Conflict defines the contemporary era. The attacks of 9/11 still cast a long shadow over foreign and domestic policy agendas in the UK and many other countries. The 2001 attacks led to the launch of the ‘Global War on Terror‘, with invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a host of other military interventions by NATO powers.
The impact of these interventions have been more complex and widespread than most supporters or opponents anticipated. Instability and conflict in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa have been part of the legacy, with the tragedies of Afghanistan, Gaza, Iraq and Syria of particular note. The ‘Global War on Terror’ also saw the creation of worldwide networks of ‘extraordinary rendition‘, with the attendant questions of human rights abuses and torture, whilst sweeping changes to security policies have impacted on everyday life and civil liberties.
The various ramifications of the ‘Global War on Terror’ have challenged the status of a variety of ethnic minorities, including Muslims and Jews, and raised important questions about identity and belonging, and over whether there is a ‘clash of civilisations’. The rise of right wing populism in the context of widespread controversy over migration has changed the political landscape with the rise of UKIP in the UK, and the radical right and anti Muslim parties across Europe. On the streets, the English Defence League has been but a local element of an international ‘counterjihad’ movement. Meanwhile, the Israel-Palestine question has come to renewed prominence as campaigns for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and Israeli attacks on the Occupied Territories interact.
The Understanding Conflict conference to take place 08 – 11 June 2015 at University of Bath seeks to address important questions about conflict in the contemporary world and to interrogate the role of research and advocacy in understanding and responding to it. The conference is organised around five major themes.
- Expertise and knowledge about terrorism
- Islamophobia, racism and the counterjihad
- Conflict, terrorism and governance
- Propaganda to Twitter revolutions: How should we think about organised persuasive communication?
- Researching conflict: Ethics, funding and research partnerships from Camelot to Minerva and beyond.
Proposals for papers, panels and workshops are welcome from academics, independent scholars, policy actors, journalists and advocacy groups. We especially welcome collaborative sessions involving policy, media or NGO participants.
A number of publications are planned to come from the conference. Please indicate if you do not wish your paper to be considered for subsequent publication.
Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words to expertiseinterrorism [at] bath [dot] ac [dot] uk (expertiseinterrorism(at)bath.ac.uk) by 31st January 2015.