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Andrew Whiting

Chapter 2 provides the theoretical framework for the book’s empirical analysis and clarifies a number of theoretical and conceptual tools that are central to this book’s objectives and contributions. Power and security are two such concepts, and the chapter begins by clarifying the conceptualisation of power outlined by Michel Foucault that is adopted in this study by elaborating upon one of his ideas: power/knowledge. From here the chapter hones in on the ‘third modality’ of power, that of governmentality, to demonstrate how this functions across society and the role that the security dispositif plays in allowing this form of power to function. Prior to embarking on the empirical analysis, this chapter’s final section ties together the work on power, governance and security with established work on both ‘epistemic communities’ and ‘security professionals’. I elaborate on these theorisations to link the productive functioning of power with the role particular ‘privileged’ experts play within the dispositif to give meaning to the phenomenon of security, sediment certain understandings, prioritise particular responses and foreclose alternative thinking. It is in this final section where I most explicitly make the argument for the need to conduct constructivist research into private security industry discourse.

in Constructing cybersecurity
Bert Ingelaere

The gacaca process was introduced in Rwandan society to deal with the legacy of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. Empirically informed research points to the ambiguous and ambivalent attitudes of participants regarding testimonial activities, namely the search for the truth. Hence the questions: what does the gacaca experience reveal about this elusive and multidimensional notion called ‘the truth’? And, what does ‘the truth’ as experienced by Rwandans reveal about the nature of the gacaca process? This article aims to answer these questions by identifying and qualifying the different styles of truth at work in the gacaca process, namely the forensic truth, the moral truth, the effectual truth and, the Truth-with-a-Capital-T. The first is a consequence of the design of the court system, the second is derived from the socio-cultural context, the third is a consequence of the decentralised milieu in which the gacaca courts were inserted, the fourth is the result of the overall political context in which the gacaca activities took place. This process of assembling these different styles of truths is conceptualised through the notion of agencement that captures the intricate interplay of agency and structure, contingency and structuration, change and organisation shaping the gacaca process.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps, Lasse Heerten, Arua Oko Omaka, Kevin O'Sullivan, and Bertrand Taithe

This roundtable took place on 16 January 2020, at the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the war in Biafra. It brought together Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps, Lasse Heerten, Arua Oko Omaka and Kevin O’Sullivan. The roundtable was organised and chaired by Bertrand Taithe, University of Manchester.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Creative movement and peacebuilding

This book explores the relationship between peacebuilding and dance, including insights dance provides on key debates around peace and conflict. It investigates the practice of a dance-focused peacebuilding programme and tells the important story of youth who engage in dance for peacebuilding in Colombia, the Philippines and the United States. In doing so, the book analyses the ways in which this programme fits into the broader global context. Incorporating participant voices, critical political analysis and reflections on dance practice, this book reveals important implications and nuances regarding arts-based peace initiatives that can also contribute to reflections on peacebuilding more broadly. In particular, investigating the role of empathy and embodiment further contributes to expanding perspectives on peacebuilding. As such, this book contributes to theory and practice while building critical understanding of the politics of integrating dance into peacebuilding. By exploring the politics of dancing peace, including benefits and challenges, and local and global connections, this book highlights and analyses key issues in arts-based peacebuilding approaches. As the global community continues to seek pathways to peace that are inclusive of people across differences – such as race, religion, gender, culture, age and locality – and that improve upon, supplement or replace existing dominant approaches, this book provides a valuable in-depth analysis and recommendations for practice.

Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

To date, practitioner self-care is underexplored in Peace and Conflict Studies, even though peacebuilders themselves could benefit immensely from further investigation in this area, which could in turn strengthen the depth and quality of their work as facilitators for peace. Indeed, the research for this book has suggested that participants had an opportunity to experience themselves in ways that enabled them to express a deeper sense of self-understanding, embodiment and strength to go on with their work. Chapter 5 considers how, in the midst of difficult work in conflict-ridden circumstances, peacebuilders have embraced the opportunities that dance provides to relieve stress and re-engage with their bodies. At the same time, acknowledging that diverse bodies may be placed differently in settings of conflict, the chapter also interrogates the prospects and challenges posed by gender and age norms in particular sites of peacebuilding. It also suggests that dance has broader implications in peacebuilding because it can help enable a more reflective stance for considering conflict. In this sense, it has to potential offer new and creative directions for pursuing peace.

in Dancing through the dissonance
Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

Chapter 4 explores the concept of practising peace though a deep investigation of one set of activities involving the use of mirroring movements. Cultivating empathy has been identified as one crucial element of building peace. As researchers have established, empathy is essential to the restructuring of relationships after violence. Mirroring is a well-established dance activity that is used in many settings and contexts, including theatre, dance therapy, dance education and community dance, and simple variations are included in some mainstream peacebuilding resources as icebreakers. As seen in the three case studies across cultures, peace must be practised, and the process of mirroring provides opportunities for this by inviting interpersonal exchange and the building of kinaesthetic, or felt, empathy, which provides avenues through which to see, understand and feel others across difference. In addition to the potential of empathy within peacebuilding, this chapter discusses the politics of empathy and its challenges in arts-based peacebuilding.

in Dancing through the dissonance
Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

Chapter 1 makes the case for considering dance in relation to peacebuilding, based on an interrogation of existing research from across a range of fields of study. The chapter explores how growing interest and research in arts-based peacebuilding highlight the importance of utilising multiple pathways in the pursuit of peace. It also examines how, globally, dance and music are recognised as important facilitators of social cohesion and the creation and expression of culture. Recognising these components, the chapter considers theories and practices of dance and peacebuilding, including discussions of embodiment and empathy, among other key relevant concepts; this exploration provides a context for understanding how and where dance and peacebuilding meet. The chapter argues for the recognition of the importance of the role of dance in encouraging diverse forms of communication, in building relationships across difference, and in engaging the participation of diverse actors in local, national and international forums. Finally, the field is outlined by exploring a basic typology of six categories proposed to understand efforts at dance-based peacebuilding (therapeutic; artist-led social change or protest; community-led social change or protest; collective forms; educational; and diplomatic).

in Dancing through the dissonance
Hakim Khaldi

How can we go about our work of saving lives when, in Syria, civilians, the wounded and their families, medical personnel and aid workers are all targets – whether in areas controlled by the government or those held by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or various rebel groups with diverging political agendas? Over the course of several field missions, the author of this article, a member of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), sought to decipher the political and military engagements undertaken in different regions of Syria during the war years. He also factored into his analysis the endless flow of data, information and positioning being produced and published over this period, because the war was also fought every day on the internet where the representatives and ideologists of warring groups, human rights organisations, Syrian diaspora organisations and spokespersons of the Syrian central authorities were and still are a permanent presence. Drawing on all these observations and data, the author relates and analyses the emergency relief activities carried out by MSF in Syria, how these activities evolved and the conditions in which choices to intervene and decisions to withdraw were taken.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Abstract only
Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

This chapter introduces the book’s main purpose: exploring the relationship between dance and peacebuilding in pluralist societies. It highlights instructive insights dance can provide when reflecting on existing theories and debates around peace and conflict. The research deepens the understanding of the roles the arts, and dance in particular, play in peacebuilding. Building on existing work in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Dance, as well as complementary areas of study such as anthropology, neuroscience and law, this chapter sets out how the book considers the work of a non-governmental organisation and its participants deploying dance for youth peacebuilding through case studies across three contexts – Colombia, the Philippines and the United States. These case studies include multiple delivery sites of the dance programme in different contexts of violence or conflict and varied approaches to peace. The introduction previews how investigating the application of a dance-based peacebuilding programme across these three case studies allows us to consider nuance and context, as well as commonalities across the locales.

in Dancing through the dissonance
Editors’ Introduction
Marc Le Pape and Michaël Neuman
Journal of Humanitarian Affairs