Beyond Silence, Obstacle and Stigma: Revisiting the ‘Problem’ of Difference in Peacebuilding


Whereas practitioners and mainstream approaches to intervention are concerned about the inability to manage difference in a way that is conducive to peace, critical scholars worry about the inability to write difference without essentializing ‘it’ or reproducing and legitimizing power structures. Can we revert the pessimism regarding the possibility to engage with others sensitively and build peace in a diverse world? In this article, we argue that the current miasma of despair regarding international interventions is the result of three successive errors in the process of seeking to build a peace sensitive to the other: silencing, problematizing and stigmatizing difference. After examining these three errors, we outline three analytical starting points that offer a better understanding of difference: multidimensionality, anti-essentialism, and a focus on power struggles. This discussion opens the Special Issue and hopes to stimulate further conversations on the role of difference in peacebuilding by focusing on its conditions of emergence.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding on 1 October 2018, available online at:
Publication ISSN: 1750-2985
Last Modified: 20 May 2024 07:25
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2018 08:23
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... needAccess=true (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-10-01
Accepted Date: 2018-10-01
Authors: Bargués-Pedreny, Pol
Mathieu, Xavier



Version: Accepted Version

| Preview

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record