IOVIS Peace & Conflict Lectures starting this March

IOVIS Centre for Peace and Conflict and VUvereniging invite you for their Peace & Conflict Lectures held on four Thursday afternoons in March, April, May and June 2018. Scholars from different faculties and departments from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will share their knowledge and insights into the various dimensions of peace and conflict.

02/06/2018 | 9:00 AM

Together, they will explore the democratic politics of decisions to launch military interventions such as in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Libya and Mali, and learn practical conflict negotiation skills. They’ll examine the psychological impact of violent war, and unpack ideas around moral justifications for war.

Part of new minor programme ‘Peace and Conflict Studies’
The four lectures are a run-up to the new interdisciplinary minor programme Peace and Conflict Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, starting September 2018. Consisting of five courses that can also be taken separately, the minor offers students and professionals insights into the concepts, causes and consequences of peace and war. The programme engages with a broad set of disciplines including political science, international law, criminology, theology, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, sociology and history.

Four lectures
15 March   
Democratic Politics and Military Missions Wolfgang Wagner,
Professor of International Security (VU).

5 April       
The Psychology of Negotiation and Conflict Management (Workshop) Bianca Beersma,
Professor of Institutions and Identity (VU).

17 May      
New Wars, ‘Terrorism’, and Peace-building in the 21st Century: Revisit or Dismiss the Doctrine of Just War? Fernando Enns,
Professor Theology and Ethics (VU) and Director of the Amsterdam Center for Religion and Peace & Justice Studies.

7 June       
Psychosocial Consequences of War-related Trauma Marit Sijbrandij, Associate Professor Clinical Psychology (VU) and coordinator of the Horizon 2020 STRENTHS project for scaling up psychological interventions with Syrian refugees.

March 15: Democratic Politics and Military Missions
Democratic politics and security and defense policy are often viewed as incompatible. The former calls for transparency and deliberation, the latter for secrecy, speedy decision-making and possibly even deception. In this talk, Wolfgang Wagner, professor of International Security, examines the democratic politics of decisions to launch military interventions, e.g. in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Libya and Mali. He shows that Western democracies differ enormously when it comes to the democratic control of military interventions. Furthermore, he argues that the party political debates about military interventions are quite similar in Western democracies. The talk concludes with a discussion of how populist right parties position themselves on this issue and what this will imply for the future of Western interventionism.

Willem Schoonen, chairman VUvereniging
The event will be held in English.

Thursday 15 March 2018
16:00-17:30 (walk-in from 15:30 with coffee and tea)
Main Building VU, HG-01A32
Please register via the registration form.

For more information about the lecture series, please visit

Check out the flyer for a short overview of the lectures.