Negotiated contestation in peacebuilding: maintaining or transforming systemic narratives?
Martín de Almagro Iniesta, María
Critical Studies on Security
Taylor & Francis
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Martín de Almagro Iniesta, M. (2016). Negotiated contestation in peacebuilding: maintaining or transforming systemic narratives?. Critical Studies on Security, 3 (3), 326-327. https://doi.org/10.1080/21624887.2015.1103013
In Strategic Narratives, the authors ask what counts as a victory when narratives in international security clash (Miskimmon, O’Loughlin, and Roselle 2013, 103). They look at the importance of the narrative reception and contestation processes for explaining longterm change in international relations, all this at systemic, identity and issue levels. They argue that narratives draw upon pre-existing discourses and that contestation involves using media ecologies in innovative and skilful ways (Miskimmon, O’Loughlin, and Roselle 2013, 119). This may well be the case, but in examining contestation of peacebuilding narratives in post-conflict contexts it can only be the case if we, as I argue here, pay attention to contestation as a negotiation process. That is, if we consider the contestation of a strategic narrative not as an antagonist battle to be the hegemonic storyline, but as a dialogue on competing identities and issue boundaries narratives that in turn seek to adapt to the proposed new system narrative. Competing strategic narratives can therefore borrow elements from one another in a sort of hybridisation process. Besides, those same narratives are modified by the materiality of the absorbed elements. In sum, understanding how contestation of a strategic narrative in peacebuilding works involves looking at the negotiation, silencing and appropriation of some of its elements so as to transform them.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21624887.2015.1103013
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/292852