The Constitution of Peace.
Current Debates and Future Perspectives.
Zentrumstage 11-13 October 2012, City Hall Marburg
It has become a commonplace in academic scholarship to regard peace as an ontologically suspicious concept, as troubling in its own way as war, to use Jean Bethke Elshtain’s words. It is thus surprising that despite recent scholarship the term still remains largely under-studied and under-theorised. If we follow contemporary criticism regarding the prevailing conceptualisation of peace—that it is firmly embedded in liberal thought, for example—the question arises whether it is possible to consider alternative ways of thinking peace. Moreover, since practises of building peace have come under severe criticism from both an empirical and a conceptual perspective, it is time to consider new approaches. The conference seeks to push the debate forward by proposing and discussing alternative ways of understanding peace. This may take conceptual and/or empirical forms.
The objective of the conference is therefore twofold:
First, it seeks to review current criticism of the prevailing conceptionalisation of peace and to envisage alternative forms which respond to these critiques. Inter alia, the conference seeks to analyse the liberal peace paradigm from various perspectives including post-structuralism, feminism and post-colonialism.
Second, from an empirical perspective, it aims at investigating current peace-building practises to highlight their strengths and weaknesses regarding the conceptualisation and implementation of peace (building) programmes, and the relationship between global peace-builders and local people affected by violence (and peace) among other perspectives.
The presentations address the following questions and related issues:
- How can peace be conceptualized differently? Can violence be transformed into forms of peace that go beyond the prevailing paradigm of liberal peace?
- Do critical approaches such as post-structuralism, feminist or post-colonial perspectives offer new and relevant insights?
- As peace-building is often approached via external intervention, what role do people affected by violence and peace play in peace building initiatives and how do external agents interact with them?
- Are there locally situated definitions of peace that may extend – or contradict – notions of peace introduced from the outside?
- How do common mechanisms of peace building programmes, such as state-building, democratization, security-sector reform, etc., foster or impede peace processes?
- What are the lessons learned in peace building practice, and what do we acquire from this with regard to theory building and new practical approaches?
- How can we conduct research into peace building and what methodological challenges need to be considered?
Key note addresses will be delivered by John Heathershaw (Exeter) and Rama Mani (Geneva).
The list of presenters is available here.
The programm is available here.
For registration please send us a short e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The conference takes place at the City Hall of Marburg. For more information about Marburg click here. For more details and accomodation please visit the official tourism website .
Organisers: Susanne Buckley-Zistel, Annika Henrizi, Anne Lang, Julia Viebach, Robert Nagel
Die Zentrumstage 2010/Conference 2010 - "Transitional justice - Local Conflicts, Global Norms"
On the 23.-25.03.2010 the conference "Transitional Justice - Local conflicts, Global Norms" was organized by the Center for Conflict Studies.
The concept transitional justice (TJ) is rapidly gaining in significance as a way of dealing with the past of a violent conflict or genocide. It refers to processes and mechanisms of addressing the legacy of past violence in order to promote the transition to peace and security in a divided society. This may include retributive justice in form of punishment through trials and tribunals as well as restorative justice aiming at restoring community relations through e.g. truth commissions or memory work. Given the global reach of the concepts the conference asks how these globally established norms relate to the particularities of local conflicts where they are being applied and what impact they have on peaceful co-existence after extreme violence.
The term transitional justice was first used in the 1990s to describe a time of change which marked the ‘transition’ from a violent to a peaceful society, thereby establishing ties with the wider debate about democratisation and peace building in post-conflict societies. Its special contribution to the debate is that the phase of change is closely linked with the pursuit of justice. TJ is based on the assumption that the transition to peace after violent conflicts or dictatorship requires a clear break from injustices and the amelioration of human rights abuses and war crimes. Hence, it is not only retrospectively aimed at the past but also towards a future of peace. In concrete, the aims of transitional justice can be summarised as: uncovering the truth about crimes, identifying those responsible and holding them accountable, restoring the dignity of the victims, encouraging reconciliation and peaceful coexistence, as well as preventing future conflicts and criminal offenses.
Despite the novelty of the concept the there has been a boom of practical activities and academic discussions over the past years. Against this backdrop we would like to pay particular attention to the normative content of the concept. The objective of our conference is a critical engagement with transitional justice processes, in particular the globalisation of the normative construct of justice in relation to post-conflict peace-building and the local particularities of non-Western societies.
The Conference took place in the Department of Psychology,
For more Information about Marburg city click here, for more Details and Accomodation possibilities visit the official website of .
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