The power of uptake: Negative emotions and the (neo)liberal limits of imagination in transitions to justice and peace [IN PRESS]

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    To effectively challenge the bland determinism of liberal peace intervention models, scholars and practitioners have called for more courageous and creative peacebuilding approaches. In support of this agenda, the article offers a critical reading of transitional justice scholarship to elucidate the co-constitutive function between the politicization of emotions, their attempted socialization, and the perpetuation of liberal rationalities in transitions to justice and peace. Mobilizing the feminist concept of “uptake” it argues that the liberal vision of peace and its implicit biases toward negative emotions are retained and reproduced in the temporal, institutional, and ideological dimensions of liberal interventions. With its focus on the micro-level, the concept of “uptake” can help us to observe how they shape the emerging emotional environment in transitions. It foregrounds how dominant visions of order assert themselves by providing pragmatic opportunities for reasonable courses of action to shape people’s grievances—thus stifling their potential to inform more challenging practices and conversations. The article aims to support the emergence of a more diverse language and culture of peace by illustrating what a sensitivity for the power of uptake entails and how it can be mobilized to creatively confront the limits of a (neo)liberal vision of peace.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    JournalCooperation and Conflict: Nordic journal of international studies
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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