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  • on 28.09.2014
  • at 10:00 AM
  • by Kevin Hind

A book review of ‘Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention’ 0

African Arguments correspondent Christoph Vogel reviews Séverine Autesserre’s latest book: ‘Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention‘. 

Recently, a Congolese friend of mine taught me how to use condoms to clean your shoes before going out. On average, it takes three condoms per shoe and you come out classy within a few minutes. In South Sudan, condoms are sometimes used to transport the tobacco harvest, as Séverine Autesserre notes in her newly published Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention. The condom case is however, not the only unexpected local use of international aid often ignored and/or misunderstood by external interveners.

After 2010’s much praised The Trouble with the Congo, Autesserre now takes the reader to Peaceland – a marvellous place where expatriates of all sorts and origins meet to make the world a better place. As well as the above, Autesserre offers a wide variety of anecdotes from South Sudan to Palestine to Nicaragua to Cambodia and numerous other places she used to work or went to for comparative and complementary research.

What do these stories tell us about international intervention in crisis zones? What about peacekeeping, peace-building, humanitarian and development work in such areas? Drawing from an impressive wealth of observations and experiences, Peaceland offers a meticulous description and analysis of international intervention in conflict zones. Over almost 300 pages it traces the ‘everyday’ in places affected by armed conflict and external intervention.

continue reading on African Arguments

By Christoph Vogel African Arguments

Photo credit: QUNO

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