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Title: From civilising mission to civilian power : rethinking EU peacebuilding from a postcolonial perspective
Author: Paone, Martina
ISNI:       0000 0004 8509 9838
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This research explores the reverberations of the colonial experience in the European Union (EU) peacebuilding policymaking towards the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In particular, it aims to reconstruct the linkages between the European colonial past and modern-day European Union, in order to assess to what extent such historical heritage is manifested in the discursive practices of EU policymaking on peacebuilding towards the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thus, the thesis seeks to answer the following research question: How can postcolonial and decolonial theory help us understand the dominant discourses and politics that frame the EU construction of peacebuilding practice in DRC? To do so, the research positions itself in a critical conversation with EU Studies and Postcolonial Studies, and mobilises a Discourse-Historical Approach influenced by Colonial Discourse Theory as a methodological tool. After having gathered interviews with EU Officials working on peacebuilding policies; having conducted archival research in the Historical Archives of the European Union; and having undertaken participant-observation at the European External Action Service, the results of this research are mainly twofold: Firstly, this study shows that within EU peacebuilding, the European colonial legacy is hardly addressed by policy-makers; however, the EU relies on a dehistoricised regime where selective historical events are mobilised towards the objective of legitimising EU peacebuilding actions. Secondly, the research identifies discursive strategies that reproduce colonial discourses in EU peacebuilding policymaking. These strategies, mainly based on racial stereotypes, connote an unchanging order based on a fixed donor/recipient binary. Such pervasive discourses tend to perpetuate dependency, instead of reaffirming an independent peace process that is supposed to be the end goal of EU peacebuilding policies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: GEM PhD School
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration ; JZ International relations