New article: İşleyen, Governing the Israeli–Palestinian peace process: The European Union Partnership for Peace

İşleyen, Beste. “Governing the Israeli–Palestinian peace process: The European Union Partnership for Peace.” Security Dialogue 46.3 (2015): 256-71.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0967010615579563

 

Abstract

This study applies a governmentality approach to analyse the European Union’s civil society promotion in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process through the EU’s Partnership for Peace instrument. Contrary to a widespread conviction in earlier academic research, it argues that the EU engagement with the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has political substance, and the Partnership for Peace provides a good illustration of this. The governmentality perspective highlights the power of the technical in guiding civil society towards particular visions, activities and goals. It brings to light a set of supposedly neutral definitions and technical instruments related to project applications and project selection that sort out, promote and link together civil society action in a way that manages and reinforces the existing dynamics of the peace process. The technical brings with it a particular idea of civil society, which is encouraged to assume functions that focus on the management of the outcomes of the conflict rather than striving for a transformative vision of peace based on political deliberation and fundamental change. The use of the governmentality approach not only aims to provide a better understanding of the nature of the Partnership for Peace programme, but also contributes to debates over the theoretical merits of governmentality by applying the approach to peace and conflict research.