The European Science Foundation and the Linkoping University are organising a Research Conference on: In search of Peace:2012-387-image Dialogues between theories and practices.

It will take place on 20 - 24 October at the Norrköping, Sweden

 The deadline is extended to 22 September, and several grants are available for young researchers and scholars.

European Science Foundation Conference

In search of Peace: Dialogues between theories and practices

20 - 24 October 2012

The search for peace is longstanding. And yet, the concept remains elusive. Most probably the reason is simple, namely that peace is never fully achieved, it is not an end-point, but rather a constant process of negotiation among different actors regarding the terms of their relationships in a myriad of different arenas.

In this conference the aim is to investigate peace as a process and the various forms in which it has been conceptually framed and empirically practiced. In order to do so, the research objectives of the conference are twofold:

(i) to explore the ways in which specific approaches to peace are (or are not) the outcome of dominant scholarly work and policy agendas; thus conversely

(ii) to examine and investigate how peace is constructed as a concrete and common aspiration that shapes social interactions in daily life.

The purpose is thus to foster and facilitate a dialogue between scholarly interrogations and the various experiments and experiences of peace beyond disciplinary and territorial borders. The conference aims to bring together, on the one hand, academic analyses and research innovations in the politics, histories, and discourses of peace from various disciplines. One the other hand to nurture these debates with the practical expertise and field experiences of civil society actors, activists, journalists, artists and policy-makers. Thus, this conference offers a platform for productive exchange between scholars and practitioners that helps us move towards a sustainable peace. 

During the conference we will seek out the differences and commonalities among the various experiments, discourses, narratives, practices and performances of peace. Given the timeliness of the issue and the urgency to engage in such dialogues, we expect a wide range of participants, including various actors from multiple backgrounds and generations. 

Abstracts related to the general theme of the conference are welcome, and we particularly invite applications for papers, posters and photo-essays along the following themes: 

Conceptualizing peace - moving beyond the liberal paradigm of peace

  • Spaces of/for peace - theoretically imagined and/or practically experienced
  • Actors of/for peace - voices involved in designing peace
  • Peace narratives - practices awaiting theorization / theories awaiting realization
  • Strategies of/for peace - from educational agendas to military interventions to artistic & intercultural projects
  • Networks of peace - beyond and across disciplinary and territorial boundaries

Direct preliminary queries and comments to the conference chair:
Dr. Daniela Vicherat Mattar : d.a.vicherat.mattar[at]luc.leidenuniv.nl

Deadline for application:  30 June 2012

Conference programme:

20 October 2012: arrival day
21 - 23 October 2012: conference programme
24 October 2012: departure after breakfast

 Invited speakers will include:

  • Prof. Victoria Fontan - Head Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the UN University for Peace - Decolonizing Peace: a Southern Epistemology for Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Dr. Alexandra Novosseloff - Senior expert at the Peace and Security Section, Global Governance Institute - “Walls as builders of peace?”
  • Mr. Paul van Tongeren - Co-initiator International Network on ‘Infrastructures for Peace’ - ‘Infrastructures for Peace’ : a promising approach in peacebuilding.
  • Dr. Sara Cobb, Associate Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason University and Director of the Center for the Study of Narrative and Conflict Resolution at S-CAR
  • Prof. Luc Reychler, Center of Peace Research and Strategic Studies, University of Leuven
  • Mr. Dan Smith - Senior Journalist and Secretary General of International Alert
  • Caroline Hayman, Chief executive of Peace Direct
  • Prof. Johan Galtung, Founder of PRIO and Director of Transcend International - The role of discourse for peace practice:The Cold War yesterday; West-Islam and the Middle East today
  • Prof. Wolfgang Dietrich - UNESCO Chair holder for Peace Studies University of Innsbruck, Many Peaces:Peace in History and Culture.
  • Mrs. Geraldine Mattioli-Zeltner - Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch (tbc)

This is the link of the conference website http://www.esf.org/index.php?id=9306 

What is the European Science Foundation?

The establishment of the European Science Foundation (ESF) in Strasbourg in 1974 was one of the earliest milestones on the road to achieving real cooperation in European research. The ESF began life with a membership of 42 academies and research councils in 15 countries; in 2012 it counts 72 Member Organisations (MOs), including research funding organisations, research performing organisations, academies and learned societies, in 30 countries.

As an independent, non-governmental organization dedicated to pan-European scientific networking and collaboration, the ESF has had a key role to play in mediating between a multitude of heterogeneous research cultures and agencies. The ESF hosts an array of instruments to accommodate various types and levels of international collaboration, within Europe and beyond.