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The distinction of peace: a social analysis of peacebuilding


Goetze, C, The distinction of peace: a social analysis of peacebuilding, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, pp. 295. ISBN 978-0-472-07341-2 (2017) [Authored Research Book]

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Copyright 2017 Catherine Goetze

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"Peacebuilding" serves as a catch-all term to describe efforts by an array of international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and even agencies of foreign states to restore or construct a peaceful society in the wake—or even in the midst—of conflict. Despite this variety, practitioners consider themselves members of a global profession. In this study, Catherine Goetze investigates the genesis of peacebuilding as a professional field of expertise since the 1960s, its increasing influence, and the ways in which it reflects global power structures.

Step-by- step, Goetze describes how the peacebuilding field came into being, how it defines who belongs to it and who does not, and what kind of group culture it has generated. Using an innovative and original methodology, she investigates the motivations of individuals who become peacebuilders, their professional trajectories and networks, and the "good peacebuilder" as an ideal. For many, working in peacebuilding in various ways—as an aid worker on the ground, as a lawyer at the United Nations, or as an academic in a think tank—has become not merely a livelihood but also a form of participation in world politics. As a field, peacebuilding has developed its techniques for incorporating and training new members, yet its internal politics also create the conditions of exclusion that often result in practical failures of the peacebuilding enterprise.

By providing a critical account of the social mechanisms that make up the peacebuilding field, Goetze offers deep insights into the workings of Western domination and global inequalities.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Research Book
Keywords:United Nations, peacebuilding, Pierre Bourdieu, sociology of international organizations
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:International relations
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International organisations
UTAS Author:Goetze, C (Dr Catherine Goetze)
ID Code:114349
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-02-14
Last Modified:2018-04-12

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