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BASS Sociology and Criminology / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Knowledge Production in Peace-building: Practices and Processes
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
International interventions in conflict-affected contexts have increased since 1945. These interventions seeking to build peace depend on establishing a shared understanding between “local” and “international” actors about why the conflict happened, what the post-conflict problems are, and the social, cultural and political problems that need to be resolved. Peacebuilding depends on the knowledge actors involved have. This module focusses on how this knowledge is produced, which and whose knowledge counts and the power relations underpinning the production and use of this knowledge in the specific field of international peacebuilding. During this module, students will develop an understanding of the key concepts and approaches within critical peace and conflict studies, learning about ways peacebuilding knowledge is created (such as the development of indicators and the use of consultants and expertise). There will be two case-study workshops where students will tackle real-life peacebuilding problems to critically reflect on the processes and effects of knowledge production in international peacebuilding.
International interventions in post-conflict contexts have only increased since 1945. All of these interventions that seek to build peace depend upon the establishment of a shared understanding between local and international actors about why the conflict happened, what the post-conflict problems are, and the social, political and cultural problems that need to be resolved. That is, peacebuilding depends on the knowledge that actors involved have. This module focusses on how this knowledge is produced, which knowledge counts, and the power relations underpinning the production and use of this knowledge in the specific field of international peacebuilding. In the first half of the module, students will develop an understanding of the key concepts and approaches within critical peacebuilding. In the second half of the module, students will tackle real-life peacebuilding problems to critically reflect on the processes and effects of knowledge production in international peacebuilding
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
• Identify, describe and account for the role of power in processes of knowledge production.
• Critically reflect on the effects of knowledge upon the practice of peacebuilding.
• Demonstrate empirical awareness about a wide range of contemporary peacebuilding contexts.
• Work in a team to develop solutions to problems, and to critically reflect on the process by which these problems were addressed.
• Demonstrate an understanding of a wide range of approaches relevant to international peacebuilding interventions.
• Demonstrate cognitive and communicative skills; the ability to present reasoned and effective arguments in written and oral form; the ability to pursue independent learning and to show critical judgement.
Teaching and learning methods
One three-hour workshop of no more than 24 students per group. These workshops will consist of groupwork to do case-study work, mini lectures, student activities and presentations. There is a heavy emphasis on inductive learning and reasoning, which means students will be encouraged to develop understanding through dealing with practical problems.
Bibliography of ten items and 1000 word literature review (25%)
Policy Briefing and short reflection of 3,375 words (75%)
• Jabri, V. 2013. ‘Peacebuilding, the local and the international: a colonial or a postcolonial rationality?’ Peacebuilding 1.1: 3-6.
• Holt, S. 2013. ‘The limits of Formal Metrics during conflict and Post-conflict Transition: Exploring Opportunities for Qualitative Assessment in Sri Lanka’ Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 7.4: 431-452
• Mac Ginty, R. 2013. ‘The Transcripts of Peace: Public, Hidden or Non-obvious?’ Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 7. 4: 423-30.
• Hudson, N. F. and Goetz, A. M. 2014. ‘Too Much That Can’t Be Said’ International Feminist Journal of Politics 16.2: 336-46.
• McLeod, l. 2011. ‘Configurations of Post-conflict: Impacts of Representations of Conflict and Post-conflict upon the (Political) Translations of Gender Security within UNSCR 1325’ International Feminist Journal of Politics 13.4: 594-611.
• Zalewski, M. 2006. ‘Intervening in Northern Ireland: Critically re-thinking representations of the Conflict’ Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 9.4: 479-97.
• Richmond, O. P. 2011.’De-romanticising the local, de-mystifying the international: Hybridity in Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands’ The Pacific Review 24:.1: 115-36.
• Mac Ginty, R. 2010. ‘Hybrid Peace: The Interaction Between Top-down and Bottom-Up Peace’ Security Dialogue 41. 4: 391-412.
• Merlington, M and Ostrauskaite, R. 2005. ‘Power-Knowledge in International Peacebuilding: The Case of the EU Peace Mission in Bosnia’ Alternatives 30. 30: 297-34.
• Foucalt, M. 1972. The Archaeology of Knowledge. London: Routledge.
• Halperin, E. 2016. Emotions in conflict: Inhibitors and Facilitators of Peace Making. Routlege: London.
• Visoka, G. 2016. Peace figuration after International Intervention. Routledge: London.
• Hintjens, H. and Zarkov, D. (eds) 2015. Conflict, Peace, Security and Development: Theories and Methodologies. Routledge: London.
• Aggestam, K. and Bjorkdahl. (eds) 2014. Rethinking Peacebuilding. Routledge, London.
• Chandler, D. 2010. ‘Race, Culture and Civil Society: Peacebuilding Discourse and the Understanding of Difference’ Security Dialogue 41.4: 369-91.
• Bliesemann DeGuevara, B.,Kühn, F.P.2015.On Afghan footbaths and sacred cows in Kosovo: urban legends of intervention. Peacebuilding3(1) pp. 17-35.
• Bliesemann DeGuevara, B.2014.On methodology and myths:Exploring the International Crisis Group’s organisational culture.Third World Qua
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Practical classes & workshops||30|
|Independent study hours|
|Laura Mcleod||Unit coordinator|