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Rethinking Peace: Discourse, Memory, Translation, and Dialogue

by Alexander Hinton, Giorgio Shani and Jeremiah Alberg Rowman & Littlefield International
Pub Date:
Pbk 284 pages
AU$75.99 NZ$78.25
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Long considered a subfield of international relations and political science, Peace Studies has solidified its place as an interdisciplinary field in its own right with a canon, degree programs, journals, conferences, and courses taught on the subject. Internationally renowned centers offering programs on Peace and Conflict Studies can be found on every continent. Almost all of the scholars working in the field, however, are united by an aspiration: attaining Peace, whether “positive” or “negative.” The telos of peace, however, itself remains undefined and elusive, notwithstanding the violence committed in its name.

This edited volume critically interrogates the field of peace studies, considering its assumptions, teleologies, canons, influence, enmeshments with power structures, biases, and normative ends. We highlight four interrelated tendencies in peace studies: hypostasis (strong essentializing tendencies), teleology (its imagined “end”), normativity (the set of often utopian and Eurocentric discourses that guide it), and enterprise (the attempt to undertake large projects, often ones of social engineering to attain this end). The chapters in this volume reveal these tendencies while offering new paths to escape them.

Paul Hastings (Japan International Christian University Foundation)
Introduction: Rethinking Peace Studies
Alexander Laban Hinton, Giorgio Shani, and Jay Alberg
Rethinking Peace: Discourse
Giorgio Shani (Politics and International Studies, International Christian University [ICU] Japan)
1. The Inner Battles of Peace Studies: The Limits and Possibilities
Ashis Nandy (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, India)
2. Sovereignty, Interference, and Crisis
Stephen Eric Bronner (Political Science and Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers, US)
3. Towards A Peace with Global Justice
Oliver Richmond (Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Manchester, UK)
4. Saving Liberal Peacebuilding: From the “Local Turna to a Post-Western Peace
Giorgio Shani (Politics and International Studies, ICU, Japan)
Rethinking Peace: Memory & Temporality
Jay Alberg (Philosophy, ICU, Japan)

5. Cultural Memory in the Wake of Violence: Exceptionalism, Vulnerability, and the Grievable Life
Marita Sturken (Media, Culture and Communication, New York University, US)
6. Justice in the Land of Memory: Reflecting on the Temporality of Truth and Survival in Argentina
Natasha Zaretsky (Center for Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers, US)
7. Negotiating Difference and Empathy: Cinematic Representations of Passing and Exchanged Identities in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Yael Zerubavel (Bildner Center, Rutgers, US)
8. Silence and Memory Politics
Leigh A. Payne (Political Science, University of Oxford, UK)
Rethinking Peace: Translation
Jay Alberg (Philosophy and Religion, ICU, Japan)
9. A Translational Comics Text and its Translation: Maus in Japanese
Beverly Curran (Society, Culture, and Media, ICU, Japan)
10. To Arrive Where We Started: Peace Studies and the Logos
Jeremiah Alberg (Philosophy and Religion, ICU, Japan)
11. The Crisis of Japan's Constitutional Pacifism: The Abe Administration's Belated Counter-Revolution
Shin Chiba (Politics and International Studies, ICU, Japan)
Rethinking Peace: Dialogue (Fetish)
Alexander Laban Hinton (Anthropology and Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers, US)
12. Peace-in-Difference: Peace through Dialogue about and across Difference(s)
Hartmut Behr (International Relations, Newcastle University, UK)
13. From Substantialist to Relational Difference in Peace and Conflict Studies
Morgan Brigg (Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Queensland, Australia)
14. Zona Intervenida: Performance as Memory, Transforming Contested Spaces
Nitin Sawhney (Media Studies, The New School, US)
Look Again – Aleppo: The Last Lesson on Prevention
Alexander Laban Hinton (Anthropology and Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers, US)

Moving beyond traditional criticisms of the liberal peace and binary approaches to critical peace research, Rethinking Peace offers to push us into other directions and disciplines to question the emancipation project itself. This edited volume brings together erudite scholars that form the core of peace studies rooted in IR, as well as those that bring insights from development studies and human rights, to work toward a new agenda for the field based on more interdisciplinary foundations. A thought-provoking read that will be interesting for scholars and students, inside and outside the mainstream of peace studies.
Alexander Hinton is Founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights (CGHR), Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention at Rutgers University.   


Professor Giorgio Shani is Chair of the Department of Politics and International Studies and Director of the Rotary Peace Center at International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan.   


Professor Jeremiah Alberg teaches philosophy and religion in the Humanities Department of International Christian University. He is the Director of the Library and of the Center for Teaching and Learning.