Beitrag Sammelband/ Buchkapitel (Wiss.)

Territorialisation in Post-Conflict Contexts. Claims to Space and Conflict Management

Erschienen in: 
Spatial Practices. Territory, Border and Infrastructure in Africa, 80-96
Ulf Engel, Marc Boeckler, Detlev Müller-Mahn
Kurze Beschreibung / Abstract: 
“Killing fields”, “war zones”, or “hot spots” of violent conflict; “islands of peace”, “buffer zones” and “horizontal escalation” – all these terms show that violent conflict and peace processes have spatial dimensions. Wars originate somewhere, and are fought in specific places – rarely is violence ubiquitous during civil wars. In much the same way, the “need for peace” and local forms of adaptation processes may vary from province to province or from town to town. Nevertheless, the spatial dimensions of conflict have often been neglected in theoretical debates, despite the “micro-theoretic turn” in peace and conflict studies (e.g. Kalyvas 2006). The latter considers the fact that violence and peace building processes play out differently across a country. Nonetheless, when considering the effects of long-term peace-building mechanisms, scholars too often fall into a “territorial trap” (Agnew 1994, 2005). Assumptions are made about the meaning of territory, especially in the literature on territorial power-sharing, based not least on the presumption of a congruence between territory and specific identity groups. Most of the literature on the topic assumes that post-conflict territorialisation takes places formally through decentralisation, autonomy or federalism. This obfuscates the informal and indirect dimensions of territorial power-sharing which reveal other forms of territorialisation.1 This is not the case when such territorialisation processes are conceptualised as a social process where political agents make claims to space, sometimes beyond the formal institutions. These claims to space, which constitute alternative and sometimes competing forms of territorialisation, can ultimately affect socio-political relations with repercussions for conflict management.
Platzhalterbild Beitrag Sammelband/ Buchkapitel (Wiss.)