NomadIT Conference Suite

DSA, 2019: DSA2019: Opening up Development

Open University, Milton Keynes, 19/06/2019 – 21/06/2019


Roundtable: Accidents rather than hegemony? The unintended outcomes of international peace intervention [roundtable]
Date and Start Time [TBD] at [TBD]
Sessions [TBD]


  • Bart Klem (University of Melbourne) email

Mail All Convenors

Short abstract

This roundtable explores the thesis that international peace efforts have little influence but big impacts. In short, they tend to 1) fail, but 2) have profound, often rupturing effects on the political land, which 3) may contribute to unforeseen peaceful outcomes in the long run.

Long abstract

International intervention in contemporary wars has been accused of imposing Western hegemony, securing Western interests and propelling the paradigm of liberal peace. This critique has spawned renewed interest in "vernacular" and "local" approaches to peace, and the forms interaction, contestation and hybridity when international efforts "hit the ground". This roundtable takes issue with the common tendency to overestimate the hegemonic power, the significance and the foresight of international peace interventions. At the same time, it takes cognisance of the fact that such interventions often have enormous, often rupturing, impacts with sometimes quite enduring legacies. To navigate this apparent contradiction (while also seeking a middle ground between blind optimism and depressing cynicism), this roundtable explores an argument consisting of three components: 1) international peace efforts are rarely able to successfully engineer the outcomes they set out to achieve; 2) at the same time, they often have dramatic effects on the political landscape in which they intervene; and 3) in unintended and unforeseen ways, these effects may in fact contribute to peaceful outcomes in the long run. With this session, I aim to juxtapose my research on the long-term legacies of Indian and Norwegian interventions in Sri Lanka (respectively in the 1980s and 2000s) with other, similar or contrasting, case studies (solicited herewith). The roundtable consists of a comparative overview jointly prepared by all speakers, brief verbal inputs on each of the cases followed by panel and plenary discussion.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.


The panel has no papers to display. Only accepted papers will be shown here.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.