Centre for peace studies welcomes PhD students and researchers to the open conference
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The discourses and practices of peace building processes in post-conflict and volatile environments that aim to achieve or sustain peace often tend to exclude local communities and treat them as beneficiaries instead of active participants, creators, and agents. This has led to failures, which have prompted questions about the legitimacy of external and top-down peace building approaches and calls for local ownership and participation. The `view from below` came as a response to this criticism. In such a context, this Critical Interdisciplinary Conference on Studying Peace from Below aims to interrogate and problematize how the `from below` perspective has been used in teaching, research, and policy (in educational and research institutions, as well as state, regional, and supranational organizations, e.g. the EU, the AU, the ASEAN, the UN etc.).
Recently, the UN identified peace, justice, and gender equality as some of the important themes to be addressed in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In view of this, we want to explore and better understand the relevance and significance of studying peace from below vis-à-vis the SDGs, with a particular focus on the issues of achieving peace, justice, and gender equality. The core objective is to examine the possibilities, tensions, and even contradictions that are inherent in ‘the view from below’ as it has been conceptualized and applied so far. What kind of results or consequences has it had for the interdisciplinary field of peace studies and adjacent fields? We also ask what it has allowed us to accomplish, how the perspective from below translates into teaching and policy environment(s) and what happens to it throughout that process.
The conference welcomes both theoretical and empirical discussions. We would particularly welcome submissions that address the ‘view from below’ problematic within the following crosscutting topics:
Identity Politics and Peace: While it was a major concern to both academics and policy makers in the 1990s and early 2000s, identity politics have remained profoundly germane to the understanding of present-day political conflicts, as they relate to the recent revivalism of ethnicity and nationalism across the globe. This panel considers identity politics as an important theme to approaching peace from below. We invite papers that explore theoretical insights and empirical cases with regard to the significance of social and political identities to notions of peace in general, and to practices of peacebuilding from below, in particular.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Gender Justice, and Peace: Gender, peace, and development are closely linked. While gender justice is a precondition for peace and integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development, gender inequality could lead to conflict and violence at all levels. This thematic section welcomes papers that critically address gender in peace and development in general. In particular, it welcomes papers that address how gender issues have been framed discursively within the SDGs and the gaps in the SDG narrative on gender issues and its implications for peace and development both in the Global North and South.
Gendered Agency and Transitional Justice (TJ): While TJ acknowledges importance of gender, ‘gendering TJ’ often gets skewed towards ‘women victims of war-time rape’ discussions. Critical voices point to the homogenization of women`s experiences of war, the denial of agency, and the re-production of patriarchal structures that, under the auspices of "doing gender" police and perpetuate stereotypes while failing to acknowledge the diverse expressions of femininities, masculinities, and the intersection of grievances. Against this background, this stream welcomes papers that address the following aspects: TJ as/verses intersectional justice; and masculinities/femininities/queerness in TJ