The Fuzzy Environment and Postmodern Soldiers: The Motivations of the Italian Contingent in Bosnia
erschienen in der Publikation "Peace Operations between Peace and War" (ISBN: 0 7146 4989 9) - April 2000
The Motivations of the Italian Contingent in Bosnia
Peacekeeping operations take place in a structurally different environment from the one in which soldiers traditionally operated. The change is from a war environment, dominated by the binary logic of friendly/hostile, to a peacemaking environment, based on the multivalent, blurred, 'fuzzy' logic of friend/foe/non-foe. In parallel, the soldier's function changes from interested party to disinterested party, from antagonist to stander by, from player to referee. What does it mean to go from a role entailing (a maximum of) direct involvement to one implying abstention from direct involvement and, on the contrary, the formulation of judgement and the management of mediation? What happens to an actor institutionally and culturally prepared to 'play' when, contrary to his training and to a culture that has been assimilated for years and generations, he finds he has to 'referee'? And, lastly, what does it mean to 'referee' a match that, as described by Karl Weick, does not present the certain rules and high-contrast colors of classic combat, but the ambiguous and sometimes fuzzy multivalent contingencies of peacekeeping? This analysis sets out to offer some lines of theoretical reflection and empirical evidence on these questions.