Decolonizing security and peace: Mono-epistemology versus peace formation

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In terms of peace, this represents a rejection of the diversity within the contemporary international system, of states and societies, political and economic systems, as well as cultural, identity, and religious matters. Pragmatic concerns relating to scarce resources and entrenched hierarchies of their distribution are dominant. That this is often argued in the name of peace and security suggests the need for the ‘decolonization’ of both concepts, which would benefit from a crosspollinated examination through both eirenist stances (a positive hybrid peace
positionality) and securitization theory, and in particular, through critical work on the problems stemming from ontological claims about security. (Rumelili 2007; Buzan and Wæver 2003) Ontological, physical security may be attained for the global north via the endorsement of the liberal peace and international architecture, but given the current crisis of the west, even this cannot be guaranteed. This oversight is partly due to the North’s methodological blind spot, its epistemological colonization of concepts like security and peace, and partly an exercise of its power (direct, structural and governmental forms of). This power is claimed to emanate from the global north/west’s normative superiority, more sophisticated political and economic architecture, developmentalism, and the rejection of tradition and communalism over modernity and individualism. What is ontologically secure for the global north may therefore be disruptive for the global south (as Bilgin and İnce also discuss in this volume). Yet at the same time, southern partners in development, peacebuilding, and statebuilding often seek to draw on northern epistemologies for peace and the state.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConflict Resolution and Ontological Security
Subtitle of host publicationPeace Anxieties
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781317750154
ISBN (Print)9780415749121
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2014

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


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