Envisioning Peace | Transforming Conflict

Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach
2016 - 2018
Philipps University Marburg
Bayerisches Hochschulzentrum für Lateinamerika
Colombian partners

Prof. Angelika Rettberg, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Prof. Anika Oettler, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany

Prof. Thomas Fischer, Katholische Universität Eichstätt, Germany

Prof. Carolina Galindo, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia

Prof. José Manuel Salamanca, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia



Research Questions
How to recognise, address and transform conflict by exploring three separate but interrelated key topics (violence, resources, justice)?

  • What are the root causes and consequences of violent acts? Who envisions peace? For whom?
  • Who controls the resources? How can resource governance be organised and in what way does it contribute to violence or to peace? Do resources have a specific, non-material meaning?
  • What principles of justice should be adopted? What are the options for non-violent strategies of change? How can political change promote inclusion? What is the role of rights-based approaches and the judiciary? How can these mechanisms help to create a non-violent future? How can violence be overcome and meaning given to peace?

Contribution to International Research
Peace and conflict transformation are core topics in the social sciences and humanities. At the same time, theories, methods and data are shaped to an overwhelming degree by the experience of Western industrial democracies or the ‘objects’ of their intervention. If and when Global South experiences are addressed, then mostly with a “deficit approach”, taking Western experiences of state formation, democratisation and economic development as an analytical and practical blueprint. The project seeks to change the perspective towards envisioning peace and to the multifaceted experiences of the Global South. It aims at extending the territories of theory-building in peace and conflict research beyond European/North American borders.

Research Design and Methods
The research strategy is based on the heuristic tool of a helix structure, consisting of three transversal topics (violence, resources, justice) and three analytical perspectives (Power, culture, cohesion). Derived from a non-hierarchical set of heuristics, the research design helps to bring together the insights and experiences of researchers from Germany, Colombia and beyond.