Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

InterAmerican Studies / Estudios InterAmericanos

Entanglements Between Peace and Violence: New Interdisciplinary Approaches (CALAS) (24-25.06.2019)

How could anyone understand a war that lasts for half a century and that seemed to be never ending? For many decades, armed internal conflicts have raged in Colombia, but still social life in urban centers usually did not seem to be affected to any greater extent. Elsewhere we find similarly contradictory cases, such as the civil war in Syria where in many regions the civil society was under deadly attacks while the bourgeoisie in Damascus enjoyed the capital?s nightlife and trips to the sea side. Then again, there are constellations of peace where violence rages. One example of this is the post-conflict period in Central America. The peace treaties of the 1990s marked the end of the civil wars but the subsequent transition to peace also led to new forms of violence. Today, the region appears (in terms of rates of homicide) as one of the most dangerous in the world. What all these cases show is that peace and violence apparently are not necessarily mutually exclusive, as there can be moments and zones of peace in the middle of war as well as different forms of violence in the midst of peace. Hence, peace and violence coexist next to each other even though they are opposites. These observations lead us to the conclusion that the concepts of peace and war need to be reconsidered. With this conference, we take up the challenge to open up a conceptual and interdisciplinary debate between the Humanities and the Social Sciences on the entanglements between peace and violence in the sense that these could only be thought of in relation to each other. In other words, the challenge will be to approach peace from the perspective of violence and, vice versa, to discuss violence from the perspective of peace.