Externe Expertise und lokale Wirklichkeit – Ambivalenzen des lokal-global-Paradigmas im Irak am Beispiel irakischer Frauenorganisationen
Abstract. External intervention in Iraq has been widely criticised by practitioners and academics: The armed invasion of the US and its allies in 2003 aimed at toppling the Baath Regime and transforming Iraq into a democratic country. While it succeeded in ending the Baath regime, Iraq is far from doing well concerning security, economy and political progress. This situation is often represented as at least partly due to the failure of the US to integrate local perspectives and to pay attention to local needs. Against that backdrop the paper analyses how local actors – in my case non-governmental women's organisations – perceive and interact with international actors and knowledge frameworks. My empirical data show that the assessment of external engagement from a local perspective is far more ambivalent than a binary reading of local vs. external/global as persistent in peace and conflict studies suggests. I break with this binary reading by introducing three concepts to this debate – relations, heterogeneity and assessment of external actors. Thus, I aim to draw a more nuanced picture of the role of external expertises for the Iraqi society as it is perceived by women activists.