Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Global Governance


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dejan Guzina

Advisor Role

Associate Professor


This thesis focuses on cultural and everyday practices of local populations in post-conflict peacebuilding. It builds on the “everyday” turn in critical peacebuilding literature by recognizing the everyday as political. Rather than examining the practices of political elites this thesis is concerned with the ordinary citizens of these societies. In other words, I show that it is through practices and cultural forms of expression that local populations enact their agency, at times supporting and at times contesting the broader peacebuilding project. Moreover, rather than viewing the everyday acts as hidden or as evidence of resistance to the dominant peacebuilding approaches this thesis calls for greater attention to the ways that these practices and cultural forms of expression are made visible and provide meaning to the ordinary citizens of these societies. Through the case studies of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Northern Ireland, this thesis aims to generate an account of everyday peace politics that allows for the inclusive, exclusionary and ambivalent practices of the ordinary citizens in these societies. It does so through three key lenses: practices of place-making and “inscription”, symbolic practices and competing narratives and performances. While proponents of the liberal peace approach envision peace as “trickling-down”, this thesis illustrates that peacebuilding strategies are always interpreted in context-specific ways. Although the literature on “hybrid peacebuilding” recognizes the relationship between local practices and external peacebuilding efforts, a closer look at the liminal conditions of these post-agreement societies shows us how local populations respond to the uncertainty of the war to peace transition in ways not always captured by the literature on hybrid peacebuilding. As a result, this thesis contributes to our understanding of local agency in post-peace accord societies.

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