Decolonizing Branded Peacebuilding: Abjected Women Talk back to the Finnish Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Jauhola, Marjaana. 2016. “Decolonizing Branded Peacebuilding: Abjected Women Talk back to the Finnish Women, Peace and Security Agenda.” International Affairs 92 (2): 333–51. doi:10.1111/1468-2346.12554.

 

Author: Marjaana Jauhola

Abstract:

This article interrogates the sexual ideology of Finnish peacebuilding, the country’s foreign policy brand and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda by examining the experiences of women ’written out of history’. Using the method of ’writing back’ I juxtapose the construction of a gender-friendly global peacebuilder identity with experiences in Finland after the Lapland War (1944–45) and in post-conflict Aceh, Indonesia (1976–2005). Although being divided tempo- rarily and geographically, these two contexts form an intimate part of the abjected and invisible part of the Finnish WPS agenda, revealing a number of colonial and violent overtones of postwar reconstruction: economic and political postwar dystopia of Skolt Sámi and neglect of Acehnese women’s experiences in branding the peace settlement and its implementation as a success. Jointly they critique and challenge both the gender/women-friendly peacebuilder identity construction of Finland and locate the sexual ideology of WPS to that of political economy and post-conflict political, legal and economic reforms. The article illustrates how the Finnish foreign policy brand has constructed the country as a global problem- solver and peacemaker, drawing on the heteronormative myth of already achieved gender equality on the one hand and, on the other, tamed asexual female subjec- tivity: the ‘good woman’ as peacebuilder or victim of violence. By drawing atten- tion to violent e ects of the global WPS agenda demanding decolonialization, I suggest that the real success of the WPS agenda should be evaluated by those who have been ‘written out’. 

 

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender Balance, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexuality Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Finland, Indonesia

Year: 2016

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