Event Date: November 9, 2021 - 1:00 to 2:00pm
Presented by CIPS and the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies
You are invited to a book launch for Andrew Gilbert‘s International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy. The event will include a discussion of the book with the author and the University of Ottawa professor, Christoph Zuercher, as well as a Q&A period with the audience.
Summary of the Book
In International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy Andrew 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. The book shows how intervention encounters are critical sites of social and cultural production where social roles and relations are defined and demarcated, where obligations are cultivated and responsibilities are distributed, where political logics are innovated and the nature of authority is contested.
The book thus not only describes the transformations that happen in everyday engagements between intervention agents and their target populations, it 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 useful concepts and 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.
Visit the Cornell University Press:
Table of Contents
Introduction: Intervention Encounters in a New World Order
Interlude: International Authority and Bosnia after Dayton
Interlude: Field Sites, Field Methods, Field Contexts
Learn more about the chapters: Description of the Chapters
Andrew Gilbert is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus and Senior Researcher at the University of Toronto’s Ethnography Lab. He is a sociocultural anthropologist who has been doing research in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 20 years. His first research project focused on the politics of international intervention, as well as on the relationship between the historical imagination (how people conceive of history) and the political imagination (how people conceive what is politically possible). More recently, he has investigated the conditions that create openings and closures to political experimentation and social transformation, focusing on a series of worker-initiated protests and their aftermath in the late industrial Bosnian city of Tuzla. This has led to a growing research interest in collaboration and in the political and ethnographic potential of diverse media. In addition to his monograph, International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy, his research and writing have been published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, American Ethnologist, History and Anthropology, Political Geography, and the edited volumes Transcending Fratricide: Political Mythologies, Reconciliations, and the Uncertain Future in the former Yugoslavia and Humanitarianism: Keywords. For a fuller description, see: https://www.andrewgilbert.com/
Christoph Zurcher – Professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa. His research and teaching interests include conflict research, methods of conflict research, state-building and intervention, and international development. His regional focus is on the Former Soviet Union especially on Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia including Afghanistan.