Based jointly in CMNH and the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics, this major interdisciplinary research cluster in the field of violent political conflict was established by the University of Brighton in 2013. It brings together established expertise in humanities and social sciences from across the University. Contributing disciplines and areas include: applied philosophy, critical theory, cultural geography, cultural and social history, literature, material culture, politics, psycho-social studies and social anthropology.
The cluster is led by Professor Bob Brecher (applied philosophy) and Professor Graham Dawson (historical cultural studies). It builds usable understandings of violent conflict and its human legacies, developing two areas of interdisciplinary investigation rooted in the recent work of the two research centres. One area is concerned with ethical and political justifications of violence, based on the principle that the philosophical study and practical implementation of an ethics of suffering have to take on board people's experiences of living with, through and after violent conflict. Here, our interdisciplinary approach constitutes a vision of how ‘applied philosophy’ may be brought to bear on real-world situations, encouraging debate, generating new knowledge and developing ways to move forward after conflict. The other area (see above, ‘Negotiating ‘the Past’ in Post–conflict Spaces’) investigates cultural and historical constructions of past, present and future as experienced, understood and negotiated in cultures and societies undergoing violent conflict or dealing with ‘post-conflict’ legacies. Here, our interdisciplinary interests focus on the intersection of these temporal dynamics with the spatial locatedness of conflict, the significance of landscapes and sites in conflict and post-conflict geographies, and the role of spatial transformation in building just and peaceful futures.
By developing dialogue between historically and geographically situated studies and more abstract philosophical approaches, and through collaboration with external partners from outside the academy with lived experience and/or practical knowledge of conflict and its transformation, the cluster aims to develop over a number of years a valuable interdisciplinary synthesis for understanding and engaging with the forms and legacies of recent and contemporary violent conflict. For further details, see here