Performing Peace?building – Conferences, Rituals and the Role of Ethnographic Research
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This article explores performance and ritual theory in the context of anthropological research on peace?building institutions and knowledge discourses, as well as the process of writing up an ethnographic PhD thesis. Based on fieldwork in Germany and Nepal, the article's aim is to expand the theoretical scope of ‘aidnography’ and apply it to knowledge management, workshops, global conferences and the author's performance in these spaces. The article analyses how a potentially critical and contested concept such as liberal peace?building has been absorbed by an emerging ritual economy of indoor events, policy papers and transnational actors. These strategies of organisational and professional self?promotion create depoliticised action and products in the context of global aid chain management.