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Peace as complex legitimacy: Politics, space and discourse in Tajkistan's peacebuilding process, 2000-2005.

Heathershaw, John David (2007) Peace as complex legitimacy: Politics, space and discourse in Tajkistan's peacebuilding process, 2000-2005. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This dissertation explores the process of building peace in terms of the making of complex legitimacy in post-Soviet, post-conflict Tajikistan. Since 2000, Tajikistan's citizens have seen major political violence end, order across the country return and the peace agreement between the parties of the 1990s civil war hold. Superficially, Tajikistan appears to be a case of successful international interventions based on neoliberal internationalist assumptions. Yet, puzzlingly, the inter-Tajik peace is interpreted in a variety of often contradictory ways and correlates with authoritarian government and the tenure of a new oligarchy. On closer inspection it is evident that neoliberal international interventions in Tajikistan have largely failed to achieve the aims of peacebuilding. However, I argue they have served to facilitate an increasingly authoritarian peace and have indirectly fostered popular accommodation and avoidance strategies, as well as localised resistance. Moreover, this peace is founded upon complex relations of legitimacy. It is the product of discourse (the formation of community through communication), politics (the acquisition of power and authority in that community), and space (the differentiation of that community from other communities). I study the political relations between three discourse/spaces ('selves') of Tajikistan from 2000 to 2005: those of subordinates, elites, and the international community. In addition to the discourse and spaces of neoliberal international peacebuilding, are those of popular tinji (Tajik: 'peacefulness'/ 'wellness') and elite mirostroitelstvo (Russian: 'peacebuilding'). In studying the relationships between subordinate, elite and international actors I show how they both accommodate one another via discursive re-interpretation, and avoid each other by retreating into their own 'hidden' spaces and transcripts. These intrinsically political practices have specific material impacts on people's lives. Moreover, I show how they have constituted new forms of authority, livelihoods and sovereignty. In each of these cases, subordinates resign themselves to power and 'peacefulness' and get on with their lives. These practices constitute peace as complex legitimacy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Peace Studies, Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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