Precarious Peacebuilding seminar and workshops: Frictional encounters between local and global ideas, actors and practices – University of Copenhagen

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Precarious Peacebuilding seminar and workshops: Frictional encounters between local and global ideas, actors and practices

Precarious Peacebuilding seminar and workshops: Frictional encounters between local and global ideas, actors and practices

Building sustainable peace entails competing ideas, political contestation and transformation of power relations. This seminar explores peacebuilding interventions and its impact on post-conflict societies and the everyday lives of the people living in these societies. It investigates the question of agency, discuss the balance between the international and the local, and how the boundaries between the international and the local becomes unsettled in peacebuilding. Lessons from empirical cases of post-conflict societies are used to demonstrate the ambivalent and complex relationship between internal and external actors, between short- and long-term impacts and the unintended and counter-productive results peacebuilding interventions may generate. Thus, the seminar canters on the key question of how can we understand the processes and outcomes that arise from frictional encounters in peacebuilding?

 The seminar presents six articles which all make use of the concept of friction (cf. special issue of the journal Peacebuilding Sept. 2013) and will in three workshops discuss political and practical implications of in-depth case analyses and the probing of diagnostic sites in places such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Cambodia and Afghanistan

Participation is free but please register at No later than 7th May.  For more information see 

Introduction of precarious peacebuilding and special issue.
Joakim Öjendal and Annika Björkdahl

Panel: Presentation of main conclusions of articles from special issue

From Friction to Hybridity in Cambodia:  20 Years of Unfinished Peacebuilding
Joakim Öjendal, Gothenburg University

The divided city - a space for frictional peacebuilding
Annika Björkdahl and Ivan Gusic, Lund University,

Making Peace, Making Memory - Peacebuilding and Politics of Remembrance at Memorials of Mass Atrocities
Johanna Mannergren Selimovic, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, 

Friction and the Pursuit of Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka
Camilla Orujela, Gothenburg University (CANCELLED)

Unpacking the Friction in Local Ownership of SSR in Afghanistan
Anna Jarstad, Uppsala University,

Peacebuilding and Lines of Friction between Imagined Communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Africa,
Stefanie Kappler, Liverpool Hope University.

Coffee break

Workshops: From research to policy & practice

I: Local turn in Peacebuilding: coordination and cooperation between local actors Discussion moderator: Joakim Öjendal

Discussion focusing on local agency, local ownership and bottom-up perspectives on peacebuilding and lessons learned from Cambodia and Bosnia-Herzegovina,

II: Transitional Justice: from policy to practice
Discussion moderator: Johanna Mannergren Selimovic

Lessons learned from transitional justices processes and commemoration in Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Africa and Sri Lanka will advance ideas about future policies and practices of ‘doing justice’ post-conflict.

III: Closing the gap? International ideas and local practices in the field of Peacebuilding
Discussion moderator: Annika Björkdahl

Discussion of the interplay between international actors, ideas and practice on the one hand, and the local counterparts situated at the nexus of top-down and bottom-up approaches to peacebuilding on the other. What lessons can be learned from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan and other sites of international peacebuilding missions?

Reconvene in plenary and recapitulate workshop discussion by rapporteurs

Practical information

The seminar takes place in 4.2.26 Institut for Statskundskab, Københavns Universitet
Center for Sundhed og Samfund, Øster Farimagsgade 5A, 1353 Copenhagen K