PAW Network Virtual Research Workshop: Reexamining Dilemmas of Peacebuilding in the Era of Trump and COVID | 25 – 26 September 2020

Call for Papers – Abstracts due 26 June 2020 to

A little over a decade ago, Jarstad and Sisk (2008) in their examination of the attempts to introduce peace and democracy in the wake of civil wars, posed a critically important question: how can war-torn societies move towards peace and democracy when so often competitive elections exacerbate social and political conflict? They proposed six key dimensions that affect the likelihood of success (or failure) of such efforts after civil wars: the impact of peacekeeping, the conflict management mechanisms that are adopted, power sharing institutions, political party transformation, elections (and how they are run) the development of civil society and international influences in support of democratization efforts.

Today, in the era of Trump, political cynicism, extremism, identity politics, and pandemics, the international context in which these processes play out has fundamentally changed. Further, identity conflicts (particularly those framed around religion, race, and ethnicity) seem to have replaced civil wars that had been fought over clashes of ideology. Now seems a good time to reexamine what we have learned over thirty years of post-Cold War “liberal” peacebuilding and to bring fresh theoretical perspectives and ways of knowing to the study of politics after war.

In this new environment, how relevant are the six processes identified above? In an era of international disengagement, how will this affect peace building and democratization efforts in post-war countries? Do the aftermaths of identity conflicts (and the political organizations they produce) pose special challenges to peacebuilding and democratization? Will pandemics like COVID undermine the tentative progress that has been made in several post-war countries? The purpose of this workshop is to explore these questions as well as topics related to the six processes identified by Sisk and Jarstad in light of current realities.

This workshop will be “virtual”— platforms like ZOOM allow for the conduct of virtual workshops in real time. In an era where travel is severely limited (as well as university and institutional budgets) the use of such software allows for continued scholarly interactions.  This also provides opportunities for scholars across the globe to participate at low costs.

Submission Instructions

If you are interested in participating, please submit a proposal of max 250 words no later than Friday, 26 June 2020. We prioritize papers that aim to make novel and original contributions, that are theoretically informed, methodologically sound and empirically oriented. We are particularly interested in perspectives from scholars from the so-called Global South. We also welcome proposals from advanced graduate students. Both single and comparative studies are welcomed, as well as both quantitative and qualitative research designs. The paper can be an early draft with preliminary ideas, an article near completion, or constitute part of a larger book project. However, you cannot present already published work, or policy reports and other papers not primarily intended for an academic audience.

Selection will be made on the basis of the submitted abstracts. We particularly welcome submissions from advanced graduate students, as well as from members of the PAW network, but please do not hesitate to forward the invitation to other colleagues pursuing relevant academic research.

Abstracts and any queries should be sent via e-mail to  Click here for the PDF version of the Call for Papers.

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