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Therapeutising Refugees, Pathologising Populations: International Psycho-Social Programmes in Kosovo

Format
Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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Originally published

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This case study of international responses in Kosovo critically examines how the international psycho-social model constructs war-affected populations as traumatised and subject to psychological dysfunctionalism.

The first half of the paper discusses material that questions the international projection of refugees as traumatised. The second half of the paper explores psycho-social intervention as a new mode of external therapeutic governance.

The paper suggests that the influence of a Western therapeutic ethos on international policy does not necessarily represent a humanist turn, instead highlighting the importance of societies' own coping strategies.