Agonistic peace agreements? Analytical tools and dilemmas
In this short summary video, authors Lisa Strömbom, Isabel Bramsen and Anne Lene Stein discuss the key takeaways from their article in BISA journal Review of International Studies (RIS).
There have been very few attempts at embedding agonistic theory in empirical analyses of peace agreements. This study attends to that lacuna by investigating how agonistic principles can be integrated and investigated in peace agreements.
You can read the full article at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0260210522000055
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Later years have seen the growth of a vibrant theoretical discussion on agonistic peace and the importance of creating space for contestation, plurality, and dissensus post-accord. However, there has been very few attempts at embedding agonistic theory in empirical analyses of peace agreements. This study attends to that lacuna by investigating how agonistic principles can be integrated and investigated in peace agreements. We suggest a threefold set of indicators for assessing the degree to which peace agreements are invested with agonistic dynamics: (1) what types of spaces for interaction are offered post-accord; (2) what forms of inclusion are stipulated; and (3) how is the peace agreement framed in terms of conflict termination and consensus/dissensus? We illustrate how the various indicators could be put into motion in concrete analyses applying them to examples from the Oslo Accords, the Belfast Agreement, and the Colombian Peace Agreement. Finally, we discuss four dilemmas and problematiques of integrating agonistic ideas in peace agreements; the issue of power, the mixing of agonistic and liberal ideals in peace agreements, the principle of ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ and the related double-edged potential of constructive ambiguity and finally the challenges of implementing peace agreements.
Image by Luis F Orozco, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.