Lab member Md Azmeary Ferdoush, a researcher from the University of Eastern Finland recently published “Peacework: Everyday negative peace across South Asian borderscapes”, a chapter in the volume in Making Geographies of Peace and Conflict. It is available from the Tailor & Francis Group website here: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003345794-11/peacework-md-azmeary-ferdoush
In this chapter, I contend that postcolonial South Asian states are characterized by “negative peace” as frequent (re)drawing of borders not only results in recurrent violence but also keeps providing the logic for new boundaries and categories that divide the people between and within national borders. In other words, territorial borders limit the possibility of maximizing human potential and consequently, act against the integration of human society. I begin by first tracing a brief history of border making in postcolonial South Asia to demonstrate how those borders result in massive violence, and concurrently, provide grounds for creating perceived difference based on categories and boundaries. I then demonstrate that the use of those categories is not limited to borders but, they stretch across numerous borderscapes that inhibit attaining “positive peace.” The concluding section shifts attention to the strategies and actions of “ordinary people” in dismantling those boundaries and categories—a process I call peacework. Peacework is used daily across South Asian borderscapes to avoid or defer violence. Thus, I conclude, the nature of everyday peace attained across South Asian borderscapes is best viewed as negative.