Brandt School Universität Erfurt

High-Level Keynote Speech on Peacebuilding in Erfurt

On March 7, 2019, Prof. Dr. Oliver Richmond, University of Manchester, gave a keynote lecture on “Concepts of Peace and Peacebuilding: Europe and Beyond” at the Annual Colloquium of the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies” which took place in Erfurt, Augustinerkloster. The keynote lecture was organized by Prof. Dr. Solveig Richter, Juniorprofessor for International Conflict Management at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy within the framework of the Leibniz-funded research network “External Democracy Promotion”. Oliver Richmond is one of the most renowned scholars in Europe on issues of peace and liberal peacebuilding. In his lecture, Prof. 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, liberal tradition of peacebuilding focusing on political rights, Marxist tradition and critiques with the focus on economic rights, critical theorists with their emphasis on further expansion of human rights system to the most recent traditions which includes 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. Richter, Jalale Getachew Birru, PhD student at the Brandt School, also participated. Next to the moderator, Dr. Matthias Dembinski from the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, Dr. Martina Fischer from Bread for the World also gave her opinion. Solveig Richter focused on democratization and peace and urged to move beyond the established paradigms of peace, especially in this transnational world with the 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 times 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.