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Imagining crisis through international intervention
Nina Gren (Lund University)
Mara Benadusi (University of Catania, Department of Political and Social Sciences)
John Hume Lecture Theatre 6
Start time:
25 August, 2010 at 11:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

International interventions show proof of imagination while trying to repair or change a society at crisis. However, those interventions may bring unforeseen or unwanted outcomes. We intend to critically discuss such imaginative interventions and their responses.

Long abstract:

In an increasingly interconnected world, the so-called international community tend to respond to crises in diverse parts of the glob. Those interventions are of different kinds; humanitarian, military or state-building and may be carried out by a collective of states, of international organizations or international NGOs. Interventions often show proof of imagination as the international community tries to understand, repair or change a society in crisis. Such imaginative interventions may for instance aim to save democratic values, to teach people about human rights or gender equality, to bring peace, stability or justice. However, those interventions may also bring unwanted or unforeseen outcomes or even change that counteracts the goals of the same interventions. A UN-project about human rights may for instance be understood as threat to local UN staff's employment and thus ironically create fear and silence at a worksite.

This workshop intends to discuss and investigate such imaginative interventions and their responses. How do those who intervene and those who are intervened upon understand them? What different discourses about crises and change emerge with interventions? What new or old boundaries between 'us and them', between 'insiders and outsiders' come out of interventions by the international community? Taking examples from diverse societies and types of interventions we intend to provide a more critical understanding of the imaginative work of the international intervention.