Everyday Peace in the Ninewa Plains, Iraq: Culture, Rituals, and Community Interactions

Amal Bourhrous, Dylan O'Driscoll

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Although the need for local ownership of peacebuilding is routinely emphasized, the importance and the modalities of engaging with local cultures and traditions are not adequately understood, and the peacebuilding potential of local customs remains largely unharnessed. Drawing on extensive interviews with community leaders (n94) and farmers and villagers (n107), and using a conceptual framework that combines notions of the everyday and events that mark a rupture with the everyday, this article explores the opportunities that local people’s everyday interactions, culture, and traditions offer for peacebuilding in post-Islamic State Ninewa Plains, Iraq. In doing so, the article makes a theoretical contribution to the everyday peace literature by further developing existing typologies of everyday acts and attitudes of everyday peace. Demonstrating how everyday acts and attitudes of peace sit on a scale with negative peace on the one end and positive peace on the other, the article introduces the concept of ‘affinity’ on the positive peace side of the scale, to refer to an affective engagement with the other and to acts of getting to know, understand, and participate in what is important to the other community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Early online date7 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Open access CC-BY


This publication was made possible through support provided by the
Innovation, Technology and Research Hub of the U.S. Agency for International Development, through the LASER PULSE Programme under the terms of Cooperative Agreement No. 7200AA18CA00009


  • affinity
  • culture
  • Iraq
  • local peace
  • everyday
  • rituals

Institute themes

  • Peace and Conflict
  • Faith and Peaceful Relations
  • Migration, Displacement and Belonging


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