Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention.

Author:Wisor, Scott
Position:Book review
 
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Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention. By Severine Autesserre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Severine Autesserre follows up her excellent The Trouble with the Congo with further investigation into the role of interveners in conflicts around the world. While the Democratic Republic of Congo is still her primary area of research, Autesserre added in depth qualitative research with interveners and local stakeholders in eight other conflict zones to understand everyday intervention. Rather than focus on grand theories of how and why third parties might contribute to conflict prevention or resolution, Autesserre productively focuses on the everyday practices and habits of those who inhabit "peaceland," including international nongovernmental organizations, foreign diplomats, aid agencies, and international organizations. The peacelanders, while internally diverse, share a set of common characteristics and practices the cut across most interveners. These practices come in for heavy criticism from Autesserre. Familiar critiques include the habit of traveling in convoys, bunkering in compounds, socializing only with other expatriates, failing to speak the local language, having high turnover of staff, and excluding...

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