Centre for International and Defence Policy

Queen's University
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Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention

5:00 pm - Friday, 17 April 2015

School of Kinesiology, Lecture Hall #100
Queen's University, Division and Clergy Streets

SeverineAutesserre.jpgSéverine Autesserre

Barnard College
Columbia University




Peaceland suggests a new explanation for why international peace interventions often fail to reach their full potential. Based on several years of ethnographic research in conflict zones around the world, it demonstrates that everyday elements ? such as the expatriates? social habits and usual approaches to understanding their areas of operation ? strongly influence peacebuilding effectiveness.

Individuals from all over the world and all walks of life share numerous practices, habits, and narratives when they serve as interveners in conflict zones. These common attitudes and actions enable foreign peacebuilders to function in the field, but they also result in unintended consequences that thwart international efforts. Certain expatriates follow alternative modes of thinking and doing, often with notable results, but they remain in the minority. Through an in-depth analysis of the interveners? everyday life and work, this book proposes innovative ways to better help host populations build a sustainable peace.

About the author

Dr. Séverine Autesserre is an Assistant Professor of Political Science, specializing in international relations and African studies, at Barnard College, Columbia University (USA). She works on civil wars, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and African politics.

Dr. Autesserre's current research project examines how everyday elements influence peacebuilding interventions on the ground. She has conducted extensive fieldwork for this project between 2010 and 2012, with a primary case study on the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and comparative research in Burundi, Cyprus, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, South Sudan, and Timor-Leste. Preliminary findings from this project have appeared in Critique Internationale and African Affairs (the latter piece won the 2012 Best Article award from the African Politics Conference Group). The book based on this research, Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention, has just been released by Cambridge University Press.