Presentation Title

How militarism fuels and is sustained in an age of “-isms”. Introducing a new framework for analysis to understand and transcend destructive discourses and practices in the way of peace with justice.

Start Date

10-2-2021 5:45 PM

End Date

10-2-2021 6:15 PM

Proposal Type

Presentation

Proposal Description

Troubling global trends where destructive identity politics are omnipresent hinder the development of peace, justice, and the protection of the planet. White supremacy, racism, xenophobia, authoritarianism, misogyny, and other destructive “-isms” are not only present but openly exposed and unchecked or driven by many in power. In this context, militarism remains a powerful yet underrecognized contributing factor to destructive systems.

Why underrecognized, if highly exaggerated military spending and misguided national and international priorities in favor of military priorities are increasingly being called out? Virchow and Thomas’s (2006) concept of ‘banal militarism’ reminds us to not only look at extreme and obvious forms of masculine warrior driven depictions and practices, but the rather unspectacular processes of every-day life normalization of militarized ideas. Understanding that ‘banal militarism’ is hidden yet pervasive, not fully understood yet highly destructive requires us to systematically analyze the interconnectivity with the aforementioned destructive phenomena of our age.

The field of peace and conflict studies is unique in that it offers structured inquiry into the causes and potential trajectories of conflict phenomena. The majority of social conflicts can be traced back to structural inequalities. This paper will introduce a new framework that aims to broaden the analysis of structural conflicts and inequalities by adding militarism as a key lens guiding the inquiry. Guided by a ‘feminist curiosity’ (Enloe, 2004), which refuses to take to for granted the current social and political state of affairs and instead sees that structural realities are created and maintained, the introduction of the militarism lens aims to make inquiries into conflict phenomena more complete and thereby offer more openings for structural transformation.

Additional Comments

Author bio:

Patrick holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University and an M.A. in Human Geography from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.

He is the Executive Director of the War Prevention Initiative, founding editor of the Peace Science Digest, and teaches at the Conflict Resolution Program at Portland State University. Following an interdisciplinary approach, his work and research interests encompass war and peace, conflict resolution, peace studies, environmental issues, ethnicity, human rights, nationalism, social justice, Mexico, Latin America, social/peace movements, identity formation, culture and conflict and migration. He studied and worked on those topics while living in Germany, Mexico and the United States.

Patrick is the Vice-President of the International Peace Research Association Foundation and served on the Executive Committee of the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association (2012-2016). He served on the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War (2013-2016), he is member of the Advisory Council of the organizations International Cities of Peace and PeaceVoice/PeaceVoiceTV, member of the Board of Directors of the Oregon Peace Institute, member of the Peace and Security Funders Group as well as member of the Peace and Justice Studies Association.

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Feb 10th, 5:45 PM Feb 10th, 6:15 PM

How militarism fuels and is sustained in an age of “-isms”. Introducing a new framework for analysis to understand and transcend destructive discourses and practices in the way of peace with justice.

Troubling global trends where destructive identity politics are omnipresent hinder the development of peace, justice, and the protection of the planet. White supremacy, racism, xenophobia, authoritarianism, misogyny, and other destructive “-isms” are not only present but openly exposed and unchecked or driven by many in power. In this context, militarism remains a powerful yet underrecognized contributing factor to destructive systems.

Why underrecognized, if highly exaggerated military spending and misguided national and international priorities in favor of military priorities are increasingly being called out? Virchow and Thomas’s (2006) concept of ‘banal militarism’ reminds us to not only look at extreme and obvious forms of masculine warrior driven depictions and practices, but the rather unspectacular processes of every-day life normalization of militarized ideas. Understanding that ‘banal militarism’ is hidden yet pervasive, not fully understood yet highly destructive requires us to systematically analyze the interconnectivity with the aforementioned destructive phenomena of our age.

The field of peace and conflict studies is unique in that it offers structured inquiry into the causes and potential trajectories of conflict phenomena. The majority of social conflicts can be traced back to structural inequalities. This paper will introduce a new framework that aims to broaden the analysis of structural conflicts and inequalities by adding militarism as a key lens guiding the inquiry. Guided by a ‘feminist curiosity’ (Enloe, 2004), which refuses to take to for granted the current social and political state of affairs and instead sees that structural realities are created and maintained, the introduction of the militarism lens aims to make inquiries into conflict phenomena more complete and thereby offer more openings for structural transformation.