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.

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.

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