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Title: Peace and recovery : witnessing lived experience in Sierra Leone
Author: Twort, Lauren
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 4000
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2015
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A critical re-examination of the liberal peace is conducted to explore the ways in which certain ideas around peace have come to dominate and to be regarded as “common sense”. The foundation of my critique comes in the personalisation of peacebuilding through the stories of people who are the intended beneficiaries of its actions. This thesis seeks to open up and challenge the current measures of success and the location of power by introducing voices and experiences of Mende people located in the Southern and Eastern provinces of Sierra Leone. I have attempted to open up a reflexive space where simple questions can be re-examined and the location of recovery can be seen as a space influenced, shaped and performed in the context of diverse influences. I draw on my personal experience living in Bo, Sierra Leone for two months in 2014 and local level actors' subjective reflections on individual and communal notions of recovery, post-conflict. My findings are reflected in “building blocks” that uncover a partial story of personal perspectives on recovery. The story suggests a de-centred and complex “local” within the existing context and realigns the understanding of subject and agency within peacebuilding. This collection of experiences, stories and encounters reshapes the notion of peace as an everyday activity with the aim of improving well-being on a personal level. It is also a part of the peacebuilding process that exists outside of the traditional organisational lens. My main contribution has been in allowing alternative space(s) of peacebuilding and peace-shaping to have a platform that is not restricted by the confined epistemic “expert” community toward an understanding of “progress” as an experiential and subjective process of recovery. This approach sought to challenge the current site of legitimacy, power and knowledge, and in order to achieve this aim I drew on a new methodological toolkit and the absorption of key concepts from other disciplines such as managerialism and the sociological concept of the “stranger”. My research offers an opportunity to observe and utilise information sourced from the creativity and spontaneity of the everyday lived experiences of Sierra Leoneans and ordinary phenomena connected with this.
Supervisor: Ng, Wilson Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Bo ; Development ; Liberal Peace ; Managerialism ; Neo-Liberalism ; Peacebuilding ; Performance Indicators ; Positionality ; Post-Conflict ; Poststructural ; Power ; Recovery ; Reflexivity ; Sierra Leone ; Success