When EuPRA first started out as an academic organization, it was the end of the Cold War. The optimism of the era for a more peaceful world encouraged peace researchers across Europe to do more peace-related research. Yet, this optimism did not last very long. the realities of the new millenium , such as the ethnic conflicts which emerged following the collapse of USSR and Yugoslavia and especially the period after 9/11 did not fulfill legitimate expectations.
Today, although several indicators point towards a more peaceful world, the resurging habit of resorting to force as a way of conflict resolution in several domestic and international settings shatter our hopes of peace by peaceful means. Even in places where there may not be a hot war or an ethnic conflict or the shadow of transnational terrorism, we see countries in several structural problems which make the ideal of positive peace more difficult.
However these developments render peace research all the more important. The quest to understand not only why we, the humans, go to war, but also why we cannot reach peace or how we can reach peace becomes critical in furthering the field.
Another key feature of the new millenium for peace research is the impact of communication technologies on the field. All across the world, academic studies have become more international and more interdisciplinary thanks to easiness of communication and easiness of access to various sources of information during the last two decades. In this context, first, the topics related to peace studies became more complex. Today peace is sought not only in the world system but also within countries, communities, even families. The increasingly cosmopolitan and interdisciplinary character of the peace research community, which are two of the major strengths of this field, resulted in multilayered studies scrutinizing peace related topics in several different micro and macro contexts and allowing for an increased level of sophistication as well as an increased level of cooperation among scholars.
We, as EuPRA, stand where this sophistication and cooperation meet and carry us to better quality academic works for understanding as well as implementable policies for solving the problems standing in front of peace. We would like to offer peace researchers who study peace related issues in Europe and its neighborhood a platform of communication and cooperation. We would like to be the venue for a meeting of the minds working towards a better future.
For this meeting of the minds, we need you. Please stay tuned with us, write to us, tell us about yourselves and join us in our upcoming conference in Tromsø, Norway 3-5 September 2015.