War, Civil Conflict, Peace and Security

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This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference seeks to provide a challenging forum for the examination and evaluation of the nature, purpose and experience of war, and its impacts on all aspects of communities across the world.

What is the experience of war and what does it mean to us? Is war an extension of politics by other means? The locomotive of technology? Does a state of peace truly exist, or do we perpetually live in absentia bello ? Is humankind at war in its most natural state; or is human society – despite perceptions and ongoing conflict around the world today – actually moving toward an aversion to war and toward a state of peace? Are Human Rights illusory and is the quest for Human Security achievable?

war core themes

The project will explore and examine the following themes;

  • How do we Talk about War?
    Portrayal, awareness, language and expression. How do we come to understand war in contemporary and historical cultures?
  • Representations and Experiences
    Viewing War as a multi-layered social phenomena.
  • History and Development of Warfare and War Fighting.
    How have we fought and why. Lessons learned, mistakes repeated.
  • Extent, Conduct and Morality
    Can war even be distinguished from peace, combatant from non-combatant, who are legitimate targets? The totalisation of war in modern society and culture.
  • Human Rights and Human Security
    Have the means and methods in war, finally outpaced International law and norms of behaviour? What protection is available? If truth is the first casualty in war, is human rights the second?
  • The Boundaries of War
    How far will humankind push the limits of acceptable behaviour and practice in war?
  • Prevention and Peacebuilding
    Can we give peace a chance? Viewing war as un-natural, preventable within a variety of frameworks. The legal mechanisms and the trans-national social movements ‘waging peace’.
  • The Role of Non-state Actors and NGOs in War and Post-conflict.
    Breaking the state conundrum, participation in relief from the depredations of war, alleviating the suffering, advocacy from theatres of war. Or compromising humanitarian Aid? Force multipliers? Abrogating combatant’s responsibilities toward their populations.
  • Future War: Revolutions in Military Affairs – Emerging Types of Warfare.
    Be afraid, be very afraid. Are there no limits to mans inhumanity to man?

These are indicative themes; as the project develops, further areas of research will be added for exploration and examination.