Der „liberale Frieden“ am Ende der Fahnenstange : Zu den Widersprüchen von „relational sensibilities“
David Chandler argumentiert, dass „relational sensibilities“ keinen kohärenten Gegenentwurf zum Ansatz des liberalen Friedens entwickle, sondern letztlich dessen Annahmen und Widersprüchen verhaftet bleibe. Zwar rückt der neue Zugang das Lokale sinnvollerweise in den Fokus, doch bleibt, so die Replik, ungeklärt, wie man lokale Akteure und Kulturen als Gleichgestellte respektieren kann, wenn man gleichzeitig beansprucht, ein Recht auf Intervention zu haben.
Increasingly it appears that classical ‘liberal peace’ approaches to post-conflict development are out of favour. These approaches are seen to be externally-driven, and hubristic, assuming external actors have the right goals and correct policies as well as the means to attain them. Approaches which appreciate the limits of the universalist approach but still agree with interventionist projects tend to emphasise an alternative policy-approach based on the appreciation of ‘relational sensibilities’. The ‘relational’ understanding of the limits to peacebuilding interventions starts not with the artifice of international designs and blueprints but with the ‘real’, grounded, local processes, practices and interrelationships and emphasise the importance of local agency to fulfilling international aspirations. This short piece analyses the limits of the ‘relational approach’. Relational critiques – focusing on plural understandings, respect for local agency and nonliberal understandings – remain stuck in the paradox of liberal peace: the contradiction between the claim to have a right to intervene (and thereby have some superior moral or material qualities) and the claim to treat those intervened upon as equals and to respect local cultures and values. As the focus of peacebuilding has become increasingly relational and ‘bottom-up’, the aspirations of liberal peace transformations have been dissipated (the aims and goals of intervention have been much less aspirational), but relational approaches have provided no positive replacement. Even within the ‘relational sensibilities’ approach, the contradictions of the liberal peace have been all too manifest.