Volume 10 No. 1
The Power of Discourse and the Discourse of Power:
Western-liberal discourses of power and the social practices associated with them are proving inadequate to the task of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable social order. Having recognized this, progressive scholars and social reformers have begun articulating alternative discourses of power, along with alternative models of social practice. Together, these efforts can be interpreted as a project of discourse intervention – an effort to change our social reality by altering the discourses that help constitute it. In order to advance this project, this paper deconstructs the dominant Western-liberal discourse of power, clarifies elements of an alternative discourse of power, and presents a case study of an alternative discourse community and the alternative models of social practice that it is constructing.
Impact of the Reintegration of Former KLA Combatants on the Post-war Recovery of Kosovo
This article examines the impact of the reintegration of former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) combatants on the post-war recovery of Kosovo. The exploration is conducted through a micro- and macro-security perspective. The analysis focuses on the three main issues: preferential treatment of former KLA combatants, identification and utilisation of KLA resources, and the long-term implications of reintegration on the peacebuilding process in Kosovo and regional security. The findings from this analysis are presented in the form of a list of general conclusions and lessons that can be applied by those agencies involved in the reintegration of former combatants in Kosovo and other similar circumstances.
Knowledge and Power in
The constitution of global environmental problems as political issues has given new weight to scientific knowledge. At the same time science has become a key weapon in the arsenal of environmental activism. This article focuses on the relationship between science and activism, grounding the analysis in the first successful global environmental campaign, the struggle to save the whales. The case raises the broader question of what constitutes the power of activists to ‘make a difference’ on issues of international concern. To this end it introduces a conceptual framework derived from the works of Michel Foucault. A set of specific concepts structures the case-analysis at two, complementary, levels: the notions of authorship and subject-positions; and the concept of episteme. This perspective highlights the common ‘will to power’ driving both science and activism.
Peacebuilding and Human Security:
This article argues that human security at the personal, institutional and structural-cultural levels can be more effectively realized in the process of peacebuilding if: (1) culture and identity and an interpretive bottom-up approach to peacebuilding are taken into account when addressing the problems of marginalized individuals, groups, and communities; (2) both material as well as socio-cultural contexts are considered critical factors to human security and peacebuilding; and (3) serious attempts are made to move beyond short-term functions of maintaining a ceasefire, demobilization and disarmament, and monitoring competitive elections among former adversaries. The analysis grapples with questions such as when does emancipation or sustainable peacebuilding occur?; or how can traditional/indigenous methods of peacebuilding be used more effectively to complement modern methods? These concerns are briefly applied to specific cases of postwar reconstruction and reconciliation.
Moral Personhood and Human Security
The concept of moral personhood is fundamental to what is supposed to be secured by the defense institutions established by human beings in order to protect themselves. All leaders wield moral rhetoric, but only some national defense policies promote human security; and policies do not reflect a moral perspective when they apply different moral principles to the people of different lands, for one’s place of residence is manifestly irrelevant to one’s moral personhood. In addition, the practices of modern military institutions are difficult to reconcile with the moral requirements widely accepted to constrain legitimate self-defense, and policies that lead to the slaughter of innocent people and their perfunctory characterization as “collateral damage” effectively negate the moral personhood of the victims. The aspersion of enemy leaders as “evil” is counterproductive to the aims of human security, effectively precluding the possibility of constructive dialogue and thereby increasing rather than decreasing the probability that a conflict will escalate to war.
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