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Nicolas Lemay-Hébert and Gezim Visoka, ‘Normal Peace: A New Strategic Narrative of Intervention’, Politics and Governance, 5(3) 2017: 146-56.
International actors have used multiple discursive frameworks for justifying interventions, from human security to the responsibility to protect, and, most recently, resilience-building. We argue that the language of normalization, hidden behind these narratives of interventions, has also contributed to structure the intervention landscape, albeit in less obvious and overt ways than other competing narratives of intervention. This article disentangles the different practices of normalization in order to highlight their ramifications. It introduces the concept of normal peace—a new conceptual reference to understand interventions undertaken by the international community to impose, restore or accept normalcy in turbulent societies. The article argues that the optimization of interventions entails selective responses to govern risk and adapt to the transitional international order. The art of what is politically possible underlines the choice of optimal intervention, be that to impose an external order of normalcy, restore the previous order of normalcy, or accept the existing order of normalcy.