International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy: Encounters in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina
In International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy Andrew C. Gilbert argues for an ethnographic analysis of international intervention as a series of encounters, focusing on the relations of difference and inequality, and the question of legitimacy that permeate such encounters. He discusses the transformations that happen in everyday engagements between intervention agents and their target populations, and also identifies key instabilities that emerge out of such engagements. Gilbert highlights the struggles, entanglements and inter-dependencies between and among foreign agents, and the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina that channel and shape intervention and how it unfolds.
Drawing upon nearly two years of fieldwork studying in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gilbert's probing analysis identifies previously overlooked sites, processes, and effects of international intervention, and suggests new comparative opportunities for the study of transnational action that seeks to save and secure human lives and improve the human condition.
Above all, International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy foregrounds and analyzes the open-ended, innovative, and unpredictable nature of international intervention that is usually omitted from the ordered representations of the technocratic vision and the confident assertions of many critiques.
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"[I]n this book Gilbert effectively demonstrates the limits of international intervention and encounters through the case study of post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. The book proves to be a useful tool for current international intervention scholars..."-- "Political Studies Review"
"[The book] provides detailed and far-reaching analyses that move beyond the standard critical approaches to international state-building and peacebuilding. Gilbert introduces a new level of analysis--'intervention encounter'--that provides readers with an increased analytical leverage to understand the political and social aspects of international interventions."-- "International Peacekeeping"
"Gilbert's ethnographic account advances an original analysis of the open-ended, innovative, and unpredictable unfolding of international intervention. This type of analysis is still relatively uncommon in the literature. Gilbert's effort to bring to light the power relations and changing dynamics involved in international encounters make this book compelling reading for all students of intervention."-- "Comparative Southeast European Studies"