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Interpreting the peace: peace operations, conflict and language in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Kelly, M; Baker, Catherine


M Kelly


Interpreting the Peace is the first full-length study of language support in multinational peace operations. Building peace depends on being able to communicate with belligerents, civilians and forces from other countries. This depends on effective and reliable mediation between languages. Yet language is frequently taken for granted in the planning and conduct of peace operations. Looking in detail at 1990s Bosnia-Herzegovina, this book shows how the UN and NATO forces addressed these issues and asks what can be learned from the experience. Drawing on more than fifty interviews with military personnel, civilian linguists and locally-recruited interpreters, the book explores problems such as the contested roles of military linguists, the challenges of improving a language service in the field, and the function of nationality and ethnicity in producing trust or mistrust. It will be of interest to readers in contemporary history, security studies, translation studies and sociolinguistics, and to practitioners working in translation and interpreting for military services and international organizations.


Kelly, M., & Baker, C. (2012). Interpreting the peace: peace operations, conflict and language in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Palgrave Macmillan

Book Type Authored Book
Acceptance Date Dec 28, 2012
Publication Date Dec 28, 2012
ISBN 978-1-13702-983-6
Public URL