n African Renaissance - Peace building embodied; Beyond complicity in subjugation through consideration of affective complexities and corporeality

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


This paper examines the discrepancy between claims towards 'context specificity' and 'local ownership' within increasingly technocratic approaches to peace building. While often justifying themselves as neutral and value-free these approaches actually produce significant intolerance and exclusivity, with particularly important implications for peace builders working within the diverse Africa continent. A different peace building language is called for; one that acknowledges that the politics of war are actually a politics incarnate. This paper thus calls for the possible 'non-space' of peace building to be more appropriately 'peopled' through approaches which acknowledge embodied practices, structures of feeling and lived experiences. It is suggested that these practices may have important implications for the understanding of intractable conflicts and that critical complexity, systems thinking and Afrikology perhaps have a great deal to contribute towards this. Essentially, what is at stake is whether or not peace building can indeed positively contribute to complex social societies or whether it will be relegated to a buzzword that hovers in a 'non-space' of its own creation.

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