Peace and Conflict Studies from the margins to the center
Rethinking Europe in an unequal world
EuPRA 2017 and AFK Joint Conference, 16-18 March 2017
in cooperation with Evangelische Akademie Villigst, Schwerte (nearby Dortmund), Germany
In March 2017, the European Peace Research Association (EuPRA) and the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, AFK) will hold a joint conference. We invite all scholars to present their academic work on the political challenges Europe is currently facing, while reflecting on the continent´s role and responsibilities in light of global power structures.
Against the backdrop of current developments in Europe, including the securitization of borders, the selection and categorization of refugees and other displaced persons, the challenges of integration and growing racist and right-wing popular movements and discourses, we invite you to apply the idea of a renewal from and for the margins to contemporary peace and conflict studies.
This conference aims at bringing together approaches to develop reflexive, critical, empirical, and normative thought to confront and probe our positions and practices and to reflect on their location vis-à-vis the centers and margins of power. In addition, new developments urge us to acknowledge and appreciate challenges and alternatives to Western or Westernized thought. It is also high time to acknowledge and investigate European involvements in current economic and violent conflicts and the various ways in which these involvements also contribute to migration and refugee movements. The refugee crisis is a wake-up call for European peace and conflict studies to confront inherent tendencies that marginalize non-western thought and privilege a flattering self-image shaped by humanitarianism and a good dose of mission civilisatrice.
We especially encourage contributions that address academic and political challenges in one or more of the following fields:
· Regarding theories and concepts in contemporary peace and conflict studies, we would like to focus on implicit judgments, latent political agendas and structural blind spots.
· The theories and epistemologies we use are dominated by Western intellectual traditions, while Europe, as well as the rest of the world, is characterized by heterogeneous histories and cultures of knowledge. With this acknowledgement comes curiosity about how we may conceive of, think about and analyze social reality differently. The question is how we may become able to think and conduct our research differently. Regarding empirical research, we invite analyses of global inequalities and direct and indirect, physical, epistemic, cultural and structural violence between North and South, as well as center and periphery inside and outside of Europe. We particularly welcome contributions that aim to analyze specific connections between macro-phenomena – such as (neo‑)colonialism, capitalism (especially in its neoliberal form) and patriarchy - and gendered inequalities, violence and discrimination. Analyzing such connections will likely enable a closer understanding of contemporary or historical workings of power and domination. We also invite quantitative researchers to consider and point out how their work may contribute or already contributes to the analysis of power and domination.
· Regarding methodology and research practice, we would like this conference to reflect the many ways in which widely applied methods and common research practices are imbued with inequality. Research approaches that are developed by the former colonized may deviate significantly from mainstream approaches. While western field researchers often aim to discover local perceptions and points of view, there is no way to ensure that they also mutually share information and methodologies with informants ‒ and that they do not produce knowledge that may eventually be used to intervene and govern local populations. What approaches have been developed to do research differently? And what consequences does doing things differently usually have for researchers’ careers?
Quality papers seemingly beyond this focus may be considered as well, especially from natural and engineering sciences.
Limited funding of the panelists´ conference fees may be provided in exceptional cases (see application form). Childcare is provided on request.