Media intervention in post-war settings: Insights from the Epistemologies of the South

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Sofia Jose Santos
Sara Araújo
Teresa Almeida Cravo


Over the past two decades, international intervention in post-war settings has strictly followed liberal assumptions and practices. Efforts to build and shape the media in the aftermath of armed conflict are no exception. In setting the foundations for the rule of law, liberal democracy and free market, external actors have (re)defined what constitutes the mediascape – that is, the various spheres of communication within public discourse – and how to (re)construct it. Imprinted with modernity’s tenets and western assumptions about the public space, this approach has understood the mediascape narrowly as limited to traditional, established, liberal media, serving to validate particular actors and processes whilst obscuring, neglecting and shutting off global diversity. Law and technology, this paper argues, are the two main axes through which legitimation and exclusion are effected. A myopic focus on legal and technological aspects of the media reduces a rich space of local discourses, norms and practices to western-like media legislation, training and outlets, narrowing in turn the sites for addressing violence and building peace.

Palabras clave
Epistemologies of the South, Peace Media, Peacebuilding,


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Santos, S. J., Araújo, S., & Cravo, T. A. (2016). Media intervention in post-war settings: Insights from the Epistemologies of the South. Commons. Revista De Comunicación Y Ciudadanía Digital, 5(2). Recuperado a partir de
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Sofia Jose Santos, CES (Centro de Estudios Sociales, Coimbra, Portugal)

Sofia José Santos is Associate Researcher of the Centre for Social Studies (CES) and Guest Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, and Researcher at OBSERVARE, Autonomous University of Lisbon. Previously, she was post-doc researcher at CES and researcher and coordinator for media and communications at Promundo-Europe. She holds a PhD and a MA in "International Politics and Conflict Resolution", School of Economics, University of Coimbra, a BsC in International Relations from the same faculty, and a specialization in Journalism from the Centre for Journalist Professional Training (CENJOR), Lisbon. She was junior researcher at CES from 2008 to 2015, where she also co-coordinated and co-edited the P@x Online bulletin, from 2008 to 2014.She was journalist and editor of Rede Angola, in 2013, main officer at the International Office of Coimbra College of Education (2005-2007), and intern at the UN Information Centre, in Lisbon (2003).Her current research interests include: media, peace and violences; peace media, peacebuilding and the liberal peace; cities and paradiplomacy; media and contestation politics;big data, privacy and internet governance; masculinities and violence prevention.In February 2009, she completed a six month research/mobility period at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. She was also a visiting scholar at the Flemish Peace Institute in 2010.

Sara Araújo, Centre for Social Studies - University of Coimbra

Sara Araújo is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies and a member of the Research Group on Democracy, Citizenship and Law. She is co-coordinator of the project "ALICE - Strange Mirrors, Unsuspected Lessons: Leading Europe to a new way of sharing the world experience", in which thinking and research are being developed from the proposal of the Epistemologies of the South. Sara Araújo holds a PhD in "Law, Justice, and Citizenship in the Twenty First Century" from the University of Coimbra. Her master dissertation was awarded with the Prize Agostinho da Silva by the Lisbon Academy of Sciences. She was part of the Permanent Observatory for the Portuguese Justice and has been a member of the bi-national research team for the Revision of the Judicial Organization of Mozambique. Her main research interests are on issues related to legal pluralism, access to justice, community justice/Alternative Dispute Resolution/Informal Justice, Justice Administration in Africa, human rights and interculturality, ecology of knowledges and ecology of justices.

Teresa Almeida Cravo, Centre for Social Studies - University of Coimbra

Teresa Almeida Cravo is a Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, at the Humanities, Migration and Peace Studies Research Group, and an Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra. She is currently co-coordinator of the PhD Programme Democracy in the XXIst Century and coordinator of the Master Programme in International Relations at the University of Coimbra.She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, Department of Politics and International Studies. Her thesis developed a critique of development aid discourses of success and failure in post-conflict states in Africa, focusing on Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. She graduated in International Relations from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra, in Portugal. She completed a diploma on Human Rights and Democratization in the Law Faculty at the same University and was later awarded a Master of Arts in Peace Studies from Bradford University, in the United Kingdom.Teresa was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Westminster between 2013 and 2015, to develop her post-doc research project on international interventionism in peripheral states. She was an Associate of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2010-2011, after holding a Predoctoral Fellowship at their International Security Program and the Intrastate Conflict Program between 2008-2010. Her research interests include peace and conflict, security and development, interventionism, and foreign policy, particularly within the Lusophone context.


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