How can lasting peace be built in a world that is torn asunder by the use of military force? The object for this thematic field on Peace Building is the use of military force that is spreading in forms of international conflicts and civil war throughout the contemporary world, with emphasis on the challenges presented by civil wars and the many humanitarian disasters that such wars have brought out. The broad questions that ought to be addressed are as follows: How do conflicts and violence affect these states? What are their roots, both internal and external, that lead to civil war? What are their consequences? Finally, how can we cope with the challenges of peace building?
In this program, we aim to elucidate the reasons why such conflicts break out, and to consider the conditions for conflict resolution, the building of postconflict political and legal orders, measures to prevent a re-emergence of conflict, and aspects of preventive diplomacy in regions where conflicts have not yet broken out. Through practical research students will gain a deeper understanding of fundamental issues such as 1) the current situation of international conflicts and civil war, the relationships between 2) religion and conflict, 3) ethnicities and conflict, 4) poverty and conflict, 5) terror and terror organizations, aspects of 6) intervention and occupation, and 7) aid for refugees.
Students should select a specific case of conflict to research measures necessary 8 for peace building. The purpose of students’ research is not just to find out the facts of a specific conflict or to survey existing research on a specific region, but to combine such research and understanding of a specific conflict and evelop an original, novel perspective.
After an orientation meeting, we will have three lecture - discussion sessions,focusing on an in-depth understanding of the main causes of civil wars. Why do armed conflicts break out? Is it because of ethnic or religious diversity? To what extent does economic motives bring out use of armed forces? Then we will start thinking about the consequences of armed conflicts and civil wars. We will have a brain-storming session, based on research conducted by each participant, on the various forms of human suffering that take place in civil wars, such as massive killings, sexual violence, dislocation and refugees, destruction of economy and infrastructure. Participant must choose one aspect of such consequences, and plan to address possible remedies or solutions to such sufferings.
The brainstorming should be the basis of specific research projects on your own. Participants are encouraged to address a particular aspect of civil war, and construct proposals for peace, in the broadest meaning of the term. Please be advised that this is an independent research program. Thus, there is no full set of materials that guide you all the way, although we will have discussion meetings in class that address issues on peace building. All participants must make a group presentation at the final GEfIL meeting, organized possibly in two or three groups.