Stabilising crises

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  • Trine Villumsen Berling
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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssembling Exclusive Expertise. Knowledge, Ignorance and Conflict Resolution in the Global South
EditorsAnna Leander, Ole Wæver
Place of PublicationLondon; N.Y.
Publication dateJul 2018
ISBN (Print)9780815353324, 9780815353331
ISBN (Electronic)9781351136747
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
SeriesWorlding Beyond the West

ID: 173803824