'It's not their job to soldier': distinguishing civilian and military in soldiers' and interpreters' accounts of peacekeeping in 1990s Bosnia-Herzegovina
Journal of War and Culture Studies, 3, (1), . (doi:10.1386/jwcs.3.1.137_1).
Peacekeeping operations throw the use of specialized military forces and the aim of accomplishing change in a civilian environment into contradiction. Organizations with cultures that facilitate warfighting have to reorient themselves towards achieving peace and consent rather than victory, making peacekeeping a process of constant intercultural encounters between ‘military’ and ‘civilian’ as well as between ‘international’ and ‘local’. The force’s local employees, civilians necessary in the force’s military tasks, inhabited a particularly ambiguous position. Based on more than 30 oral history interviews with peacekeepers and local interpreters who worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this paper shows how four dimensions of cultural and bodily difference emerged from their narratives: uniforms, weapons, disruptiveness and training.
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