Our Politics and International Relations list engages with today’s global challenges and with political change at domestic and international levels. It includes work from across the subdisciplines and reflects the variety of approaches and methods used in political analysis.
Book highlights include the Bristol Studies in East Asian International Relations and Bristol Studies in International Theory series, the Policy & Politics and European Journal of Politics and Gender journals and work from prestigious authors such as Andrew Gamble, Andrew Linklater, Laura Shepherd and Keith Dowding.
Our journals in the area are Policy & Politics, ranked 15th of 49 in Public Administration and celebrated its 50th year in 2022, Global Discourse, the European Journal of Politics and Gender and Global Political Economy.
Politics and International Relations
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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.
Drawing on empirical research on the movements of the squares, including Occupy and Nuit Debout, this chapter outlines the insights offered by feminist thought into the democratic practices of protest camps. The squares movements practised a kind of ‘project democracy’ by building an inclusive system of decision-making that facilitated the undertaking of projects. The chapter shows that, first, the squares movements operated with an expanded notion of civic duty that also included the reproduction of the civic body through activities of caring. Second, it demonstrates how care ethics, with their emphasis on dependence and vulnerability, informed the democratic practices of the movements of the squares. Third, it highlights how these movements challenged the connection between private property and democracy by operating with the logic of the commons, a framework of relationships based on the communal sharing of resources that places care and interdependence at the centre of democratic politics.
This chapter brings feminist literatures on domestic space and the gendered division of labour into dialogue with research into protest camps. It responds to a groundbreaking account of protest camps by Anna Feigenbaum and colleagues (2013), which argues that social reproduction is integral to the political effect of camps. Yet this point remains insufficiently interrogated in their framework; as a result, gendered and racialised inequalities and insecurities in protest camps are not fully explained, and continuities with the wider neoliberal capitalist context are downplayed. In this chapter, I draw on Marxist and Black/anti-racist feminist research to examine the ways in and extent to which social reproduction was reconstructed in two protest camps in my locality, Occupy Glasgow and Faslane Peace Camp. This allows for some wider lessons to be drawn about the structural limitations of protest camps as sites of resistance to neoliberal capitalism and austerity politics.
On 12 July 2019, Kanaka Maoli collectively birthed Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu on Mauna Kea, a refuge raised to provide shelter for Hawaiians as we defended the mountain from the Thirty Meter Telescope project. While Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu was a site for Hawaiian self-determination in the face of US settler colonial violence, a direct-action analysis by activists from the sanctuary has yet to be offered regarding issues of gendered and sexual harm experienced in camp. In this chapter, we tell our stories as Indigenous, feminist, abolitionist organisers from the Hale Mauna Wahine, the Hale Mauna Māhū, and the ʻAha Kiaʻi Aloha who struggled against cisheteropatriarchy at Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu. Refusing colonial cultures of silence that pressure survivors into conformity, we argue that honest confrontations with gendered and sexual violence in our movements is vital to cultivating trauma-informed cultures of care that can prefigure our collective healing and liberation.
This chapter asks (how) are feminist peace camps remembered? In a book premised on a lack of attention to feminist peace camps, this chapter explores why and how feminist peace camps enter, or fail to enter, feminist cultural memory. It treats ‘feminist amnesia’, the forgetting of certain moments and movements of feminism, as a social and political process, sometimes an intentional process, with profound consequences for feminism, and the world we inhabit. It takes an ecofeminist peace camp in Clayoquot Sound in the early 1990s as a site through which to intervene in mainstream narratives of feminism. The chapter recounts research in the mid-1990s, the publication of a book on the camp in the mid-2010s, and the subsequent creation of a digital archive of oral histories of activists in late 2010s. The chapter diffracts these moments through accounts of mainstream feminism and its forgetting and disavowal of eco/feminist peace camps, despite their critical importance as sites of a feminist prefigurative politics. Ultimately the chapter asks what contemporary feminism would look like if it was recast through a history of feminist peace camps.
Despite its unifying cry ‘We are the 99%’, the struggle for solidarity and inclusion in the US Occupy movement faced many obstacles, including allegations of sexual violence and harassment in the encampments. Internally groups grappled with how to respond to the allegations of gendered violence. While some participants dismissed or questioned the legitimacy of the claims, feminists organised to demand better. The approaches they took, however, varied within and across camps, with some taking a more intersectional approach than others. This chapter examines the various tactics deployed by feminists to address the violence occurring in protest camps, as well as the challenges they encountered both internally and externally. It concludes that failures to adequately address sexual violence and harassment threaten movement solidarity and success; however, efforts that ignore or even replicate intersecting forms of oppression can do the same.
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.