Critical peacebuilding scholars have focused on the impact of the encounter between the ‘local’ and the ‘international’, framing the notion of ‘hybridity’ as a conceptual mirror to the reality of such encounter. This paper explores a dual aspect of hybridity to highlight a tension. Understood as a descriptor of contingent realities that emerge after the international–local encounter, hybridity requires acknowledging that peacebuilders can do little to shape the course of events. Yet, framed as a process that can enable the pursuit of empowering solutions embedded in plurality and relationality, hybridity encourages forms of interventionism that may perpetuate the binaries and exclusions usually associated to the liberal peace paradigm. The paper suggests that when hybridity is used to improve peacebuilding practice, an opportunity may be missed to open up this tension and analytically discuss options, including withdrawal which, whilst largely left out of the conceptual picture, may be relevant to calls for reclaiming the self-governance of the subjects of peacebuilding themselves.
|Journal||Third World Quarterly|
|Early online date||4 Apr 2018|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 4 Apr 2018|