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A Case for Agonistic Peacebuilding in Colombia

Publikation: Working paperForskningpeer review

The purpose of this article is to discuss the concept of agonistic peacebuilding in the light of the ongoing peace process in Colombia. The concept of agonistic peace was first coined by Shinko (2008) and later developed by scholars such as John Nagle (2014) and Karin Aggestam et al. (2015). Agonistic peacebuilding is an alternative to liberal peacebuilding strategies that try to eradicate dissensus through rational deliberation and universal norms. According to Aggestam et al. (2015) agonistic peacebuilding not only acknowledges conflict as an inevitable but also possibly productive dynamics. They also state that the suppression of antagonisms might trigger an escalation of violence. We subscribe to these basic ideas, but we believe that as humanities scholars we are able to qualify the notion of agonistic peacebuilding with some reflections on cultural memory and narrative, concepts already present within the existing literature, but that to our understanding need elaboration. Furthermore, we want to argue that, according to Mouffe (2013), agonism is a counter hegemonic social practice. By drawing on experiences of the peacebuilding process in Colombia and the last protests started in November 2019, and acknowledging the counter-hegemonic character of agonistic peacebuilding, we propose that the protest movement is an opportunity to transform the conflict from a conflict of recognition across the identity divide between citizens and guerillas into a conflict of distribution of resources. This transformation opens a window of opportunities for achieving peace.
StatusAfsendt - 2020

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