Our growing, multidisciplinary International Development list – now featuring almost 80 titles – includes leading researchers in the field including Jo Boyden, Pádraig Carmody, Gustavo Esteva, Garth Myers and David Simon and supports decolonial thought, indigenous research and transdisciplinarity.
Building on our reputation for publishing on poverty, inequality and social justice, and our not-for-profit status, the list explores key social challenges including poverty, cities, infrastructure and urban development, migration and health, and covers the impacts of COVID-19 in the Global South.
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This chapter discusses childhood and research with children, particularly those living in peripheral countries or contexts of multiple disadvantages. It centres on reflexivity as a tool for diminishing barriers of research, whether power, privilege, or binaries of us–them. The chapter acknowledges childhood essentialisms reproduced by dominant traditions and agendas, and calls for a shift in the ‘gaze’ on childhood. The discussion outlines the unequal contexts of the indigenous Sabar community as the focus of the study, upon which reflexive discussions are based. Observing research as a ‘site for reflexivity’, the chapter elucidates the reflexive strategies (such as reciprocity and relationality) adopted to emphasise the invisibilised voice of the Sabar children and adults. In doing so, it undertakes an examination of how reflexivity may respond to children’s ontological realities, epistemological differences, or ‘ways of being, knowing and doing’. This chapter contributes to a call for a methodological and ethical ‘turn’ in research, in order to engage peripheral childhoods. In concluding, the chapter discusses the possibilities of reflexivity moving beyond researcher positionality and structural negotiations, to the ontological, methodological, and epistemic framings of research. It proposes that such a reflexive ‘turn’, in acknowledging other-ness, can decentre dominant discourses, knowledge production, and dissemination.
This chapter reflects upon the movement towards young people as drivers of social change in relation to research, policy, and practice. Young people are critical in influencing the reformation of youth provision and are recognised as experts in their own lived realities. Recent efforts have been made to ensure that young people have an active participatory voice in shaping service development. While the move towards such co-production and participation is commendable, it is equally important to be critical and reflexive of this process. This chapter challenges the current discourse around the notion of participation, focusing on the embedding of consultation and co-production with young people. Based on focus group interviews and creative methods, with over 90 young people this chapter highlights the relational processes and the unpredictable nature of research with young people.
This chapter concludes the volume and brings together the argument of service-delivery, local interactions and vertical relationships as peacebuilding functions and local governments as actors in long-term local peacebuilding. Picking up on the particularities in the three municipalities, the chapter argues that the municipalities of Tyre, Bourj Hammoud and Saida play different roles and promote different types of peace(s). Tyre, through its close collaboration with national and international actors for local developments, grounds externally decided peacebuilding practices but does not autonomously drive local development. Bourj Hammoud, closely connected to the Armenian local majority, and a representative of the Armenian national minority, is a central actor in local peacebuilding for the Armenian community, while a marginal actor for other local communities. Saida works closely with national and international actors and successfully promotes local peacebuilding through these relationships. However, through its focus on visible projects such as the waste management plant and infrastructural developments, Saida is a partial actor in local peacebuilding, demonstrating its engineering skills but leaving social needs to other actors. Through an empirical exploration of local peacebuilding arguments in Lebanese municipalities, the book concludes that while municipalities have a role to play, their role is particular in each case. As this book shows, local government involvement is always contextual and political, performed through structures, activities and relationships, producing particular types of peace(s) on the ground.
Introducing the book, Navigating the Local: Local Peacebuilding in Lebanese Municipalities, this chapter presents the local peacebuilding debate and the dilemma between promoting locally contextualized peacebuilding strategies and the need for knowledge on peacebuilding beyond isolated events and analytical concepts. As part of that introduction, the chapter discusses the shift towards decentering and ‘the local’ within studies of democracy, development and peacebuilding, and the meaning of smaller units, bottom-up processes and local agency in different local peacebuilding approaches. In addition, the chapter introduces local service delivery, local interactions and vertical relationships as peacebuilding functions. Finally, the chapter introduces the three Lebanese municipalities of Bourj Hammoud, Tyre and Saida and provides a brief note on the methodological approach.
This chapter examines local governance in Lebanon in relation to Lebanese conflicts and peacebuilding. It discusses the Lebanese civil war and its aftermath, emphasizing developments in sectarian and political divides, modes of governance and present-day challenges. In addition, the chapter frames Lebanon and Lebanese municipalities within the local peacebuilding debate, illustrating how a particular regional approach to peacebuilding coexists with Western liberal intervention and a growing interest in municipalities as recipients of aid.
This chapter discusses local interactions in the municipalities of Tyre, Bourj Hammoud and Saida as a peacebuilding function. The empirical discussions on structures for inclusion, daily interactions and inclusion in service delivery are analysed through the themes of participation, influence and fostering trust in the local government and trust between local communities. Empirically, the chapter scrutinizes formal and informal avenues for interactions to illustrate how local governments include the local population in peacebuilding or exclude it from the same. Such formal or informal structures of interaction include the constellation of municipal councils, interactions with the population as a local authority, or in relation to the provision of services to the local inhabitants. Although all three municipalities engage in local interactions, they do so in different ways, emphasizing contextualized ways of grounding local peacebuilding.
How is peace built at the local level?
Covering three Lebanese municipalities with striking sectarian diversity, Saida, Bourj Hammoud and Tyre, this book investigates the ways in which local service delivery, local interactions and vertical relationships matter in building peace. Using the stories and experiences of municipal councillors, employees and civil society actors, it illustrates how local activities and agencies are performed and what it means for local peace in Lebanon.
Through its analysis, the book illustrates what the practice of peacebuilding can look like at the local level and the wider lessons, both practical and theoretical, that can be drawn from it.
This chapter explores service delivery in the municipalities of Tyre, Bourj Hammoud and Saida and how service provision relates to local peacebuilding through responsiveness, inclusiveness, municipal capacity as well as the idea of economic development. Empirically it scrutinizes the municipality’s role in waste management, infrastructural developments and providing for everyday needs of the population. The chapter demonstrates how service provision promotes an image of the municipality as responsive and capable, and therefore locally legitimate. On the other hand, the lack of services, or inadequate services and management, spurs discontent. As evident from this chapter, service delivery does not stand isolated from the surrounding context of each municipality. Service delivery in Tyre, Bourj Hammoud and Saida demonstrate how the three cases engage in local peacebuilding in diverse ways, creating different types of local peace. The local space and its interactions matter, displaying service delivery as a space where power, politics and feelings of belonging interact with local governments’ capacity to respond to local needs and thus become a legitimate actor promoting local peace.
This chapter outlines the analytical framework used for analysing the role of local governments in local peacebuilding. First, the chapter discusses local service delivery, arguing that providing for local needs is central to local legitimacy, which essentially promotes stability and peace. Second, it discusses local interactions, crucial to ground peace in the everyday lives of the population, which make peacebuilding relevant for the population. Third, it discusses vertical relationships, emphasizing that they matter for peace because they enable other developments on the ground, connecting the local to a greater whole. In addition, the chapter conceptualizes service delivery, local interactions and vertical relationships as peacebuilding functions, highlighting that peacebuilding matters based on the function it performs, rather than the form of peace being built. As peacebuilding functions, the analytical focus is on peacebuilding practices, arguing that peacebuilding, and perceptions of peace, develop based on performance and local expectations on outcomes. As such, peacebuilding is non-linear, situated within local understandings of context, institutions and legitimacy, and performed through politics.
This chapter discusses the notion of vertical relationships through complementarity, autonomy and agency, arguing that vertical relationships matter for other local developments, which in turn mitigate conflict. This chapter highlights a multi-level approach to local peacebuilding through vertical relationships between the municipality of Tyre, Bourj Hammoud and Saida and central state authorities, national political figures and international actors. In addition to discussing the municipalities’ relationships to these actors, the chapter analyses them in relation to local infrastructural developments and waste management. The chapter concludes that when vertical relationships promote a common vision, the municipality gains capacity and autonomy to pursue local developments with a peacebuilding potential. However, vertical relationships also differ and municipalities navigate different vertical relationships to pursue local goals. In Lebanon’s divided state and the polarization of the Middle East, such relationships may promote local peacebuilding through national and international divides, or pursue national peacebuilding goals at the expense of local peace.