The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Colgate University are pleased to announce a call for papers/participation in their jointly sponsored Post-Conflict Environment Project.
Rationale: In the twenty years that have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of a bipolar geopolitical order, the world has experienced no fewer than 116 violent conflicts. During the course of these ‘New Wars,’ military operations on urban terrain [or “MOUT campaigns”], sieges, and scorched earth tactics have reintroduced themselves with a new vigor in the repertoire of warfare. An entire reconstruction industry has emerged in their wake, bringing with it new forms of expertise in the assessment and management of the post conflict environment. Indeed, because war has rapidly become a metropolitan phenomenon, one of the most prominent though overlooked consequences of the contemporary history of warfare may be the emergence of the “post-conflict environment” itself; that is, the appearance of a series of common social and physical attributes out of wartime conditions (and the responses to them), wherever armed conflicts occur. Despite the important political, geographic, and economic differences between them, in Kosovo, Falluja, Guatemala, and the Sudan, the logic of conflict generates something approaching a universal ecology of ruin. To date, however, this post-conflict environment has only been described in fragmentary form. Distributed throughout the academic and policy literatures on postwar stabilization and reconstruction, transitional governance, humanitarian assistance, peace and nation building, informal networks and civil society, the characteristics of the post-conflict environment await systematic description in a single work.
The Project: The aim of the Post-Conflict Environment Project is to attempt such a description; first, in a workshop to be held at the Woodrow Wilson International Center (Washington, DC), on 23-24 April 2009, and then in a published monograph and linked web site aimed at a readership of academics and non-specialists alike. Recognizing the twin methodological challenges presented by the distinctiveness of individual conflicts on one hand, and of the disciplinary approaches developed to interpret them on the other, the organizers of the Post-Conflict Project see this range of political and methodological cases as an opportunity to delineate a ‘composite image’ of the postwar environment. In other words, we seek to analyze the most prevalent/salient characteristics of the post-conflict environment out of the cumulative descriptions and interpretations of differing postwar conditions. For this reason we particularly specialists in the following areas to participate in the project: in Urban Studies, Geography/Environmental Studies; International Law and Human Rights; Postwar Stabilization and Reconstruction/Planning; Demography and Public Health; International Politics and Diplomacy; and the Anthropology and Sociology of Conflict
For a detailed description of the project and the workshop, see the project’s website at: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.item&news_id=463891
A parallel site may also be found at: http://www.colgate.edu/desktopdefault1.aspx?tabid=1631
Individuals who wish to participate in the Post-Conflict Environment Project should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, as well as a CV of no more than 2 pages to Kathy Langworthy, Administrator, P-CON Program -- Colgate University. Abstracts and CV’s should be combined in a single msword document, and sent as attachments to Ms. Langworthy at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 31 October 2008.
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