The unfortunate Lord Maginnis

10 Jan

The job of the social scientist is to spot patterns in social phenomenon, and there is a pattern to be spotted in Lord Ken Maginnis’ orbit. Ken – now Lord Maginnis – served himself for many years as MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone in Northern Ireland. He now sits in the House of Lords as an independent after a parting of ways between him and his – the Ulster Unionist Party. He believed that homosexuals were ‘deviant’. They did not. Anyway, it would seem that whenever Ken is around unfortunate events happen. All of this, I am sure, is coincidence. Doubtless, time and again, Ken is the innocent bystander and things just happen in his presence.

Earlier this week, there was a hullaballoo at the entrance of the UK’s House of Parliament. Things were shouted at the security staff along the lines of ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ Ken was in the vicinity at the time but it would be wholly out of character for him to shout at anyone. Not like him at all.

And then in his former constituency and home town, there was a road rage incident. A driver was grabbed by the arm and someone was called a ‘yellow bellied bastard’. Ken was nearby, but as a dedicated public servant it would be inconceivable that he would involved in such unseemly behaviour.

Lightening seemed to strike in the same place again for poor old Ken when there was an alleged assault at his London flat. Poor Lord Maginnis’ neighbour apparently ended up with a cut eye but it is very probable that Ken was out at the time. He was probably doing charitable work for the poor.

In a clear case of persecution of the weakest members of our society, a train company came after Ken for an unpaid fare. They alleged – I am sure they were completely wrong and he was completely innocent – that he travelled by train without paying. Ken, as a man of principle, made sure it went to court. The court – in an act of folly – ordered that goods worth £1,500 be seized from Ken. I suspect that a Mother Theresa figure like Ken would have goods worth that much.

And then, some years before, poor Ken was trying to enjoying a Chinese meal when he was struck on the head with a beer can. This time it definitely was Ken. He wasn’t just near-by, it was his head. Imagine: there you are trying to enjoy your chicken chou mein and you are clocked on the noggin by a can of Stella. Never, in the history of humanity, can someone have had such poor luck as Ken.

The man is a magnet for bad luck.

Ireland is already united – it’s just that a lot of people haven’t noticed.

2 Jan

The prospect of a united Ireland has moved up the political agenda in the midst of Brexit uncertainty, but Ireland already has been united – to all intents and purposes – for many years. This united Ireland is one forged in the everyday activities of millions of people on the island. It is a united Ireland of travel patterns, family relationships, businesses, sport and culture that work around (or more precisely – across) the border. It is a united Ireland that is embodied, enacted and lived.

This notion of a united Ireland is based on a sociological understanding of politics and society that sees politics (and most aspects of life) as a verb – something to be enacted through everyday living rather than a noun – something that is declared by constitutions and political leaders.* The actual behaviour of many people on the island of Ireland is one that traverses the political and economic border and renders it an anachronism. Examples of this abound: people working in Belfast but living in Dublin (less than two hours journey time in the car), over a million passengers per year from Northern Ireland using Dublin airport, the thousands of northerners who attend stadium concerts in Dublin every year, and the all-island sports of rugby, GAA and many others that see people cross the border every weekend. Added to this are the thousands of businesses that trade on both sides of the border, the huge number of northerners with second homes in Donegal (in the Republic of Ireland), and the countless shopping trips that criss-cross the border on a daily basis.

Those waiting for formal united Ireland – one enshrined by a constitution and recognised by the United Nations – may have some time to wait. Brexit uncertainty has made the prospect of a vote for a formal creation of a united Ireland more realistic, but it is hard to see a united Ireland coming about without opposition from Northern Ireland’s unionist population. And the Brexit-supporting English political elite would probably re-discover the value of the Union if it was really in jeopardy. The blue-prints of project fear, which worked so well during the Scottish independence referendum, would be dusted off and the massed ranks of the pro-Union media and the English Establishment (it really does exist) would be energised.

The beauty of the de facto united Ireland is that trenchant unionists can avoid it. They don’t have to travel south if they don’t want to. They can fashion lives that are British, unionist and have little to do with the Republic of Ireland. It is still possible (indeed all too easy) to lead lives that are segregated from political and religious others; 90 percent of children still attend either all Catholic or all Protestant schools. Social housing is still overwhelmingly segregated according to religion – as is the private sector. The cultural hegemony of a British unionist identity has taken a battering as Irish (or Catholic nationalist) identities have grown in confidence (and gained economic power). Yet, it is still possible to be proudly British and avoid the de facto united Ireland.

To some extent this united Ireland has been enabled macro-political developments – most importantly the removal of the hard security border in the wake of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. And there have been some formal cross-border cooperation in the health and energy sectors. But, to a large extent, this united Ireland has occurred in spite of macro-political developments: people have just got on with their lives. People want to see Bruce Springsteen playing in Dublin so they cross the border; they want cheaper booze in Tesco in Newry so they cross the border; they want to spend their summer holidays in Donegal so they cross the border. This ‘getting on with it’ is the default activity of most people where circumstances allow. Despite the Troubles, people still had to hold down jobs, get the kids to school and engage in elder care. The border was a massive inconvenience during the dark days of the Troubles, but many people ignored it as best they could. The same is true today.

Brexit has simultaneously complicated and clarified things. The complication comes from the fact that no one – and certainly not the British government – can tell the impact of the withdrawal from the European Union on everyday lives. The clarification comes – if it were ever needed – in making it clear that the vast majority of people in England know nothing about, and care even less about, Northern Ireland, Ireland and border life. Indeed, British Home Secretary Priti Patel’s comments on food shortages in Ireland in the event of a crash out Brexit make clear the extent to which a couldn’t care less attitude sits comfortably at the apex of government. In the face of such attitudes, and in the face of similar attitudes over the decades, people have just got on with living an all-Ireland life as best they can. This has accelerated in recent years as people have become richer, safer, more mobile, and gotten used to free movement across Europe. This united Ireland is here to stay – and very probably will become more entrenched – regardless of the ‘un-care’ from Downing Street.

*This notion of everyday politics lies at the heart of the Everyday Peace Indicators research programme (everydaypeaceindicators.org)

Election Diary 2019

13 Dec

4 November 2019
The Conservative Party stood by their candidate for the Gower constituency, Francesca O’Brien, after it was revealed that she said that people on a television programme about benefits claimants needed ‘putting down’. Lord Davis, a former Tory MP for the constituency blamed “a dredging exercise on the part of the Labour Party”. O’Brien came second in the constituency with 18,371 votes.

9 November 2019

The Conservative candidate for Wakefield, Andrew Calvert, stepped aside after a series of quotes emerged referring to London as “Londonistan’, that Col. Gaddafi would flee to Bradford, and the appearance females on television. The new Conservative candidate took the seat from Labour with 47.3 percent of the vote.

11 November 2019
A former adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson remained as Conservative candidate for South Cambridgeshire after an article he wrote in The Spectator was re-discovered. In the article, Anthony Browne blamed immigrants for bringing germs and HIV into the UK. Browne held his seat for the Conservatives with 46.3 percent of the vote.

12 November 2019

A former Tory MP, Chris Davies, who was forced to resign as a result of a conviction for a false expenses claim, withdrew as a General Election candidate. He was standing in the Ynys Mons seat (having previously lost his Brecon and Radnorshire seat as a result of a recall). He gave the reason for withdrawing as ‘critical comments in the media’ and made no mention his criminal conviction. The Conservatives gained the seat from Labour with a 7.7 percent swing.

13 November 2019
Tory MP, Andrew Griffiths, who had bombarded two women with thousands of explicit text messages, stepped aside as a candidate to allow his wife Kate to stand in the constituency of Burton. The Conservatives held the seat – getting 60.7 percent of all votes.


15 November 2019


In a rambling and bizarre video message, the Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay appeared to suggest that voting for Brexit would would ensure that there would be more English players in the English Premier League. Barclay stood for re-election in South East Cambridgeshire. He held the seat with 72.5 percent of the vote.

17 November 2019
In another example of dog-whistle racism, Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, tweeted: ‘It’s the National Health Service not the International Health Service”. Hancock held the seat with 33,842 votes.

19 November 2019

Former UKIP MEP and now Conservative candidate for Leeds North East, Amjad Bashir, apologised for calling British Jews who travelled to Israel ‘brainwashed extremists’. He remained the Conservative Party candidate. Labour held the seat although Bashir attracted 11,935 votes.

19 November 2019

Conservative candidate for Aberdeen North, Ryan Houghton, was suspended from the election over Islamophobic, homophobic and anti-semitic comments. Yet he remained the election candidate. The SNP held the seat. Houghton got 20.1 percent of the vote.

19 November 2019

The Conservative Party were widely criticised for changing their Twitter handle to @factcheckUK during a Corbyn-Johnson televised debated. Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly said he was ‘absolutely comfortable’ with it. Cleverly held the seat for the Conservatives, adding 4.7 percent to their share of the vote.

21 November 2019
Home Secretary Priti Patel was asked about child poverty on a campaign visit to Barrow-in-Furness. She replied ‘It’s not the government though, is it? … as if it is some sort of bland blob that, you know, you can just go and blame.’ The Conservatives have been in government for a decade. Patel held the seat for thew Conservatives with 66.6 percent. of the vote.

24 November 2019

At the launch of the Conservative manifesto. Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged 50,000 more nurses. His figures did not add up since 19,000 of them were already employed by the NHS. In a car crash interview the next day, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan was unable to explain the figures. Morgan was not standing for re-election. Johnson became Prime Minister.

25 November 2019


Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis told Radio 5 Live that the UK already had the basis of a trade deal with the EU: “We already trade with the EU, we’ve got the basis of the deal we’ve already agreed, so it’s a much simpler deal for us to do.” This was untrue. The EU President, Commission and Parliament have yet to sanction any UK-EU trade talks and this cannot happen until the UK leaves the EU. Lewis held his Great Yarmouth seat with 28,593 votes and a 11.6 percent swing.

25 November 2019

Conservative candidate for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, Lee Anderson, has no comment to make on a video he made last week advocating that people who who suspected of anti-social behaviour should be made live in tents and picks vegetables. 
Anderson won the seat from Labour.

26 November 2019


The family of Harry Duun, who is thought to have been killed in a road accident by the spouse of a US diplomat, were prevented from entering a town hall hustings in the Foreign Secretary’s constituency of Esher and Walton. The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, refused to speak with the family. Raab held onto his seat although there was a 9.3 percent swing against him.

29 November 2019
Former Tory minister and election candidate Philip Dunne for Ludlow told a Sikh rival that he was ‘talking through his turban’. 
Dunne held his seat with 32,185 votes.

29 November 2019

The Conservative candidate for Glasgow Central, Flora Scarabello, was suspended by the party following anti-Muslim remarks. It was too late to remove her from the ballot paper. Scarabello came third in the constituency.

29 November 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to attend a Channel 4 television debate on climate change. At the last moment, one of his deputies, former Environment Minister Michael Gove and candidate for Surrey Heath, did attempt to appear on the programme but was turned away. It was reported in the media that the Conservatives might revoke Channel 4’s public service broadcasting licence. Gove held his seat although there was a 5.6 percent against him.

2 December 2019
Chris Philp, justice minister and Conservative candidate for Croydon South, defended the Conservative strategy of political point scoring over the London Bridge attack in which two people were murdered three days earlier. “It’s pointing out that when the sentence was handed down to Usman Khan in 2012, that happened under a policy enacted by the previous Labour government in 2008,” he says.
 Philp held his seat.

5 December 2019

It was revealed that Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns, who is standing for re-election in Morley and Outwood is on the payroll of the University of Bolton to the tune of £25,000 a year to head up a university think-tank that has yet to be established. The £25,000 per year is for eight hours per week.
 Jenkyns held her seat – adding 6 percent to the vote share.

5 December 2019

Chancellor, and Conservative candidate for Bromsgrove, Sajid Javid told Sky News that homelessness peaked under Labour and had halved since then. Javid had served as housing minister in the past. His claim was misleading. Homelessness rose under labour and then fell. It has risen under Conservative governments. There are currently 126,000 children in temporary accommodation.
 Javid held the seat with 63.4 percent of votes.

6 December 2019

Conservative Party candidate for Hastings and Rye, Sally-Ann Hart, tells a hustings meeting that disabled people should be paid less as ‘they don’t understand money’. Hart held her seat and added 2.7 percent to vote share.

9 December 2019

It is revealed that the Conservative candidate for Bradford for Bradford East, Linden Kemkaran, shared social media posts declaring that Muslims has a ‘nasty culture’ and often played ‘the race card’. Labour held the seat.

10 December 2019
Conservative candidate and MP for Croydon South, Chris Philp, told the BBC that cancer patients don’t ‘really care’ about cancer treatment waiting times as overall survival rates were going up. Philps held his seat.

11 December 2019

Conservative MP Richard Drax (full name Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax) and candidate for Dorset South parks his Land Rover across two disabled spaces when campaigning. Drax held his seat, polling 30,024 votes.

The projectisation of Peace and Conflict Studies

6 Dec

When I survey the field of Peace and Conflict Studies I see a lot of ‘project work’. By that I mean journal articles, books and other forms of dissemination that arise from funded projects. This work is often interesting, relevant and sheds light on issues and places that hitherto were neglected. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with project work, I often feel that it lacks the concept and theory-building that really drives a field forward. It tends to report findings from fieldwork or evaluations and often concludes with policy recommendations. It tends to be (and maybe I say this because it is bleak mid-winter) a bit dull, samey and lack the big claims and arguments that seek to push debates and disciplines into new places.

Looking back, I can think of works that have been really influential to me in the study of Peace and Conflict*, and they tended to be works that arose from the authors sitting back and thinking. They were works that pushed boundaries – conceptually, theoretically and epistemologically. Certainly, these works were grounded in the real work of practice or fieldwork – but they had something else. They were making an argument, trying to break out of established ways of thinking, coining new terminology and typologies, and were making linkages with other disciplines. They were books written – from start to finish – without having to jump through hoops that a funder has demanded.

None of this is to be ungenerous to project work. Work grounded in funded projects is often of the highest standard and can make advances in terms of theory, concepts and methodology etc. But project work usually has to serve its ultimate master first – the funder of the project. And project funders – whether from the academic or policy worlds – are increasingly interested in impact. And this impact often has to be demonstrable, quick and easily translated into a vlog or visualisation. The danger is that the academic conducting the funded research has little time left over – after putting together the proposal, conducting the research, and reporting the findings – to sit back and reflect on the wider conceptual or theoretical avenues that follow the research. It takes a special kind of discipline to grind empirical findings, policy recommendations and wider lessons that contribute to our study of Peace and Conflict out of the same project. The political economy of academia means that many academics have to look for the next funded project just as the current one ends.

I should say – very clearly – that I have benefited in the past from work that has been funded by research councils and others. And I hope that I might benefit from their largess in the future. I am grateful for their support. It has enabled me to go places – intellectually and physically – that I otherwise would not have been able to go. Perhaps, most importantly, it has allowed me to work with people that I – ordinarily – would not have been in contact with. What I find very difficult to do, however, is to break out of the strictures of a project (for example its reporting requirements) and engage in the original thinking that I hope would contribute to shaping the discipline of Peace and Conflict Studies. There are a few donors out there who do encourage concept and theory-building and they are to be celebrated.

When I survey Peace and Conflict Studies I do think that it is a bit stuck at the moment. Apart from some interesting work on complexity theory (nod to Cedric de Coning and others) I do not see the blue skies thinking, original critiques, and concept-building that marked out the discipline 20 years ago. I find this odd because our concepts and vocabulary are clearly having difficulty grasping and explaining situations of chronic non-state violence in Mexico, or discourses of peace in a post-truth era, or the status of the liberal peace when the erstwhile champions of the liberal peace don’t even pretend to advocate liberal internationalism anymore. These big questions – and many more – seem unaddressed yet the ‘narrow gaze’ of project work abounds.

* Here I am thinking of work by John Paul Lederach, or Cynthia Enloe, or Mary Kaldor, or Oliver Richmond’s The Transformation of Peace (that kicked off the whole critique of the liberal peace), or Taiaiake Alfred’s Indigenous Manifesto ….

Looking for a dead horse

10 Sep

Gravestone

I had a couple of hours to kill a few weeks ago and took the opportunity to check out a legend that my mother had told me (or that I thought she had told me). What I remember being told is that the horse that King Billy (King William of Orange) rode at the 1690 Battle of the Boyne was buried in a cemetery in Co. Armagh (Northern Ireland) just to the east of the River Blackwater. King Billy is a divisive figure in Northern Ireland. The victor of the Battle of the Boyne, he is regarded as a key figure in Protestant supremacy – and is often depicted on a white horse. You could just see the tops of a few gravestones as you passed along the M1 motorway and I was always tempted to take time-out to check out the legend. Although the cemetery was visible from the motorway, it proved to be very inaccessible. I had tried to find a route to it a few years ago but gave up after a few wrong-turns.

So, a few weeks ago, I began with an internet search. The area is known as Church Hill – a good start in looking for a cemetery I thought – but I could find no record of a church or cemetery on the map. And the landed family from the area – and their minor stately home – are no more. In my tiny hire-car, I turned off the motorway at what I thought was the nearest junction but quickly reached a dead-end. I then followed my nose and drove a good five or six miles along very narrow country lanes. The trees, tall hedges, tight corners and narrow roads meant that I felt enclosed – watched upon but not able to see very much. At each turn I prayed that I wouldn’t meet another vehicle as the only way out of the two-car traffic jam would be a long reverse. Many of the houses along the roads displayed the Union Jack or Orange Order flags – signifiers that I was in Protestant/unionist/loyalist territory. Although I come from within ten miles of the area, I was unfamiliar with this particular locality. There was a real sense of besiegement in the area. The flags struck me as defensive rather than celebratory – a tenuous holding onto identity rather than a sign of confidence. The place was only a few miles from the site of the founding of the Orange Order in the late eighteenth century and I began to feel a weird sense of history – that I had somehow stepped back in time or – at least – was in a place where history was not very far away.

After a few dead-ends, embarrassed reverses out of people’s driveways, and consultations with a 1986 map, I spied a laneway that looked as though it was headed in the direction of the cemetery. So I drove up the lane until the car exhaust started to scrape on the broken concrete.

eerie lane

Oddly, up this unprepossessing laneway was a modern house with very large gates and a security system. The house looked unoccupied, so I parked at their gate and looked further up the lane. I could see some disused farm building and could hear the motorway and so decided to continue on foot. The farmland, in keeping with the tumble-down farm buildings, was not cultivated. I began to get a really spooky feeling. The farm-buildings turned out to be much more extensive than I originally thought. There were multiple low buildings, mostly roofless now, like an old barracks – although I can find no record of a military base in the area.

Disused (military)? building

Some of the buildings had sectarian graffiti and I began to feel very uneasy. What would I say if someone challenged me: ‘Er, I’m looking for King Billy’s horse’.

Sectarian graffiti

Then I spotted a clump of trees – some of them Lebanese Cedar – a tree that is often associated with cemeteries. So I waded through chest high weeds and grass to the trees. They were surrounded by barbed wire and nettles so I could only peer in – hoping to see a few gravestones or some evidence of a cemetery. I couldn’t see anything apart from woodland. I turned towards the car, thankful that I would be out of this place in a few minutes and then saw another few Lebanese Cedars in the distance. I walked towards them and there it was behind a stone wall – the cemetery!

The small cemetery contained about 20 visible headstones – virtually none of them legible. Occasionally I could make out dates, names and ages but for the most part, the stones were worn. There were a few rocks in the ground too – I took them to be grave markers for those who could not afford a carved headstone. I spent a good 15 minutes going from stone to stone and found the cemetery to be a peaceful place despite the spooky surroundings. So content that I had found the cemetery I walked back through the disused buildings, past the offensive graffiti and back to the car. I was mystified. Why is none of this on the map? What happened to the church that – presumably – Church Hill is named after? Why had this place freaked me out like few other places had?

Cemetery

Afterwards I googled just about everything I could think of to find out more information about where I had been. Then I found a news story from 1953 that mentioned a headstone to a horse that had been at the Battle of Waterloo. So I had misremembered what my mother had told me: Battle of Waterloo not Battle of the Boyne. The stone had been taken away over fifty years for safekeeping, but my afternoon jaunt had gotten me thinking about the frailty of my own memory, and also how others remember and forget. The area was layered with multiple histories – from the Tudor suppression of Irish warlords by building a fort at nearby Blackwatertown in 1575, to the Battle of the Diamond and the foundation of the Orange Order – 200 years later, and the insecurities that persist yet another two hundred years after that.

A walk along a disused railway line – Yes, I really am that dull

23 Aug

Signboard along the disused railway line

I had a fabulous walk on a disused railway line in Donegal (north-west Ireland) a few weeks ago and it got me thinking about globalisation, modernity and connection. The railway line was the ‘Burtonport extension’ – a relatively late addition to Ireland’s railway network. It winds through very scenic countryside and served isolated coastal communities. The line only operated between 1903 and 1947.

Walking along the line got me thinking though about the impact of the railways on geography, culture and economics. The area in question was – at the time when the railway extension was built – desperately poor. The ‘Land Wars’ were not long over and had seen multiple evictions in the area. Landlord John George Adair had evicted 47 families (about 220 people) in nearby Derryveagh in 1861 to improve the view on his hunting lodge. The early passages of Michael MacGowan’s, The Hard Road to the Klondike, serve as a useful reminder of the poverty in the area and of the drivers of emigration.

Telegraph equipment – made in Scotland

The immediate impact would have come from the building of the railway and the influx of skilled workers. While unskilled labour would have been available locally, skilled technical labour probably had to come from outside of the area. Surveyors would have built on the work on military cartographers, with Brian Friel’s play Translations capturing the political exercise involved in map-making and rendering locality intelligible to outsiders. Land would have had to been purchased, although much of this could have been done ‘in bulk’ given that a few landowners owned large tracts of land (Adair’s Donegal landholdings ran to 28,000 acres). In a new innovation for parts of Donegal, land would have had to be fenced off to keep livestock away from the train tracks. Obviously legal ‘enclosure’ had taken place much earlier with various parties claiming land and excluding others, but physically fencing off large tracts of land would have been an innovation – and a cultural shock.

This cultural impact must have been quite profound: a reason to tell the time (other than mass attendance that would have been signalled by a bell), a new uniformed profession (other than the RIC), and greater numbers of touristic and commercial visitors to the area. News would have traveled faster, emigrants could have gotten to Derry more quickly, it became commercial to transport fresh fish …

Very study gatepost.

There are still a few physical reminders of the railway in situ. The remaining gateposts – where country lanes abut onto the railway line – are of a breadth that they do not look local or indeed Irish and it is possible to speculate that they came from overseas – perhaps Canada? It reminds us that the building and running of the railway was part of a much larger political economy of empire and globalisation. Indeed, the railway was not a standalone technology – it was part of a broader assemblage of technologies. Running alongside the railway line is evidence of a telegraph system (hardware from Kilmarnock in Ayreshire) – so the railway came as a package of communication.

A raised section of the line.

 

The line was quickly superseded by other forms of transport (principally roads) and communication. The lonely walk along the line (I saw seven people on a 15km stretch of line at the height of summer) was a useful reminder that technologies come and go.

Call for Papers – Special Issue of Peacebuilding Journal

10 Jul

Peace in an age of power

The editors of Peacebuilding are commissioning a Special Issue on peace and power. Much recent critical academic work in Peace and Conflict Studies has concentrated on the agential aspects of peace but has somewhat neglected structural issues and the different types of power that are an obstacle to peace. The proposed Special Issue will concentrate on how peace scholarship and agendas can be furthered in an era of realism, hard power, the primacy of geo-politics, nationalism, authoritarianism and unfettered capitalism. Furthermore, structural power and the defence of privilege may also be being extended by the advent of new technologies of governmentality.

Peace and Conflict Studies has been very well-served by the local turn and ethnographically-inspired fieldwork. We are seeing very rich field and project data in terms of publications, which has made a contribution to the UN’s recent Sustaining Peace agenda. This fore-grounding of the local often means that the wider context – especially that involving the international, the politics behind international institutions, and the hard power of militaries – is somewhat neglected. Yet, for peace to take root and to be truly transformative and emancipatory, it seems that issues of hard power, geo-politics and the structures of states, societies and economies need to be re-addressed in a new set of contexts. Indeed, the local turn has highlighted far more than merely descriptive frameworks of localised peace or the limitations of liberal peacebuilding, but also the ways subaltern and intersectional political claims are forming and traveling from local to global and back again, as well as how such claims may be blocked.

We are particularly interested in theoretical and conceptual treatments of these dynamics and encourage authors to be bold and experimental (this includes being experimental with the format of journal articles). We envisage some of the articles in the Special Issue being longer than normal (up to 14,000 words) – although this will be through negotiation with the editors. Submissions that are comparative, seek to cover the ‘bigger picture’, and those that engage in horizon-scanning are particularly welcome. Possible themes include (but are not limited to):

– Power and the post-liberal peace
– Peacemaking and the persistence of national sovereignty
– Peace in a post-human rights era
– Methodologies to capture power

We seek extended abstracts (500 words) by 15 September and plan to get back to authors by 1 October. The Special Issue would be published in mid to late 2020. Email: oliver.richmond@manchester.ac.uk and roger.macginty@durham.ac.uk