Utskrift från Malmö högskolas webbplats www.mah.se

Theme and Keynote Speaker

Conference Theme: The Role of Civil Society in Peace Building 

A cursory survey of media headlines offers a gloomy snapshot of the state of conflict and human security around the globe. Spanning diverse geographic settings, ongoing conflicts rage – and range – from the Central African Republic to northern Nigeria, across the borders of Iraq and Syria, and rural Afghanistan frontiers. These conflagrations have resulted in widespread civilian fatalities, millions of displaced people, and debilitating political and economic consequences that will take decades to undo. At the same time, beyond the direct violence induced by these wars, generalized political, environmental and economic insecurity is increasingly becoming the norm for citizens of both the Global North and South.

Yet, in spite of the wide scope presented by today's pervasive challenges, we remain convinced that these will be met and overcome, not least due to the peace building efforts of local and global civil society actors. The task, then, of scholars and practitioners now working in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies is to innovate approaches and conceptual models that make it possible to expand the operational space of civil society actors in local, national and international contexts. The 2016 Swedish Conference on Peace and Conflict Research thus invites participants to both analyse the interaction between civil society actors and peacebuilding in light of the difficulties presented by all forms of violence today, as well as to offer constructive solutions as to how to best confront these challenges. With these goals in mind, the faculty of Peace and Conflict Studies at Malmö University especially welcomes papers with an academic, policy or practitioner focus on the following topics:

  • Civil society, peace building and new media
  • Gendered and racialized spaces—is there a legacy of colonialism and/or patriarchy in civil society peace building?
  • What/who are “local” (civil society actors) in peace building?
  • Civil society, the state and the provision of public goods in peace building
  • The good, the bad and the ugly? Cosmopolitanism, conflict and global civil society
  • Peace building and civil society in the context of “new wars”
  • Civil society and the development-­‐security nexus
  • Regional and/or thematic case studies on the role of civil society in conflict transformation and peace building

Keynote: Projectising the Grassroots? Reflections on peace building, civil society and the post-Yugoslav space

Dr Paul Stubbs, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia 

Although  ‘civil  society’  existed  in  socialist  Yugoslavia  prior  to  the  wars  of  the Yugoslav succession in the 1990s, many of the ways in which a new ‘intermestic sphere’ of non-­‐governmental organisations (NGOs) was constructed as an index of  ‘democratisation’  in  that  period  has  continued  to  frame  the  development  of the sector in the post-­Yugoslav space. The failure of a political response to end the  wars  created  the  conditions  for  the  rise  of  a  technocratic  ‘new  humani-­tarianism’  and  associated  ‘projectisation’  with  implications  for  the  size,  shape, goals and legitimacy of newly composed post-­‐Yugoslav NGOs. Largely ‘under the radar’, however, a small group of grassroots-­‐based, activist-­‐inspired movements and  campaigns  occupied  a  more  politicised  space  empowered,  to  an  extent,  by the  notion  of  ‘peace  building’  expressed  in  Boutros  Boutros-­‐Ghali’s  ‘Agenda  for Peace’. Some of these networks were able to escape, if only for a short time, from the  demands  of  a  donor-­‐driven  transnational  NGO  elite.  In  tracing  aspects  of  a largely hidden history of Yugoslav and post-­‐Yugoslav anti-­‐war activism, I will try to  draw  lessons  for  the  role  of  non-­‐state  actors  in  conflict  and  post-­‐conflict environments, addressing the affective, symbolic and cultural role of grassroots activisms.  In  particular,  I  want  to  address  these  interlocking  urban  activist ‘scenes’ focusing on peace, gender equality, human rights, idependent media, and memory,  in  terms  of  their  contradictory  relationships  with  the  recalibration  of everyday life in and after war, ‘projectisation’, and the formal political sphere.

PAUL  STUBBS is a UK-­‐born sociologist who has lived and worked in Croatia  and  the  wider  post-­‐Yugoslav  space  since  1993.  After  a  spell  as  a  volunteer with a local NGO Suncokret working with refugees and displaced persons, he was  a  founding  Board  member  of  the  Centre  for  Peace  Studies  (Centar  za  mirovne studije), an NGO which continues to offer a Peace Studies programme in  Croatia.  For  a  number  of  years  he  combined  writing  and  research  with  activism with a number of local peace and anti-­‐war groups as well as working as  a  consultant  for  a  number  of  international  organisations,  mainly  on  the  reform of social welfare in the post-­‐Yugoslav space and on the evaluation of peace-­‐building  and  area-­‐based  development.  He  joined  the  Institute  of  Economics, Zagreb as a Senior Research Fellow in November 2003. His main research interests are in peace-­‐building and social development; civil society, social movements and grassroots activism; social policy and social protection at global, regional and local scales; child poverty and family coping strategies; state  capture  and  clientelism;  the  role  of  international  organisations;  and  policy translation. His latest book, co-­‐written with John Clarke, Dave Bainton and Noémi Lendvai, Making Policy Move: towards a politics of translation and assemblage, was published by Policy Press in 2015. He is also co-­‐editor, with Rory  Archer  and  Igor  Duda,  of  a  book  Social  Inequalities  and  Discontent  in  Yugoslavia to be published soon by Ashgate. He is an elected member of the Croatian Council for Science, Higher Education and Technology.  

Last updated by Sarah Stancs