to peacebuilding interventions refers to the process by which external peacebuilding interventions are transformed through contact with local contexts and agents. With regard to
A Piece in a Peacebuilding Mosaic
In November 2017, Ratko Mladic, a war-time leader and a commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, was sentenced by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal to life imprisonment for the genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the region the verdict was received with conflicting reactions, emphasising yet again how extensive the ethnic division is within the society. Through close analysis of the theatre project Shakespeare’s Comedies performed by ethnically segregated youth in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this article aims to understand how Shakespeare’s work functions as a vehicle to address the consequences of war and to support the complex process of reconciliation under circumstances in which the issues of war crimes cannot be tackled in a straightforward and direct manner. The study takes a cross-disciplinary approach to research, drawing from theory of reconciliation, applied theatre practice and comedy studies.
Invisible Citizens and Consociational Democracy in Post-war Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
One of the most important goals of peace-building programs around the world is the establishment of a social order that would lead to stability. In the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), this includes a spatial reorganization of people and territory that assumes a fixed relationship between them. This spatial governmentality relies on a set of rigid assumptions about belonging, territoriality, and politics that make ethnically 'mixed' citizens spatially unmappable, bureaucratically invisible, and socially undesirable. Spanning more than 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in BiH, I focus on the transformation of Yugoslav mixed citizens into 'invisible citizens' in the context of post-war democratization. The experiences of these people provide a fruitful site from which to understand and critique the peace-building efforts in BiH and beyond.
Perspectives from a Network for Refugee Assistance
Shawn Teresa Flanigan and Mounah Abdel-Samad
This article presents early qualitative data from an ongoing project that includes interviews with members of a Syrian diaspora network engaged in giving and receiving philanthropy. With the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis, the network began to provide education for displaced Syrian children in Lebanon in addition to its other activities. The purpose of the research project is to understand motivations and mechanisms of humanitarian assistance toward a conflict region, and also if and how the practice of philanthropy is tied to peacebuilding on the ground and individuals’ sense of political efficacy. This article gives particular attention to the civil society aspects of diasporan assistance, and how those engaged in humanitarian aid conceive of their influence on politics, policy, and peacebuilding.
Meron Benvenisti, Son of the Cypresses: Memories and Regrets from a Political Life Review by Ruth Amir
Gadi Ben Ezer, The Migration Journey: The Ethiopian Jewish Exodus Review by Marian Reiff
Uri Bialer, Cross on the Star of David: The Christian Word in Israel’s Foreign Policy—1967 Review by Neville Lamdan
Jakob Feldt, The Israeli Memory Struggle: History and Identity in the Age of Globalization Review by Uri Ram
Esther Fuchs, ed., Israeli Women’s Studies: A Reader Review by Harriet Hartman
David Hulme, Identity, Ideology and the Future of Jerusalem Review by Ned Lazarus
Edy Kaufman, Walid Salem, and Juliette Verhoeven, eds., Bridging the Divide: Peacebuilding in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Review by Sarah E. Yerkes
Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security and Foreign Policy Review by Brent E. Sasley
Michael B. Oren, Power, Faith and Fantasy—America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present Review by Zvi Ra’anan
Yoram Peri, Generals in the Cabinet Room: How the Military Shapes Israeli Policy Review by David Tal
An Exploration of Power and Legitimacy in Transitional Justice
Julie Bernath and Sandra Rubli
contestation of “undemocratic [world] governance” and the embeddedness of transitional justice in the status quo of power divides in world politics ( Kagoro 2012 ). Echoing the critiques of liberal peacebuilding ( Paris 2002 ), which today encompasses