By Dr. Sarah Jenkins (University of Galway)
Yuliang Lu (UCD), Marianna Espinos Blasco (UCD) and Caitríona Dowd (DCU) engage in a panel on gender, race, and sexualities in peace and conflict chaired by Niall Ó Dochartaigh (University of Galway).
Dr Sarah Jenkins (University of Galway) welcomes participants
The School of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Galway marked the UN International Day of Living Together in Peace (16th May) with a workshop on the theme of Living Amidst Conflict and Insecurity on Thursday 18th May. Organised by Dr Sarah Jenkins and Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh – and with generous support from the PSAI General Funding scheme through the Peace and Conflict Studies Specialist Group, as well as Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology – the workshop brought together established scholars and early career researchers working in the broad field of peace and conflict studies. Participants included invited speakers Professor Roger Mac Ginty (Durham University) and Dr Caitríona Dowd (DCU), as well as six early career researchers hailing from Ulster University, UCD, and the University of Galway.
The workshop focused on the micro-level dynamics of peace. Taking the concept of ‘everyday peace’ as its departure point, the various panels explored how individuals, communities, organisations, and groups navigate insecure contexts. The papers traversed a wide range of topics and contexts – from gender, race, and sexualities in peace and conflict, to alternative avenues of peace and justice, and from Northern Ireland to Liberia, Palestine and Kenya. Despite this rich diversity, each paper pulled our attention back to bottom-up dynamics of peace and conflict, and to agency at the local level.
The day concluded with a thought-provoking keynote address from Professor Roger Mac Ginty entitled Everyday Peace: How do contention and co-existence sit side-by-side in deeply-divided societies. The subsequent roundtable discussion posed important questions for further attention, including: where is the line between everyday life and peacebuilding? Is coexistence ‘good enough’ peace? And should we celebrate ‘negative peace’ more?
The workshop provided a fantastic opportunity for scholars working in Ireland to come together and engage in vibrant discussion over this critical area of scholarship. We hope that it will lead to future collaborations and engagement.