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Publication details for Dr Stefanie Kappler

Kappler, Stefanie (2013). Peacebuilding and lines of friction between imagined communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Africa. Peacebuilding 1(3): 349-364.

Author(s) from Durham


With specific reference to Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Africa, this article looks at how peacebuilding actors constantly recreate public space and the discourses within it. The formation of imagined political communities reflects the extent to which peacebuilding interactions can be rather horizontal or vertical in nature, producing different types of friction in the encounter between peacebuilding actors. In Bosnia, the predominantly horizontal nature of international peacebuilding processes has resulted in the emergence of fragmented local sub-spaces. Those are often in conflict with international and national political communities, with frictions emerging between local, national and international actor networks. The article will contrast those processes with the mosaic developing in South Africa, where boundaries between actors are more blurred. Due to strong vertical cooperation, sporadic frictions tend to emerge within those spaces rather than exclusively at their boundaries. The article will analyse the extent to which different patterns of peacebuilding interaction impact upon the constructive and destructive frictions that those produce.