I am senior lecturer in International Relations at the University of Tasmania. I am particularly interested in the sociology of globalisation – that is in the way we humans organise ourselves to connect across national borders. I want to understand the patterns of power and authority that enable or, more often than not, inhibit people to live peacefully and justly together.
Like most sociologists I assume that the reproduction of these structures is largely unconscious. We all contribute to society, whether we want or not, and always without the explicit intention of making society. This conundrum is particularly striking when the intention of our doing is precisely to create peace and justice, and, yet, we do not achieve this ideal. In my recent book ‘The Distinction of Peace’ I have analysed the case of peacebuilding. Despite of their noble intention to build peace, peace missions have rarely created just and peaceful societies in post-conflict settings. When I started the research for this book I was wondering if peacebuilders, simply by being the people they are, maybe already reproducing power patterns in the world that lay the seeds to the failure of international peace missions. So the book asks who becomes an aid worker in peace missions and what difference the social selection of careers makes. You can learn more about my book in the section ‘The Distinction of Peace’.