Communications & Media

Genesis of peacebuilding explored in new book

Peacebuilding and how it has evolved over the decades forms the premise of University of Tasmania researcher Dr Catherine Goetze’s new book.

The Distinction of Peace investigates the genesis of peacebuilding as a professional field of expertise since the 1960s, its increasing influence and the ways it reflects global power structures.

Dr Goetze is a senior lecturer, International Relations, in the School of Social Sciences.

Step-by-step, Dr Goetze describes in this study of international political sociology how the peacebuilding field came into being, how it defines who belongs to it and who does not, and what kind of group culture it has generated.

Using an innovative and original methodology, she investigates the motivations of individuals who become peacebuilders, their professional trajectories and networks, and the ‘good peacebuilder’ as an ideal.

For many, working in peacebuilding in various ways – as an aid worker on the ground, as a lawyer at the UN, or as an academic in a think tank – has become not merely a livelihood, but also a form of participation in world politics.

As a field, peacebuilding has developed its techniques for incorporating and training new members, yet its internal politics also create the conditions of exclusion that often result in practical failures of the peacebuilding enterprise.

By providing a critical account of the social mechanisms that make up the peacebuilding field, Dr Goetze offers deep insights into the workings of Western domination and global inequalities.

Published on: 31 Mar 2017 2:51pm