Higher research seminar with Annika Björkdahl: New book on Peacebuilding and Spatial Transformation. Peace, Space and Place
Convenors: karin.aggestam [at] svet.lu.se (Karin Aggestam) & anders.uhlin [at] svet.lu.se (Anders Uhlin)
New Book: Peacebuilding and Spatial Transformation. Peace, Space and Place
Professor Annika Björkdahl, Lund University
By focusing on the case studies of Cyprus, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Ireland and South Africa, this book provides a spatial reading of agency in peacebuilding contexts. It addresses the link between space, place and agency in transitions from war to peace. Furthermore, it conceptualises peacebuilding agency in post-conflict landscapes as situated between place (material locality) and space (the imaginary counterpart of place), analysing the ways in which peacebuilding agency can be read as a spatial practice. Investigating a number of post-conflict cases, this book outlines infrastructures of power and agency as they are manifested in spatial practice. It demonstrates how spatial agency can take the form of oppression and exclusion on the one hand, but also of transformation towards peace over time on the other hand. Against this background, we argue that agency drives place-making and space-making processes. Therefore, transformative processes in post-conflict societies can be understood as materialising through the active use and transformation of space and place.
Annika Björkdahl is Professor of Political Science at Lund University, Sweden. Her research includes peace and conflict, state-building, peacebuilding and transitional justice as well as politics of memory and gender studies. She is currently involved in four large research projects on Statebuilding (STANCE) (RJ), Politics of Memory & cultural heritage of violent conflict (RJ & VR), urban violence and urban peacebuilding (SIDA/FORMAS). She teaches IR, peace and conflict studies, and political science. She has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, UK, Canterbury University, NZ and Copenhagen University, DK. Among her recent publications are Peacebuilding and Spatial Transformation: Peace, Space and Place, Routledge (2017) co-authored with Stefanie Kappler, Spatialising Peace and Conflict: Mapping the Production of Places, Sites and Scales of Violence, Palgrave MacMillan (2016) co-edited with Susanne Buckley Zistel, Rethinking Peacebuilding: The Quest for Just Peace in the Middle East and the Western Balkans Routledge (2013) co-edited with Karin Aggestam, Peacebuilding and Friction: Global and Local encounters in post-conflict societies, Routledge (2016) co-edited with K. Höglund, G. Millar, J. van der Lijn and W. Verkoren. She has published articles in journal such as Security Dialogue, Millennium, Peace and Change, Human Rights Review, Peacebuilding. She is the current editor in Chief of Cooperation and Conflict.