Agents of peace
Place, identity and peacebuilding
in The politics of identity
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This chapter provides a new account of identity and practices of agents in the context of post-conflict peacebuilding. It investigates how place, habitus, and fields of interaction alongside the performative roles shape the identity of agents and their socialization in practice. To explore the relation between the agents’ presence and their impact on peacebuilding, this paper bypasses the exclusionary dichotomies between local/international and liberal/indigenous agents, and develops a typology of six types of agents horizontally arranged around their insideness and outsideness towards a particular conflict-affected place. Using human geography and critical hermeneutics, this paper categorises ‘agents of peace’ in six different types: existential insiders, subjective insiders, empathetic insiders, behavioural insiders, objective outsiders, and existential outsiders. The core argument of this article is that the differentiation of agents around the geographical and performance towards a particular place facilitates the exploration of pluralist forms of agency and a more nuanced understanding of dynamics in post-conflict societies. An expanded and plural view of agents captures better the fields of interaction and hybridization, agential knowledge and narratives, modes of governance, and various everyday practices that enable or inhibit sustainable peace.

The politics of identity

Place, space and discourse

Editors: Christine Agius and Dean Keep

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