Investigating local responses to EU peacebuilding, this book develops a relational and spatial concept of agency, helping to understand the processes in which peacebuilding actors engage and interact with one another. The focus on cultural actors reveals the contested nature of local agency and its potential to challenge institutional policies.
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Stefanie Kappler is a Lecturer in International Relations and Director of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies at Liverpool Hope University, UK. She holds a PhD from the University of St. Andrews and has published on international peacebuilding and local responses to it in Security Dialogue, Peacebuilding, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding and International Peacekeeping.Review:
"This is a superb book based on extensive fieldwork in a number of contexts. The most significant aspect of this book is that the author is not content to follow the herd and repeat well-worn truisms about peacebuilding. Instead, the book is packed with innovative ways of conceptualising the power and agency held by communities in fragile contexts. Rather than interview the 'usual suspects' of prominent NGOs, Kappler has gone beyond the obvious layers of postwar societies to connect with underlying views. The result is a deeply textured book for that stretches our thinking on peacebuilding and how local communities interact with it." - Roger Mac Ginty, University of Manchester, UK
"It is hard to imagine a more timely and sophisticated contribution to the peacebuilding literature than Stefanie Kappler's excellent analysis of local actors' experiences of peacebuilding in Bosnia, Cyprus and South Africa. This theoretically advanced and empirically insightful book offers a critical investigation into the complex interactions between actors and discursive spaces of peacebuilding while contributing to rethinking agency and power. Thus, it sheds light on the broad question of peacebuilding legitimacy, while gradually modifying how we understand peace on the ground." - Annika Björkdahl, Lund University, Sweden
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