ZiF Workshop

Video Conference: Peace and Fear – A multidisciplinary Approach

Date: 17 – 19 February 2021
Convenors: Yaatsil Guevara González (Bielefeld, GER), Sebastián Martínez Fernández (Bielefeld, GER), Joachim Michael (Bielefeld, GER), Andreas Zick (Bielefeld, GER), Roberto Briceno-León (Caracas, VEN)

Why is it important to reflect on the relationships between Fears and Peace?

Societal, collective and individual fears and their relationships to states and processes of peace are the central issue of the workshop. In peace and conflict research many approaches concentrate on one of the issues, either on fears linked to anxieties, threats, regimes or states of fear, depending on the societal or cultural conditions; or on peace as a state or process. Only rarely research or theoretical frameworks bring both concepts of peace and fear together. 

Thus, the first objective of the workshop is to bring together different areas of knowledge in order to better understand the dynamics of conflict at an intra-societal level. The second objective of the workshop is to analyze the conditions of conviviality in the society while considering the increasing tendencies towards differentiation and segregation of social groups. The third objective is to discuss common research initiatives.

In order to achieve this, peace and conflict studies, fear studies, violence studies, security studies, social psychology, culture and media studies and area studies are coming together. This orientation follows the recommendations of the German Council for Science and the Humanities on peace and conflicts studies in Germany to develop such studies by strengthening interdisciplinary openness and to increase cooperation with area studies.

Depending on the spatial, social and cultural location in the world, fear will take different forms and provoke different reactions. For example, in Mexico it will be mainly related to insecurity and violence associated with drug trafficking (Serbin, 2008), while in Germany it will be linked to the threat of the precarization of labor and living standards in the context of globalization (Bude, 2014) as well as to the socio-cultural transformations caused by migratory flows (Castles, 2010). "Different cultures have different ways of being afraid" (idem.). In this sense, we could talk about types of fear, on the one hand, by referring to the different forms and origins that it can have; and, on the other, about the topos of fear, by thinking about the different types of fear depending on the respective society and culture, as well as on the geographical location. Thus, the typologies of fear are directly related to their topology, that is, to social, cultural and historical contexts and conjunctures.

That being said, the workshop will bring together researchers, activists from NGOs dealing with different locations in the world who are confronted with questions of fear and peacekeeping in endangered regions, and research funding agencies. A central aim is also to strengthen the ability of young researchers working on questions of peace and conflict to exchange disciplinary perspectives and question the limits of previous theoretical approaches or new possibilities for empirical analysis. In this way we hope to broaden the field of peace and conflict research.

Conference Programme

The event will be held as a video conference. To register, please contact:

Please direct questions concerning the organisation of the workshop to Marina Hoffmann at the Conference Office. Questions regarding scientific content and contributions should be directed to the organizers.

Tel: +49 521 106-2768
Fax: +49 521 106-152768
E-Mail: marina.hoffmann@uni-bielefeld.de