The worldwide struggle for peace is more pressing than ever. The rapid changes in the world are frequently associated with violent and nonviolent conflicts. An insight in these conflicts contributes to better peacebuilding. The key to this insight often lies in a deeper understanding of the boundaries that make up our world, whether these are existing boundaries, shifting boundaries or new boundaries. This is why this fourth edition of our congress A Struggle for Peace focuses on the idea of boundaries. Through this lens we explore the shifting boundaries of knowledge, identity and power in order to grasp the complex dynamics of conflict and peace.
A Struggle for Peace is about current conflict situations, peace, and the conditions for this. Contemporary conflicts, their causes and contexts, and possibilities for solutions form the basis of this conference. Program components during A Struggle for Peace that constitute this category indicate a current problem in the direct sense, which cannot be ignored on a conference about conflict and peace. These are among others the refugee crisis, the discussion about and struggle for sustainability and causes of conflicts. In response to this, alternative and creative solutions for conflict will be discussed, emphasizing important values such as human rights. Likewise this category points to phenomena, developments and assumptions which we always have to take into account when looking at current conflict situations. For example, globalization concerns an unavoidable context in which we should place the discussion. Therefore globalization will be an important subject during the day.
With the arrival and increasing accessibility of the internet, the acquisition and even the whole meaning of knowledge is profoundly changing. This change does not only affect science and technology but also, for example, policy. We can ask ourselves how knowledge and the truth relate to each other. Who has access to what kind of knowledge, and who knows which truth? By looking at these subjects we will discover in which ways and to what extent the boundaries of knowledge are changing. This category constitutes subjects that elaborate on current shifting or changing boundaries of the concept of truth: what is truth, who researches truth and what do we need to believe? An important factor in this process is language, which we will closely address. Moreover, stretching boundaries concerning technology constitute a central program component. There are more and more possibilities, however, these instigate new questions, problems and conflict at the same time. Finally the connection between the perception of truth and alternative facts concerning technology, and between knowledge and policy form central components of this category.
Many conflict and peace processes are intrinsically connected to questions of identity. Namely, the boundaries of identity determine why a certain person or group is not the other. Identity therefore plays a major role in many topical issues, such as discussions about gender, diversity and racism. These will therefore constitute the program components of this category. Identity is made up by boundaries and plays a major role in every conflict. Who am I and who is the other? Through what or whom is this determined? During A Struggle for Peace we closely look at male and female identity, discrimination on the basis of identity and the living together with people with all different, multiple and convergent identities in society.
During the past elections in Europe it became clear that the established order does not have as much influence as before. Political shifts and new threats characterize the current political landscape. This category constitutes program components which mainly focus on political power and the boundaries of this. Political conflict and shifting political power boundaries are central to this category. Subjects are among others the liberal order, polarization and the power boundaries of Europe.