Democratic Interventionism and Local Legitimacy

22 - 23 May 2013

Most recently, with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it becomes clear that peacebuilding is one of the most complex joint actions in the field of global security cooperation as well as a permanent source of conflict between global and local narratives of democracy through multiple practices of everyday life. To analyse problems of global cooperation in the field of ‘peacebuilding’ the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research (University of Duisburg-Essen) organised together with the School of Political Science and International Studies (University of Queensland) the international workshop.

The workshop "International Interventionism and Local Legitimacy", thus, aimed at elaborating responses to three interrelated areas of inquiry:

  • Theorising the contested Concept of Democracy between the Global and the Local
  • Understanding Community across Cultural Difference
  • Contributing to Cultural Conflict Studies and Global Cooperation Analysis through reflecting on Difference in Peacebuilding

This intensive two day workshop brought together highly knowledgeable participants from various different research institutions including the Centre and its partner institutions the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) and the German Development Institute (DIE), the School of Political Science and International Studies (University of Queensland), independent researchers and a range of other (inter-)national institutions. The participants had diverse research backgrounds and epistemologies including scholars of International Relations, Political Theory, Anthropology and Ethnology who have worked on questions related to democratisation, Western interventionism, peacebuilding, human rights and cultural conflicts.

In order to provide a stimulating and interactive framework in which the different participants could interact, dialogue and discuss cutting-edge approaches to research and policy-making, the workshop employed an highly interactive and innovative format which included a mixture of large group presentations and discussions; small group 'World Café' discussions; and medium-sized group 'Fishbowl' discussions. This workshop format created a very intense working atmosphere and gave rise to lively debates. A key issue of the workshop was a discussion of the changing nature (through both discourse and practice) of the interaction between the 'international' and the 'local' in contexts of peacebuilding interventions. The workshop raised numerous challenging questions for peacebuilding in practice and the academic debate and ended up with reflections on what might be the epistemological and methodological orientations that enable sustained engagement and/or viable, inclusive political community across significant difference.

Venue: KHK / GCR21, Schifferstr. 44, 47057 Duisburg


Workshop Report

Workshop Day 1

Workshop Day 2