In brief

Peace – Universal Ambition, Empirical Diversity

GIGA peace expert Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach holds inaugural lecture at the University of Marburg

On 23 January 2019, Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach, Acting Director of the GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies, will deliver her inaugural lecture as honorary professor at the Centre for Conflict Research of the Philipps-Universität Marburg. Her twin expertise on Latin America and peace will help to strengthen the already existing cooperation between the GIGA and the University of Marburg.

The lecture is dedicated to the theme “Peace – Universal Ambition, Empirical Diversity.” Whether at the United Nations or around the kitchen table, peace is largely undisputed as a goal. There is, however, extensive debate about what peace actually means – that is, definitions and concepts thereof – as well as the ways and means to actually realise this ambition. The empirical diversity can be at least in part explained by these related differences. The person whose minimalist notion of peace is the absence of war has a different view from the one who has in mind a society structurally supporting peace. The scientific as well as political challenge therein consists of conceptualising peace as a process, not a state of being. The way there must be designed so as to take account of historical and cultural particularities, but without relativising core universal norms within the realm of human rights.


Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

Acting Director of the GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies
General Editor GIGA Focus
Editor GIGA Focus Global


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