By Dr Sarah Jenkins (University of Galway)
Yuliang Lu (UCD), Marianna Espinos Blasco (UCD) and Caitríona Dowd (DCU) take part in a panel on gender, race and sexualities in peace and conflict chaired by Niall Ó Dochartaigh (University of Galway).
Dr Sarah Jenkins (University of Galway) welcomes participants
The Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Galway commemorated the United Nations International Day of Living Together in Peace (16he May) with a workshop on the topic of Living in the midst of conflict and insecurity Thursday the 18thhe Can. Organized by Dr Sarah Jenkins and Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh, and generously supported by the PSAI General Funding Scheme through the Peace and Conflict Studies Specialist Group, as well as the School of Political Science and Sociology at Galway, the workshop brought together established academics and young professionals. researchers working in the broad field of peace and conflict studies. Participants included guest speakers, Professor Roger Mac Ginty (Durham University) and Dr Caitríona Dowd (DCU), as well as six junior researchers from the University of Ulster, UCD and the University of Galway.
The workshop focused on the dynamics of peace at the micro level. Taking the concept of ‘everyday peace’ as a starting point, the various panels explored how individuals, communities, organizations and groups navigate insecure contexts. The papers addressed a wide range of issues and contexts, from gender, race and sexualities in peace and conflict, to alternative pathways to peace and justice, and from Northern Ireland to Liberia, Palestine and Kenya. Despite this rich diversity, each document returned our attention to the bottom-up dynamics of peace and conflict, and to agency at the local level.
The day concluded with a thought-provoking keynote address by Professor Roger Mac Ginty entitled Everyday Peace: How Containment and Coexistence Sit Side by Side in Deeply Divided Societies. The ensuing roundtable raised important questions for further attention, including: where is the line between everyday life and peacebuilding? Is peaceful coexistence ‘good enough’? And should we celebrate ‘negative peace’ more?
The workshop provided a fantastic opportunity for scholars working in Ireland to come together and engage in a vibrant debate on this critical area of scholarship. We hope it will lead to future collaborations and engagements.