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Populist peacemaking: Trump's peace initiatives in the Middle East and the Balkans
JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift)
ID 4657179
Author(s) Landau, Dana; Lehrs, Lior
Author(s) at UniBasel Landau, Dana
Year 2022
Title Populist peacemaking: Trump's peace initiatives in the Middle East and the Balkans
Journal International affairs
Volume 98
Number 6
Pages / Article-Number 2001–2019

With the rise of populist leaders around the world, populism's impact on foreign policy and international affairs has come into focus. Adding to this literature, we propose the concept of ‘populist peacemaking’, in which key tenets of populism, in style and substance, are projected onto the sphere of international mediation. We offer an analytical framework for understanding populist peacemaking consisting of three features. Firstly, populist peacemaking is characterized by a rejection of the ‘peacemaking elites’ and their established rules and practices, including international norms, a refutation of context-specific knowledge, and a clean-slate approach that disregards past peacemaking attempts and alienates other international mediators. Secondly, populist peacemaking employs aggrandized rhetoric and symbolism that puts the mediator—rather than the conflict parties—in the spotlight, thus integrating domestic politics into peacemaking. Finally, populist peacemaking frames the process as representing the volonté générale, i.e. serving the interests of the ‘pure people’ in the conflict-affected context. We illustrate this phenomenon empirically with a case-study of United States' peacemaking efforts during the Trump era, tracing initiatives pursued by US envoys in the Israeli–Palestinian and Kosovo–Serbia conflicts. From this analysis, populist peacemaking emerges as a distinct phenomenon, not to be subsumed under the heading of ‘illiberal peacemaking’.

Publisher Oxford University Press
ISSN/ISBN 0020-5850
Full Text on edoc
Digital Object Identifier DOI
Top-publication of... Landau, Dana

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