The Postwar Moment: Militaries, Masculinities and International Peacekeeping, Bosnia and the Netherlands

The Postwar Moment: Militaries, Masculinities and International Peacekeeping, Bosnia and the Netherlands

The Postwar Moment: Militaries, Masculinities and International Peacekeeping, Bosnia and the Netherlands

The Postwar Moment: Militaries, Masculinities and International Peacekeeping, Bosnia and the Netherlands

Synopsis

Will peace bring a democratic, inclusive and equal society? This depends on many factors, this title argues that one of them - crucial but often overlooked - is the importance accorded to transforming gender power relations.

Excerpt

In this book we explore the impact of peacekeeping and postwar reconstruction on Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Netherlands, two countries involved in one war in very different ways. a concern with the experience of Bosnia-Herzegovina itself, as a society affected by war, needs no explaining. We shall see this devastated region stumbling out of a bloodbath into an insecure and unsatisfactory constitutionalism and statehood.

But when people speak of ‘a society affected by war’ we should not hear this as referring only to a country that has participated in the fighting, or on whose territory the war was fought. a country sending peacekeepers to a conflict zone may also be touched and changed by its experience. and in this book we link the experience of Bosnia and the Bosnians with the experience of the Netherlands and the Dutch, who played a significant role in the international peacekeeping operation during the war and after it. Countries that contribute soldiers to international peacekeeping missions have been largely neglected in war studies. the war in which the Dutch military were involved in Bosnia was not considered ‘their war’. Yet their engagement in it has, as we shall see, shaken Dutch society, causing some soul-searching and a rethinking of Dutch national identity.

What is also particular about the articles collected in this book is that they consistently deploy gender concepts in analyzing these matters of war and peacekeeping, militarism and nationalism. the experience of war fighting and peacekeeping – being expected to die, and even to kill, whether for your own ‘nation’ or for a just cause in ‘someone else’s war’ – can be seen, if we have the eyes for it, to affect the nature of the relationship between the nation, its military and the . . .

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