InHouse&Guests Workshop

Cooperation for Hybrid Peace and Order: Selfhood and Socio-Political order beyond Individualism and Collectivism

18 November 2013

On Monday 18 February 2013, the Centre convened a workshop with a select group of 20 internal and external participants. During the workshop, six presenters from a range of disciplinary backgrounds delivered their perspectives on, and engaged in discussion with other participants about the topic of Cooperation for Hybrid Peace and Order: Selfhood and Socio-Political order beyond Individualism and Collectivism.

While the 1990s were broadly characterized by the export of the institutional frameworks and processes of liberal democracies, implementation challenges and normative critiques mean that engaging the local is now increasingly recognized as best practice by scholars and practitioners alike. The future of peace and approaches to social order appear increasingly hybrid.

The pursuit of hybrid peacebuilding, though, presents a major challenge for cooperation across cultural difference. Operationalizing hybridity necessarily faces – and must grapple with – the interplay of different understandings of personhood and socio-political order. Moreover, these differences need to be navigated within the context of a global regime of human rights and liberal governance. The peacebuilding field currently lacks strong conceptual and analytical tools to grapple with these challenges.

Perhaps the most popular touchstone for making sense of cultural differences in selfhood and socio-political order is the distinction between individualism and collectivism. Its common sense appeal may make it an accessible and powerful conceptual tool, but does it adequately reflect cultural differences as they are relevant for the pursuit of hybrid justice and peace? Does it mask a more complex picture? Does such a distinction risk stereotyping non-western peoples as ‘tribal’ collectivists, for instance?

By tackling these and related questions, it was the aim to make a critical and practical contribution to advancing cooperation for hybrid peacebuilding. The presentations generated considerable and animated debate among participants with many commenting that the workshop was valuable for advancing their thinking, including for taking new and alternative steps to address the puzzle of differences in selfhood and socio-political order in situations of hybrid peace and order.

Time: 9.30 - 18.00h
Venue: Conference Room of the Centre, Schifferstr. 44, 47059 Duisburg