„Relational sensibility“ : Ausgangspunkt für emanzipatorisches Peacebuilding?

Peacebuilding in gewaltzerrütteten Gesellschaften folgte lange Zeit Blaupausen, bei denen externe Akteure ‚top-down‘ liberale Normvorstellungen durchsetzen wollten. In jüngerer Zeit werden partizipative Elemente betont, ebenso die wechselseitige Achtung zwischen internationalen und lokalen Akteuren („relational sensibility“). Der Beitrag zeigt das hierin liegende emanzipatorische Potenzial auf, zeigt aber auch, dass herkömmliche Vorstellungen, ob und wie Gleichheit, Gerechtigkeit und Frieden zu erreichen sind, herausgefordert werden.
Peacebuilding policy and practice has recently begun to shift orientation in ways that recalibrate relationships between interveners and local people and attend more carefully to the complexities and challenges of achieving peace on the ground. The ‘relational sensibility’ is increasingly responsive to the importance of local inputs and relationships, and to contingencies that tend to be overlooked in the liberal and modernist pursuit of peace. What, though, are the political risks and possibilities associated with this phenomenon? Three potentials are considered in this article. A relational sensibility may offer exciting ways to advance peacebuilding practice, including by retreating from liberal hubris and redressing previously iniquitous power relationships by engaging with perspectives and approaches, particularly those of local people, which have been underappreciated to date. Equally, relational sensibility can risk bypassing core political concerns by removing responsibility for effects, limiting ambition, and entrenching existing power relations. Finally, the article argues that a relational sensibility can offer possibilities for the inclusive, innovative, grounded and responsible transformation of peacebuilding, but this requires engaging critically with relationality to intensify its best effects and counter possible negative consequences.
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