Socio-Anthropological Contributions to Local Ownership in Peace-Building-Initiatives
(Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI), Braunschweig, Germany)
Alena Mehlau (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt)
Nina Müller (German Police University)
Paper short abstract:
Against the background of peace-building initiatives, categories such as “local” and “international” or being “inside” and “outside” a peace process have been criticized as oversimplifications, and the diversity of meanings, norms and interests of all the different actors involved is a prominent topic. Byased on comparative ethnographic field studies we want to gain insights on both “local ownership” and conceptualizations of ”peace”, “security”, “reconciliation”, and “justice” by those personally affected by peace-building initiatives.
Paper long abstract:
Scholarly literature on peace-building initiatives in general and security sector reforms in particular identifies a bunch of paradoxes and dilemmas concerning "local ownership" in the scope of peace-building efforts (Oosterveld & Galand 2012). Categories such as "local" and "international" or being "inside" and "outside" a peace process have been criticized as oversimplifications, and the diversity of meanings, norms and interests of all the different actors involved is a prominent topic (Scheye 2008). However, the consequential step of analyzing local ownership of peace-building efforts "in-depth" and "bottom-up" is still pending. By means of ethnographic field studies embedded in a comparative analytical framework we want to gain insights on both "local ownership" and conceptualizations of "peace", "security", "reconciliation", and "justice" by those personally affected by peace-building initiatives in Africa and Eurasia. Cross-case comparisons will show how an anthropological approach can shed light on the multi-layered processes unfolding in the context of peace-building reforms whose frictions and contradictions are easily overlooked in top-down studies with a focus on political and security sector key stakeholders.
The meaning(s) of local ownership in and for sustainable peace-building