The Conspicuous Absence of Class and Privilege in the Study of Resistance in Peacebuilding Contexts

Marta Iñiguez de Heredia
2018 International Peacekeeping  
Attention to everyday forms of resistance in the liberal peace debates has provided a more sophisticated critique of peacebuilding but the concept of resistance remains limited. The paper argues that this is because leading approaches to resistance coming out the hybridity literature lack an account of class and privilege. These approaches have done a superficial application of the frameworks they were drawing on, primarily those of Michel De Certeau and James Scott. Resistance has been
more » ... d as an international-local and liberal-non-liberal contention. The conclusion is that while the study of resistance is welcomed, this research agenda is limited and depoliticizing. Critics of hybridity have addressed similar points, taking issue with the account of the local, the lack of historicity and the reification of liberal norms. However, in seeing these problems as stemming from the everyday framework, they too have misread the importance of class and privilege therein. The article shows that Certeau and Scott have much to contribute to understanding peacebuilding processes by sustaining a sociological historicist and practicebased account of resistance as embodied in subordinate subjects. This has the potential to politicize, historicize and decolonize the liberal peace critique and to contribute to studying resistance in IR more generally. Though resistance in peace and conflict studies has received much attention, it still requires a comprehensive account that embraces the privileges and class-based dynamics that underpin power relations. Resistance has become central to critiquing liberal interventions and to understanding the responses from intervened societies. These critiques have taken place within the liberal peace debates and resistance has been most studied within the hybridity or 'local turn'. 1 For this, hybridity authors have drawn extensively on everyday theories, which are focused on mundane activities taking place in day-today relations, and have made two sets of arguments. Firstly, they have argued that peace processes are complex and messy, because they combine multiple contradictory elements such as liberal, illiberal, formal and informal
doi:10.1080/13533312.2018.1449650 fatcat:pgpwecujqvfzbigvpwchsqq5ku