- Between ‘messy aftermath’ and ‘frozen conflicts’: Chimeras and realities of sustainable peace
- HumSec Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The transformations that war has undergone in coincidence with the end of bipolarism and the recent crisis of multilateralism challenge the way in which we conceptualize peace. Although ‘sustainable peace’ is increasingly evoked in policy and academic texts, the concept remains fundamentally under-theorized. This article engages with the public debate on contemporary armed conflicts and their ‘messy aftermath.’ It interrogates classical and medieval sources and it offers a critical overview of existing literature. The author exposes the tensions and tautolo-gies that the incorporation of notions of ‘process’ and ‘duration’ into an unmodified conception of peace entails, and argues that sustainability can be meaningfully employed only if it is acknowledged to be an inherently normative construct. The constellation of ‘intractable peaces’ that shape European peripheries from the Balkans to the Caucasus provides a background against which pragmatist-constructivist insights are proposed with respect to how empirical research could be conducted.
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