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The 'Field' in the Age of Intervention: Power, Legitimacy, and Authority Versus the 'Local'

Richmond, Oliver P.; Kappler, Stefanie and Björkdahl, Annika LU (2015) In Millennium 44(1). p.23-44
Abstract
This article highlights the semantic and socio-political meaning of the 'field' as it is used in both academic research and policy practices: as a geographic and material space related to forms of intervention in International Relations (IR), and not as a disciplinary space. We argue that the notion of the field' carries colonial baggage in terms of denoting 'backwardness' and conflictual practices, as well as legitimising the need for intervention by peacebuilding, statebuilding, and development actors located outside the field. We also show how academic practices have tended to create a semiotic frame in which the inhabitants of the research and intervention space are kept at a distance from the researcher, and discursively stripped of... (More)
This article highlights the semantic and socio-political meaning of the 'field' as it is used in both academic research and policy practices: as a geographic and material space related to forms of intervention in International Relations (IR), and not as a disciplinary space. We argue that the notion of the field' carries colonial baggage in terms of denoting 'backwardness' and conflictual practices, as well as legitimising the need for intervention by peacebuilding, statebuilding, and development actors located outside the field. We also show how academic practices have tended to create a semiotic frame in which the inhabitants of the research and intervention space are kept at a distance from the researcher, and discursively stripped of their agency. Along similar lines, policy-practice has reinforced the notion of the field as being in need of intervention, making it subject to external control. This article suggests that the agency of the inhabitants of the field has to be re-cognised and de-colonised so that political legitimacy can be recovered from 'intervention'. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
power, agency, semantics, research methodology, intervention
in
Millennium
volume
44
issue
1
pages
23 - 44
publisher
Millennium Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • wos:000360410400002
  • scopus:84960426627
ISSN
0305-8298
DOI
10.1177/0305829815594871
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7300f6f0-2a4c-4f67-a0dd-2655be945942 (old id 7964859)
date added to LUP
2015-09-22 12:54:35
date last changed
2017-06-25 03:55:16
@article{7300f6f0-2a4c-4f67-a0dd-2655be945942,
  abstract     = {This article highlights the semantic and socio-political meaning of the 'field' as it is used in both academic research and policy practices: as a geographic and material space related to forms of intervention in International Relations (IR), and not as a disciplinary space. We argue that the notion of the field' carries colonial baggage in terms of denoting 'backwardness' and conflictual practices, as well as legitimising the need for intervention by peacebuilding, statebuilding, and development actors located outside the field. We also show how academic practices have tended to create a semiotic frame in which the inhabitants of the research and intervention space are kept at a distance from the researcher, and discursively stripped of their agency. Along similar lines, policy-practice has reinforced the notion of the field as being in need of intervention, making it subject to external control. This article suggests that the agency of the inhabitants of the field has to be re-cognised and de-colonised so that political legitimacy can be recovered from 'intervention'.},
  author       = {Richmond, Oliver P. and Kappler, Stefanie and Björkdahl, Annika},
  issn         = {0305-8298},
  keyword      = {power,agency,semantics,research methodology,intervention},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {23--44},
  publisher    = {Millennium Publishing Group},
  series       = {Millennium},
  title        = {The 'Field' in the Age of Intervention: Power, Legitimacy, and Authority Versus the 'Local'},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0305829815594871},
  volume       = {44},
  year         = {2015},
}