2. Februar 2014

Shaping Peace – Local Infrastructures and State Formation

What shapes peace? We are familiar with the top-down interventions organised around military, statebuilding and governance interventions, but what about the local infrastructures of peace that involve local agency? How does this agency create new institutions or interacts with existing ones? What are the sources of inspiration for these local infrastructures, and how do they relate to local, national, regional and international norms and structures of peacebuilding? These issues of hybridity, friction, socialisation and norm-formation raise important questions about the location of power, the temporal nature of international interventions, and the interaction of the top-down and bottom up. In particular, it raises questions about the nature of the state and the role of the international community in a globalised, and globally governed, world.


The ‘local turn’ has raised issues of power, structure, and agency. In particular it has placed the tension between international and local forms of peace mobilisation, and the nature and role of the state into the spotlight, as forms of agency and the state are often entwined in any peace process and settlement. The international community tends to follow liberal peace norms; global governance introduces neoliberal rationalities, and the state is perceived, top-down, as the repository for these contradictory processes. State formation arguments, however, tend to see the state as being formed by local and regional power and violence. All of these perspectives on the political and structural processes that institutionalised peace appear to be oppositional, and offer little space for local agents of peace to engage in peace-making and peace or state formation.


And yet, evidence is growing that peace forms, if only in isolated pockets, on the ground through various forms of contestation, just as the state forms through violence or other clashes of power. Local infrastructures for peace have been seen as a way of building a new social contract, connecting the state to its people, as well as being guided by international liberal and neoliberal preferences. For scholars of peace and conflict studies, such processes are a fundamental challenge. Thus, the conference welcomes single paper and panel proposals on issues relating to Local Infrastructures of Peace and Peace/State Formation, including but not limited to:

-  Local initiatives of peacebuilding

-  Theoretical and conceptual investigations of the factors underlying peacebuilding

-  The institutional characteristics of local peace initiatives

-  The relationship between local initiatives and the nature of the state

-  The relationship between the state and the international

-  Local to global peace networks


This is a Call for papers for the Third Annual Conference of the International Association for Peace and Conflict Studies and the ECPR Standing Group on Critical Peace and Conflict Studies (11-12 September 2014) at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester.


Deadline for paper and panel proposals: 31 May 2014. Proposals should be 250 words maximum and sent to: iapcs(at) Registration costs are £20 for paid academics and £10 for students and the unwaged. The registration fee is waived for current members of the IAPCS.


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Conference Committee: Roger Mac Ginty, Oliver Richmond, Birte Vogel, Ioannis Tellidis and Jasmin Ramovic