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Avatars of Eurocentrism in the critique of the liberal peace

Sabaratnam, Meera (2013) 'Avatars of Eurocentrism in the critique of the liberal peace.' Security Dialogue, 44 (3). pp. 259-278.

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Abstract

Recent scholarly critiques of the so-called liberal peace raise important political and ethical challenges to practices of postwar intervention in the global South. However, their conceptual and analytic approaches have tended to reproduce rather than challenge the intellectual Eurocentrism underpinning the liberal peace. Eurocentric features of the critiques include the methodological bypassing of target subjects in research, the analytic bypassing of subjects through frameworks of governmentality, the assumed ontological split between the ‘liberal’ and the ‘local’, and a nostalgia for the liberal subject and the liberal social contract as alternative bases for politics. These collectively produce a ‘paradox of liberalism’ that sees the liberal peace as oppressive but also the only true source of emancipation. However, the article suggests that a repoliticization of colonial difference offers an alternative ‘decolonizing’ approach to critical analysis through repositioning the analytic gaze. Three alternative research strategies for critical analysis are briefly developed.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: colonial difference, culture, Eurocentrism, governmentality, liberal peace
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
ISSN: 09670106
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1177/0967010613485870
Depositing User: Meera Sabaratnam
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2013 11:48
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/17062

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