Prof. Dr. Oliver Richmond of the University of Manchester gave a keynote lecture on March 7, 2019 on “Concepts of Peace and Peacebuilding: Europe and Beyond” at an event our EDP member Solveig Richter had organized at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy in Erfurt. Richmond spoke at the Annual Colloquium of the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies in Erfurt, which was co-sponsored by the EDP Network.
Oliver Richmond is one of the most renowned scholars in Europe on issues of peace and liberal peacebuilding. In his lecture, Richmond discussed six stages of the evolution of peace architecture in the world and how the architecture is built up amidst the challenges. The six stages of peace architecture include the realist tradition where peace was used as a strategy to balance war, the liberal tradition of peacebuilding focusing on political rights, the Marxist tradition and critiques with the focus on economic rights, critical theorists with their emphasis on further expansion of the human rights system to the most recent traditions, which include networks of security and trade, postcolonialists, subaltern theorists and feminist understandings of peace.
The keynote lecture was followed by a vivid panel discussion in which, in addition to Prof. Solveig Richter, Jalale Getachew Birru, PhD student at the Brandt School and former PRIF (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt) guest researcher also participated. Dr. Matthias Dembinski from PRIF and Dr. Martina Fischer from Bread for the World also shared their insights on the topic.
Solveig focused on democratization and peace and urged to move beyond the established paradigms of peace, especially in today’s transnational world with its strong linkage of formal and informal actors. Martina Fischer discussed the concept of global justice and the current challenges faced by international institutions, especially focusing on the European Union in the current time of crisis. Jalale Getachew Birru brought in the local perspectives on peace and how the traditional forms of conflict resolution have impacted the peace processes in post conflict societies such as Somaliland and Ethiopia.