Entries

Classified into the two clusters ‘Theoretical and conceptual debates’ and ‘Methods, Knowledge production and dissemination’, the entries aim to provide an insight and orientation on key concepts and theories as well as empirical analyses which are important for a post-/decolonial perspective on peace and conflict. The entries are interconnected and draw from a diverse body of knowledges in dialogue including different formats such as audio, images or storytelling.

C

Coloniality of Peace

Is there a universal peace? Historical and ongoing confrontations across the globe lay bare the bias of peace discourses: what peace is to one, can be oppression to another. In the light of this experience, activists and academics from the Global South have raised the issue of the coloniality of peace. The term describes how appeals to peace can be complicit with coloniality by supporting and reinforcing modern/colonial purposes of domination, control, and extraction, among others. To provide analytical tools to identify the coloniality of peace, this contribution builds on a range of critiques of ‘peace’ that have been enunciated from post- and decolonial stances.

Read More »
C

Collaborative Research

Dominant logics of knowledge production, such as epistemic imbalances, continue affecting collaborative research efforts and have proven difficult to overcome. Funding agencies and selection commitees are usually based in the Global North, which limits the inclusion of voices from the Global South in the initiation and organisation of research. On the ground, the awareness about how these standards have induced specific ways of doing research and reproduced power imbalances is even thinner. Many of these issues have gained increased visibility and small steps have been made to move away from the status quo. However, these have not led to a radical change in how collaborative research is framed, funded and executed.

Read More »
D

Decolonial Peace & Resistance Theory

This entry delves into the notion of Peace and offers a critical analysis that highlights the crucial importance of resistance as a key concept and theory in the decolonization of the Peace and Conflict field. It is imperative to acknowledge that resistance is not merely an act of opposition but rather a central component in the process of challenging and dismantling oppressive structures.

Read More »
E

Epistemic Violence

Coined by Gayatri Spivak at the end of the so-called Cold War, the concept of epistemic violence is today a powerful tool of analysis and critique. It draws our attention to the cognitive and epistemic infrastructure of what we believe to know about the world, including about (non-)violence, conflict, war – and peace. Taking epistemic violence into account has the potential of changing the entire research agenda of Peace and Conflict Studies, because it invites us to re- and unthink violence from a groundbreaking perspective: the Euro- and androcentrist nature of our knowledge (and our ignorance) that is grounded in the sustaining colonial condition of the world – and vice versa.

Read More »
I

Inter-Subaltern Hierarchies

This entry aims to shed light on inter-subaltern hierarchies as a conceptual framework for examining conflict-prone power relations within the postcolonial political space. While postcolonial and decolonial studies have revealed enduring colonial legacies in global polity formation, they have somewhat overlooked hierarchical power relations among historico-social groups and political entities. Inter-subaltern hierarchies disentangle the West/non-West dichotomy and provide insight into conflict-prone hierarchies stemming from colonial continuities in nation- and state-formation.

Read More »
I

Intersectionality

More than three decades on from its inception, ‘intersectionality’ continues to be a puzzle for researchers, activists and practitioners in many fields looking for a coherent conceptual framework and concrete methodology via which to apply it. This entry proposes an approach to intersectionality which recognises the value of the travels and translations of this concept across multiple contexts and power asymmetries. That, while persisting in efforts to operationalise it in ways staying true to its original purpose as a tool for social justice.

Read More »
P

Postcolonial and decolonial differences

Amid academic fondness for embracing trends and ‘turns’, it is reasonable to ask about the actual difference between post- and decolonial perspectives and to consider whether this difference warrants our attention. This lemma seeks to provide some answers, engaging critically with key arguments by decolonial scholars on how their work differs from postcolonial perspectives. I argue that we should pay attention to the key debates sparked by the ‘decolonial turn’ while avoiding the use of buzzwords and strawman arguments. Additionally, I demonstrate the synergies and frictions between post-/decolonial writings within peace and conflict studies, focusing specifically on the deconstruction and reconstruction of human rights.

Read More »
P

Peace in the Anthropocene

The interlinked climate, pollution and biodiversity crises are increasingly becoming the subject of peace and conflict studies and are playing an important role in peace work and conflict transformation through approaches such as environmental peacebuilding. In the context of societal relationships with nature in colonial modernity, however, the relationships between humans and the environment are usually only questioned in terms of their benefits, or in terms of their potential for causing or exacerbating conflicts and their consequences for humans.

Read More »
P

Pluriversal peacebuilding

Pluriversality is a concept from decolonial theory that names the existence of irreducibly plural ways of knowing and being that connect people to one another and to the world(s) around them. Decolonial theory reveals how modern Eurocentric epistemologies support their claims to universality by eradicating resources for imagining and enacting alternatives to a world structured according to the racialized, gendered, territorialized, and capitalist logics of modernity.

Read More »
S

Systems of Conflictivity

Beyond the state-centric categories of war/peace, the ongoing genocide against Indigenous and African-descendent populations on the continent which Lélia Gonzalez renamed ‘Améfrica Ladina’ – recognised neither as a civil war nor as an international conflict – calls for methods of analysis which respond to what and whom has been excluded from the debate as a condition of possibility for its reproduction. By means of transnational and diasporic perspectives – which neither begin nor end at state borders and limits, nor rely on universal or particular/relative decrees – it effectively repositions inherited Eurocentric categories for thinking about violence towards instead relational accounts of systems of conflictivity.

Read More »
T

Transitional Justice and Decolonisation

This entry outlines the key debates with respect to transitional justice (TJ), a range of processes that a society may undertake to reckon with the legacies of gross and large-scale violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the past. Although the literature on transitional justice and postcolonialism is emerging, this entry explains why transitional justice might not sufficiently address the complex issue of decolonisation. The entry argues that true decolonisation requires a more radical approach to the future of the field. Transitional justice should not only engage more with genealogies of decolonial thinking; it also needs to be decolonised in itself.

Read More »
D

Decolonial Peace & Resistance Theory

This entry delves into the notion of Peace and offers a critical analysis that highlights the crucial importance of resistance as a key concept and theory in the decolonization of the Peace and Conflict field. It is imperative to acknowledge that resistance is not merely an act of opposition but rather a central component in the process of challenging and dismantling oppressive structures.

Read More »
P

Postcolonial and decolonial differences

Amid academic fondness for embracing trends and ‘turns’, it is reasonable to ask about the actual difference between post- and decolonial perspectives and to consider whether this difference warrants our attention. This lemma seeks to provide some answers, engaging critically with key arguments by decolonial scholars on how their work differs from postcolonial perspectives. I argue that we should pay attention to the key debates sparked by the ‘decolonial turn’ while avoiding the use of buzzwords and strawman arguments. Additionally, I demonstrate the synergies and frictions between post-/decolonial writings within peace and conflict studies, focusing specifically on the deconstruction and reconstruction of human rights.

Read More »
C

Collaborative Research

Dominant logics of knowledge production, such as epistemic imbalances, continue affecting collaborative research efforts and have proven difficult to overcome. Funding agencies and selection commitees are usually based in the Global North, which limits the inclusion of voices from the Global South in the initiation and organisation of research. On the ground, the awareness about how these standards have induced specific ways of doing research and reproduced power imbalances is even thinner. Many of these issues have gained increased visibility and small steps have been made to move away from the status quo. However, these have not led to a radical change in how collaborative research is framed, funded and executed.

Read More »
C

Coloniality of Peace

Is there a universal peace? Historical and ongoing confrontations across the globe lay bare the bias of peace discourses: what peace is to one, can be oppression to another. In the light of this experience, activists and academics from the Global South have raised the issue of the coloniality of peace. The term describes how appeals to peace can be complicit with coloniality by supporting and reinforcing modern/colonial purposes of domination, control, and extraction, among others. To provide analytical tools to identify the coloniality of peace, this contribution builds on a range of critiques of ‘peace’ that have been enunciated from post- and decolonial stances.

Read More »
P

Peace in the Anthropocene

The interlinked climate, pollution and biodiversity crises are increasingly becoming the subject of peace and conflict studies and are playing an important role in peace work and conflict transformation through approaches such as environmental peacebuilding. In the context of societal relationships with nature in colonial modernity, however, the relationships between humans and the environment are usually only questioned in terms of their benefits, or in terms of their potential for causing or exacerbating conflicts and their consequences for humans.

Read More »
E

Epistemic Violence

Coined by Gayatri Spivak at the end of the so-called Cold War, the concept of epistemic violence is today a powerful tool of analysis and critique. It draws our attention to the cognitive and epistemic infrastructure of what we believe to know about the world, including about (non-)violence, conflict, war – and peace. Taking epistemic violence into account has the potential of changing the entire research agenda of Peace and Conflict Studies, because it invites us to re- and unthink violence from a groundbreaking perspective: the Euro- and androcentrist nature of our knowledge (and our ignorance) that is grounded in the sustaining colonial condition of the world – and vice versa.

Read More »
I

Inter-Subaltern Hierarchies

This entry aims to shed light on inter-subaltern hierarchies as a conceptual framework for examining conflict-prone power relations within the postcolonial political space. While postcolonial and decolonial studies have revealed enduring colonial legacies in global polity formation, they have somewhat overlooked hierarchical power relations among historico-social groups and political entities. Inter-subaltern hierarchies disentangle the West/non-West dichotomy and provide insight into conflict-prone hierarchies stemming from colonial continuities in nation- and state-formation.

Read More »
I

Intersectionality

More than three decades on from its inception, ‘intersectionality’ continues to be a puzzle for researchers, activists and practitioners in many fields looking for a coherent conceptual framework and concrete methodology via which to apply it. This entry proposes an approach to intersectionality which recognises the value of the travels and translations of this concept across multiple contexts and power asymmetries. That, while persisting in efforts to operationalise it in ways staying true to its original purpose as a tool for social justice.

Read More »
P

Pluriversal peacebuilding

Pluriversality is a concept from decolonial theory that names the existence of irreducibly plural ways of knowing and being that connect people to one another and to the world(s) around them. Decolonial theory reveals how modern Eurocentric epistemologies support their claims to universality by eradicating resources for imagining and enacting alternatives to a world structured according to the racialized, gendered, territorialized, and capitalist logics of modernity.

Read More »
S

Systems of Conflictivity

Beyond the state-centric categories of war/peace, the ongoing genocide against Indigenous and African-descendent populations on the continent which Lélia Gonzalez renamed ‘Améfrica Ladina’ – recognised neither as a civil war nor as an international conflict – calls for methods of analysis which respond to what and whom has been excluded from the debate as a condition of possibility for its reproduction. By means of transnational and diasporic perspectives – which neither begin nor end at state borders and limits, nor rely on universal or particular/relative decrees – it effectively repositions inherited Eurocentric categories for thinking about violence towards instead relational accounts of systems of conflictivity.

Read More »
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