IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Asking some interesting questions

I just saw this post:

“8th Global Conference: War and Peace Conference 

Call for Papers: DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACT IS 10TH DEC, 2010
The opening decade of the 21st century has seen war assume a number of new forms – new at least in relation to the 20th century. So, for instance, the West’s war in Afghanistan is already longer than WW2, and shows no sign of coming to an end; the nature of those engaged in war has widened to include a variety of non-state agents; and war itself has come to include as arguably justifiable tactics and strategies previously either excluded or at least not recognized as legitimate. In short, the distinction between war and peace is becoming increasingly unclear.

The 2011 conference is part of a continuing and explicitly multi- and inter-disciplinary conversation that aims to bring together people from a wide range of disciplines to focus on this centrally significant aspect of our social lives in order better to understand the nature and place of war and peace.

The main themes are outlined below: however, we are also pleased to receive proposals that extend or complement these. We seek contributions from both practitioners and academics, and from the widest possible range of intellectual interests and commitments.

1. What Counts as War; What Counts as Peace?
~ The militarization of civil life: legislation;
economics; surveillance; terrorism; torture.
~ States of exception and their role between
peace and war.
~ Possible forms of warfare: economic blockade;
propaganda; drones; virtual weapons and wars;
alternatives to physical force.

2. Actors and Agents
~ The nature and evaluation of non-state
combatants: private companies; ad-hoc
supranational organisations; the UN.
~ War and capitalism: state, corporation and
globalization; war as an arm of domestic policy;
low-level wars since WW2 as forms of testing
and preparation.
~ Responsibility for and in war: social and individual agency.

3. Explaining, Understanding and Judging War – and Peace
~ Killing: why is it prima facie wrong?
~ War and utopianism: ideals as motivation for/cause of war.
~ The interplay between language and physical reality in warfare and its promulgation.
~ The representation and communication of suffering.
~ War as aesthetic object.

The conference is part of the Probing the Boundaries programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

For further details about the project please visit:

For further details about the conference please visit:
http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/probing-the-boundaries/hostility-… “


I don’t expect many readers to actually participate in the conference (kudos to you if you do).  However, I think the way the conference is trying to focus on and bring clarity to the basic issues of what is “war” and what is “peace” in our era is interesting and very useful.  Their point about the nature of conflict changing is spot on, and it stands to reason that if the “problem” is, in fact, changing, then the way we talk about it needs to evolve to keep up since that would, logically, assist us in finding solutions that fit the new problem(s).


December 6, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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