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Conference: The Construction(s) of Conflict and Peace, Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies (EXCEPS), 9-10 July 2012‏

The Construction(s) of Conflict and Peace

Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies’ (EXCEPS)

9-10 July 2012

University of Exeter, UK, Streatham Campus

Conference Convenor: Professor Gareth Stansfield

The manner in which conflicts are framed is intimately linked to conflicts’ various stages, including efforts to mitigate and/or abate their violent effects, be it through military intervention, humanitarian aid and/or the creation of new political dispensations. The shared understandings that provide the bases for these frames, however, are the products of various discursive practices within governments, NGOs, academia, journalism and manifold cultural productions and (e.g., literature, visual arts, museums, etc.). These practices are contingent and messy, and often deeply contested.

The conference will investigate these practices from a multidisciplinary perspective, incorporating insights from both practitioners and academics. It seeks to uncover how the interplay of economic incentives, organizational cultures, political and social climates, and personal and collective beliefs lead to the production and privileging of particular types of knowledge vis-à-vis conflict and peace. It also seeks to explore how these processes vary across occupations, disciplines, time and space. For instance, how do donor and NGO priorities affect the production of ‘local’ knowledge within a conflict site? Are certain stakeholders accorded greater legitimacy vis-à-vis knowledge production? How does access to conflict areas and privileged informants, language and translation, as well as the processes of data collection and representation inform specific conflict interpretations and mitigation efforts? Similarly, if a conflict is located within the ’academic periphery’, how do the practices and priorities of the ‘core’ (e.g., US academia) shape knowledge production? In terms of time, how does knowledge change as conflicts transition towards peace, thus becoming ripe for ‘lesson’ extraction and exportation?

Beyond governments, NGOs, the media and academia, the conference also seeks to investigate how cultural productions create, affirm and/or challenge knowledge of peace and conflict. Specifically, how is knowledge of conflict and peace encoded through architecture and space planning, the visual arts, literature, museums, etc.? Do the different organizational cultures and intended audiences governing the production of these cultural artefacts create different types of knowledge? How are these types of knowledge incorporated and/or ignored by other knowledge producers within conflicts and peace processes?

The conference committee welcomes abstracts and panel proposals on any aspect of this theme. To submit a proposal for a paper or panel, please send an abstract of a maximum of 500 words to by 15 January 2012. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 February 2012. As a limited student travel fund will be available, please indicate in your abstract if you wish to be considered for this fund. For further information, please visit the conference website at