The Constitution of Peace: Current Debates and Future Perspectives

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 conceptualisation 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.

11.-13.10.2012 | Program | Poster | Report

Organisers: Susanne Buckley-Zistel, Annika Henrizi, Anne Lang, Julia Viebach, Robert Nagel

The conference was supported by the Universitätsstiftung Marburg and the Ursula-Kuhlmann-Fonds