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International accompaniment in violent scenarios. A performative reading of Peace Brigades International in Colombia

Universitetet i Tromsø
Publication Date
  • Vdp::Samfunnsvitenskap: 200::Statsvitenskap Og Organisasjonsteori: 240
  • International Accompaniment
  • Security
  • Human Security
  • Capabilities
  • Human Rights
  • Communication
  • Political Science


Since its first application in Central America in the 1980s, the practice of nonviolent international accompaniment of civil society members threatened with political violence has undergone substantial growth. This thesis provides an understanding of protective international accompaniment as a communicative phenomenon. It shows the intricate dynamics of international accompaniment and its impact on two major interlocutors: the host government and the accompanied, under a discursive focus inspired by Speech Acts Theory. Taking Colombia’s protracted armed conflict and Peace Brigades International Project in the country as a case study, the narrative focuses on both interlocutors in order to unveil their distinctive nature. On the one hand, following the conceptual groundwork provided by the Copenhagen School, it will be argued that there is a conflictive matrix in the relationship between PBI and the Colombian Government, based on the established dialectical competition over securitisation enabled by their differentiated legitimacy. On the other hand, Colombian civil society groups accompanied by PBI receive a pluralist range of benefits, which can be translated into the language of human needs, human capabilities and (human)security, building on the work of scholars such as M. Max-Neef, A. Sen and M. Nussbaum.

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