£75.00 | $117.95

14 May 2009
Hardback
ISBN: 9781842778869
208 pages
216mm x 138mm
International Relations

Africa, Development, International Relations, Politics

Also available as Paperback, Ebook

Insecure Spaces

Peacekeeping, Power and Performance in Haiti, Kosovo and Liberia

Paul Higate and Marsha Henry

In recent times, the Blue Berets have become markers of peace and security around the globe. Yet, the iconoclastic symbol of both the Blue Beret and the Blue Helmet continue to engage the international political imagination in ways that downplay the inconsistent effects of peacekeeping missions on the security of local people.

In this book, Paul Higate and Marsha Henry develop critical perspectives on UN and NATO peacekeeping, arguing that these forms of international intervention are framed by the exercise of power. Their analysis of peacekeeping, based on fieldwork conducted in Haiti, Liberia and Kosovo, suggests that peacekeeping reconfigures former conflict zones in ways that shape perceptions of security. This reconfiguration of space is enacted by peacekeeping personnel who 'perform' security through their daily professional and personal practices, sometimes with unanticipated effects.

Insecure Spaces' interdisciplinary analysis sheds great light on the contradictory mix of security and insecurity that peace operations create.

Reviews

'Higate and Henry's ground-breaking interdisciplinary book straddles international relations theory, political ecology, sociology and ethnography. Through participant observation and the testimonies of peacekeepers and local people, the authors explore peacekeeping' s production of space, peacekeepers' (gendered ) bodily performances, and how these practices intersect with local populations' diverse perceptions of security. Insecure spaces is an innovative analysis of international power in its material, spatial and visual manifestations, an ethnography of peacekeeping and of the effects it produces on the everyday life of the ordinary people who are involved with it. A much needed study that adds a new dimension to the way we understand the making of peace.' - Laura Zanotti

'In this innovative analysis of the spaces and performances of peacekeeping and peacekeepers, Higate and Henry take a fresh, critical look at how the practices of peacekeeping are constituted and experienced, and how understandings of security develop as a consequence amongst those whose lives and work are shaped by the presence of the Blue Helmets. Taking a conceptually sophisticated approach, case studies of peacekeeping in Haiti, Kosovo and Liberia are unpacked in order to understand how peacekeepers create and maintain spaces of security and insecurity. This book makes a significant contribution to studies of peacekeeping and post-conflict societies, and speaks to debates in critical international relations, critical geopolitics and contemporary sociology to provide a nuanced and engaging account of how contemporary peacekeeping activities might be more fully understood.' - R.E. Woodward

'Working in a genuinely interdisciplinary framework, Higate and Henry are to be commended for this nuanced exploration of power relations in 'everyday' international peacekeeping practices. They provide an array of interesting empirical and theoretical insights into how 'secure' and 'insecure' spaces are constructed and percieved in the interplay of external actors and local populations.' - David Chandler

'This contribution to the critical literature on peacekeeping is a hugely important antidote to the hegemonic positivism that claims to measure the ‘success’ or otherwise of operations. The authors use the lens of prosaic spatial practices and perceptions of peacekeeping as performance. Based on in-depth fieldwork the authors uncover peacekeeping as a vehicle of power and its spaces as sites of everyday adaptation and resistance. The work has an intellectual elegance that will be hard to match.' - Michael Pugh, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Bradford

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Acronyms & Abbreviations
Introduction
1. From Conflict to Peacekeeping: Haiti, Kosovo & Liberia
2. Space, Power and Peace
3. Zones and Enclaves
4. Free to Move?
5. Contesting and Consuming: Space and Success in Liberia
6. Performing Spaces of Security
7. Stereotyping Performance: Peacekeeping and Imagined Identities
8. Women, Men and Gender Space
Conclusion - Locating Power in Peacekeeping: Unintended Consequences and Beyond
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Authors:

Paul Higate is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Bristol. Prior to that, he spent eight years in the Royal Air Force, before becoming involved in critical military sociology. Since then, his academic research has focused on various aspects of the gendered culture of the military. In his future work he plans to look at how the militarization of military sociology in recent years means that it has lost its critical edge.

Marsha Henry is a Lecturer in the Politics Department at the University of Bristol. Her research has looked at various aspects of gender in South Asia, focusing on connections between the 'developed' and 'developing' worlds. Her recent research examines gender relations and perceptions of security in peacekeeping missions.