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Title: Practices of emancipation : an analysis of security, dialogue and change in post-war Vukovar
Author: Fowle, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 0123 5784
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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The thesis analyses the Croatian city of Vukovar as a way of animating theoretical debates about the relationship between security, emancipation and practice. It claims that emancipation must be understood through experiences of security and insecurity as they are lived. Located in security studies, it begins with a critical reading of the Welsh School. Ken Booth's original move to associate security with emancipation opened up new possibilities for reimagining the field and for practicing security, but subsequent developments orientated the security as emancipation move towards closure. A genuinely open way of exploring this move is the context of Andrew Linklater's adaptation of Habermasian discourse ethics. In this way an engagement between Booth and Linklater is opened which runs throughout the thesis. The second part introduces Vukovar. It details the violence of late-1991 seen in the city, and outlines how the emergence of Croatian democracy represents a form of settlement. Yet patterns of memorialisation and reconstruction in Vukovar entrench a pro-Croat narrative of settlement at the expense of non-Croats who are unjustly excluded. Furthermore, interviews with leaders of local civil society, religious and political groups suggest that difference and contestation, rather than settlement, characterise the post-war period in Vukovar. The third part presents an analysis of the emancipatory practices which take place within the local context of contestation. Interviews with NGOs in Vukovar support Booth's emphasis on civil society groups as agents of emancipation. Subsequent interviews challenge his view in important ways as the human limits of emancipatory practices are revealed. However, even when such limitations are taken into account, certain civil society practices show how Booth and Linklater's respective understandings of emancipatory practice are played out in what are termed microdialogic communities. These alternative dialogues open new spaces and allow dominant understandings of the war to be challenged.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DR Balkan Peninsula