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Palestine

A Protracted Peacebuilding Process

Emile Badarin

This article explores the theoretical bases of the Israel-Palestine peace process to see how that impacts peacebuilding and everyday life in Palestine. It begins by examining the lens through which classical and contemporary realist and liberal thought approaches peace, nonpeace, war, and peacebuilding. Second, it examines how knowledge production on peacebuilding has been applied in the Israel-Palestine peace process based on selected confidential documents from the negotiations’ record that was made available in the so-called Palestine Papers published by the Al Jazeera Transparency Unit in 2011. My analysis of this source reveals how an embedded security and market metaphor regulated the Israel-Palestine peace negotiations. I argue that in an ambiguous context of decades-long negotiations, the results are in effect a “buyout” in which security is understood in exclusionary terms by the powerful side.

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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.

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Introduction

Reconciliation, reconstruction, and everyday life in war-torn societies

Marita Eastmond

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.

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Analyzing Resistance to Transitional Justice

What Can We Learn from Hybridity?

Briony Jones

A focus on understanding and managing the reactions of affected populations has led to hybridity’s being an important part of the discussions about, and applications of, transitional justice. However, despite the presence of “resistance” as a component in theories of hybrid peace, there is limited in-depth theoretical or empirical work on resistance to transitional justice. Th e content of this article addresses this gap in two main ways. First, it asks what we can learn from theories of hybrid peace about resistance to transitional justice. Second, it proposes a particular approach to resistance that would allow for a more dynamic and ultimately more useful understanding of resistance to transitional justice. Th e argument presented here states not only that we must seek to understand the nature of resistance as a part of hybridity, but we must do so by analyzing the relational process through which acts come to be defined as resistance.

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Syrian Diasporans as Transnational Civil Society Actors

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.

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Between Trauma and Healing

Tourism and Neoliberal Peace-Building in Divided Societies

John Nagle

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."

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"Once We Had a House"

Invisible Citizens and Consociational Democracy in Post-war Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Azra Hromadzic

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.

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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