» Archive for: March, 2016


Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader “Timochenko”

Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, and the leader of the FARC guerrilla army, Rodrigo Londoño, known as Timochenko, set March 23rd as their deadline to reach a final agreement to end a war that has dragged on for more than half a century. Having missed the deadline, one cannot help but ask, now what? Yet, a missed deadline has political costs, but does not jeopardise a peace deal. While peace was not obtained, some progress has been made in the past six months. The talks would continue to settle critical issues that still stand in the way of a peace deal.



Youth migration – a result of the Afghan government’s
failed peace policy

Recommended reading by Maryam Safi originally posted by transconflict

“Failure to bring peace and security to Afghanistan was lead to mass youth migration. The National Unity Government must adopt a clear policy for reconciliation with armed oppositions in order to bring peace and stability in the country. It must respond to people’s demands and problems in order to save this young generation and prevent them from leaving.”



War/silence/dehumanization, bellum iustum, and discourses of war

‘Dediscoursification – how discursive attitudes cause wars’, the key contention of which is that the attitude to language should be theorized as one of the major causes of war. Check out the extracts from Dražen Pehar’s book in this article prepared by TransConflict. 

“When one starts thinking of war, one’s attention is at first drawn to noisy and dramatic events: killings, violence, mighty cannons, the breaks through the enemy lines, the falls of cities and states. One’s focus is on a blood-spill, soldiers, and boundary experience; on overstretch of bodies, tears, and the states of manic compulsion. War, as a clash of bodies that results in existential border-line situations, is a fascinating image. However, such an image is often highly suggestive, even misleading. It seems to enable the transferring of the very traumatic experience of war to the realm of theory; the exceptional nature of trauma drives us to search for exceptional explanations of war, a complicated event in itself, or for some views that could tell us something exceptional, perhaps also unique, about the humankind too. However, I believe that one should resist such a drive or tendency. It is especially in the theory of war that we need a cautious and calm approach that depicts the genealogy of war as a part of a bigger whole, not as a unique, sui generis feature of the human species.” 


Date: 4–22 July 2016

Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford

Now in its 27th year, the Summer School offers an intensive, interdisciplinary and participative approach to the study of forced migration. It aims to enable people working with and for refugees and forced migrants to examine critically the forces and institutions that dominate the world of the displaced. For more information about the course structure, entry requirements and how to apply click here.Unknown

There are three bursaries available to exceptional candidates who are nationals of a developing country, are resident in a
developing country, and whose work concerns refugees and/or forced migration.  Deadline for bursary applications: 31 March 2016. Closing date for all other applications: 1 May 2016.

The aftermath of violence in Colombia

In an effort to create a shared record of war
, 73 ex-combatants from all three sides of the Colombia’s internal armed conflict spent two years painting their experiences on the battle fronts. They face difficult decisions about what to remember, what to forget and how to forgive.Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.10.54 AM

In this powerful clip, produced by The Economist, the authors of some of the paintings, an ex-paramilitary, a woman ex-FARC guerrilla and an ex-soldier of the Colombian armed forces share their experiences of the war. As one of them said,  the victims of the Colombian conflict are on all sides.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.11.14 AM


Anatomy of a Soldier

Category: Events| News

15 Mar 2016

Interview with Harry Parker by author and journalist Rosan Hollak.

British ex-soldier and author Harry Parker was serving in Iraq when on the way back from a mission he stepped on a bomb losing both of his legs. To be able to deal with the consequences of his accident, he started writing which subsequently turned out to be the start of his war novel-with-a-twist: Anatomy of a Soldier. Parker’s book is about more than just battle and warfare. It shows soldiers’ daily life in war-torn countries and the relationships that are developed during wartime. From an unusual perspective on warfare, Anatomy of a Soldier tells the story of a British army captain that loses his legs by narrating the story  of the objects around him.


Parker has said he wanted it to be possible to read the book’s chapters “in any order, because that’s what it’s like to be blown up. I
liked the idea of creating a puzzle with each chapter.”

Date: Wednesday, March 30th, Start: 8 p

Location: Paard van Troje, Prinsegracht 12, The Hague

Tickets are € 7,50 and can be reserved here. Tickets with the special student discount are € 5 and can be reserved sending an email to  info@borderkitchen.nl. Interested students have to specify in the email that they’re ISS students from the  Conflict and Peace Studies Major and the number of places they would like to reserve.

The European Union and Turkey announced on March 8 an agreement to curb migration and refugee flows to Europe. According to the outline deal, Turkey will take back all the refugees setting off from its shores to Greece. In return, Europe is expected to double its aid package and ramp up political concessions to Turkey, such as reviving the negotiations for Turkey to join the European Union and ease visa restrictions for Turkish nationals.


Human Rights Watch

For Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at Human Rights Watch, “a fundamental contradiction lies at the heart of the EU-Turkey deal taking shape” as “the parties failed to say how individual needs for international protection would be fairly assessed during the rapid-fire mass expulsions they agreed would take place.”

According to a question-and-answer document published by Human Rights Watch, Turkey does not provide effective protection for refugees and has repeatedly pushed asylum seekers back to Syria, which makes it an unsafe country of asylum for refugees. Still, some think that however controversial the deal might be, it offers the best hope of ending the migrant chaos.

Reporting Peace Instead of War?

Category: Events

11 Mar 2016

UnknownDate: 30- 03, Humanity House 

Is there a link between reporting and peace? Is it just an ideal of people and reporters in war-torn countries? Or does it play an active role in the activism of new agencies?

These will be the central questions of this dialogue that will focus on the important role of media in peace processes, and will be lead by 15 journalists from all over the world.

‘5 years of war in Syria’

Category: Events

11 Mar 2016

Exhibition opening event5-low-res-570x318

On 22, March Humanity House will unveil Photographer Mona van den Berg exhibition about Syrian refugees in the region, in Europe and in the Netherlands.

During the opening night, assistants will be invited to sit down with the photographer and with Syrian refugees in the Netherlands to talk about the ongoing violence in Syria, and to consider the plight of Syrians everywhere. Reserve your tickets here.

imagesMasterPeace, an award-winning peace movement, is re-launching its music competition headliner. It is designed for all solo artists, bands, and singers with music that tackles topics of peace-building, positivity, freedom of expression and human rights globally; offering support and exposure to fresh artists who need to break through into music charts and gain widespread outreach for their message. If interested visit www.masterpeace.org/mymusic

International Institute of Social Studies

Conflict and Peace Studies is a specialization within the Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies MA Major in Development Studies. This blog provides a platform for discussion for researchers, students and others interested in this field of studies. The blog is administered by the Conflict and Peace Studies teaching team.

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