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Stabilizing a crisis as an object of knowledge: How the NATO Defense College made sense of the emerging crises in Libya and Ukraine

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologi

Based on interviews, participant observation and close reading of documents at the NATO Defense College (NDC) this chapter discusses the processes of stabilizing the crises in Libya (2011) and Ukraine (2013-2015) as objects of knowledge. Following the general thrust of this volume, this chapter draws on insights from science and technology studies and its insistence that the production of expert knowledge consists of social and practical processes endowed with power. By stabilizing the knowledge of a messy situation as a certain type of situation with specific features, different types of expertise both define and are constitutively brought in as the right, authoritative type of expertise to inform decisions and evaluations about a crisis. Some types of expertise are ignored, others seem to be somehow privileged. By telling two stories of the types of expertise that went into ‘knowing’ the Libya and the Ukraine ‘situations’, the chapter highlights how the NDC operates with two conceptual pairs which define security expertise: academic knowledge/practical experience and civilian/military perspectives. With regards to Libya, the types of expertise mobilised were both practical expertise about conducting a military mission and academic cultural expertise about the region. The expertise drawn upon in the Ukraine case ranged from local expertise (‘being there’) to nationality (‘being one of them’) to area studies (Russia expertise) and academic knowledge (military history) as well as practical knowledge nested in NATOs civilian and military wings. The chapter ends up reflecting on the role of gender and strong professions in the making of an expert.
TitelThe Production of Expert Ignorance: Assembling International Conflict Resolution Expertise
RedaktørerAnna Leander, Ole Wæver
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2017
NavnWorlding beyond the West

ID: 173803824