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Graz Research Contributions to Peace and Conflict

edited by Maximilian Lakitsch and Werner Suppanz

If the discourse of peace and conflict studies is already very broad, the field of scholarly engagement with the phenomena of peace and conflict is much broader. Finally, academic research on conflict and peace is spread across many different academic disciplines, even when other terminologies are applied. In fact, few researchers see themselves located witin peace and conflict studies. This creates many conceptual and thematic overlaps that ultimately go unnoticed. An increased exchange between precisely those discourses would therefore not be insignificant as a foundation for future synergies. This edited volume wants to make the beginning of such a foundation at the University of Graz and thus contribute to the dialogue for mutual scientific benefit. Accordingly, it is not surprising that the authors of this anthology cover a broad spectrum of disciplines, ranging from law, history, and political science to sociology, philosophy, cultural anthropology, and American studies.

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Conflict Landscapes of South Sudan: Fragments of a State

by Jan Pospisil

After decades of civil war, the Republic of South Sudan gained its independence on July 9, 2011. Despite all efforts to build a peaceful state, the first decade of statehood took a violent course: In December 2013, South Sudan slid into a bloody civil war that evolved into an amalgam of complexly nested conflict landscapes rather than a unified conflict with clearly definable parties. In analytical episodes that examine different regions as well as the national and international dimensions of the civil war, Jan Pospisil provides an insight into the South Sudanese conflict reality.

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Augmented Democracy in Political Education

New Challenges of Digitization

The volume is dedicated to the field of digitization based on different points of reference for the theory and practice of civic education. Digitization opens up new opportunities for citizens of a democratic society to participate and gain information in their own sphere of life and, in this context, offers potential for democratization processes. At the same time, digitization poses new challenges for everyday democracy and civic education. The contributions investigate how digitization affects civic education and whether it can be used constructively for the benefit of social democratization.

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Human and Minority Rights Protection by Multiple Diversity Governance: History, Law, Ideology and Politics in European Perspective

herausgegeben von Joseph Marko, Sergiu Constantin

Human and Minority Rights Protection by Multiple Diversity Governance provides a comprehensive overview and critical analysis of minority protection through national constitutional law and international law in Europe. Using a critical theoretical and methodological approach, this textbook:

  • provides a historical analysis of state formation and nation building in Europe with context of religious wars and political revolutions, including the (re-)conceptualisation of basic concepts and terms such as territoriality, sovereignty, state, nation and citizenship;
  • deconstructs all primordial theories of ethnicity and provides a sociologically informed political theory for how to reconcile the functional prerequisites for political unity, legal equality and social cohesion with the preservation of cultural diversity;
  • examines the liberal and nationalist ideological framing of minority protection in liberal-democratic regimes, including the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice;
  • analyses the ongoing trend of re-nationalisation in all parts of Europe and the number of legal instruments and mechanisms from voting rights to proportional representation in state bodies, forms of cultural and territorial autonomy and federalism.

This textbook will be essential reading for students, scholars and practitioners interested in European politics, human and minority rights, constitutional and international law, governance and nationalism.

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Peace in Political Unsettlement: Beyond Solving Conflict

von Jan Pospisil

International peacebuilding has reached an impasse. Its lofty ambitions have resulted in at best middling success, punctuated by moments of outright failure. The discrediting of the term ‘liberal peacebuilding’ has seen it evolve to respond to the numerous critiques. Notions such as ‘inclusive peace’ merge the liberal paradigm with critical notions of context, and the need to refine practices to take account of ‘the local’ or ‘complexity’. However, how this would translate into clear guidance for the practice of peacebuilding is unclear. Paradoxically, contemporary peacebuilding policy has reached an unprecedented level of vagueness. Peace in political unsettlement provides an alternative response rooted in a new discourse, which aims to speak both to the experience of working in peace process settings. It maps a new understanding of peace processes as institutionalising formalised political unsettlement and points out new ways of engaging with it. The book points to the ways in which peace processes institutionalise forms of disagreement, creating ongoing processes to manage it, rather than resolve it. It suggests a modest approach of providing ‘hooks’ to future processes, maximising the use of creative non-solutions, and practices of disrelation, are discussed as pathways for pragmatic post-war transitions. It is only by understanding the nature and techniques of formalised political unsettlement that new constructive ways of engaging with it can be found.

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"Work-shy and morally depraved" Persecution of women as "asocials" under National Socialism

by Helga Amesberger, Brigitte Halbmayr und Elke Rajal

The National Socialist idea of the "pure body of the people" knew many exclusion criteria. First and foremost, they were racially based and the "Volksgemeinschaft" was therefore conceived as exclusively "Aryan"; secondly, the aim was to remove the "harmful elements" within one's own ranks. This also included women who came into the focus of the authorities because of their supposed lack of work ethic ("work-shy") or an "amoral" lifestyle. This behavior was classified as "alien to the community" and its hereditary predisposition was tried to be proven. The consequences were incarceration in labor institutions, prison and concentration camps, and forced sterilizations. Examples from the districts of Vienna and Niederdonau document many of these women's fates and the official procedures associated with the persecution. Court proceedings and the processing of compensation applications show that the stigmatization of women as "asocial" continued after 1945 and had adverse consequences for women on many levels.

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Peace Research, Conflict Research, Democracy Research: A Handbook

edited by Blanka Bellak, Gertraud Diendorfer, Anton Pelinka und Werner Wintersteiner

The newly published publication of the CPD Cluster "Friedensforschung, Konfliktforschung, Demokratieforschung. Ein Handbuch" sheds light on the three aforementioned research fields as well as their interdisciplinary commonalities in theory, concept and methodology.

The Handbook on Peace, Conflict and Democracy Research is the result of a cooperation of research institutes that are part of the Conflict-Peace-Democracy-Cluster (CPDC). It offers orientation to teachers, students and all those interested in political education. Contributions by Helga Amesberger, Blanka Bellak, Karin Bischof, Gertraud Diendorfer, Gert Dressel, Wolfgang Göderle, Wilfried Graf, Katharina Heimerl, Bernadette Knauder, Matthias Kopp, Maximilian Lakitsch, Karin Liebhart, Anton Pelinka, Susanne Reitmair-Juárez, Thomas Roithner, Dieter Segert, Karin Stögner, Johanna Urban, Werner Wintersteiner.

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Civil Society in Conflict: On Success and Failure in Crisis Areas

edited by Maximilian Lakitsch und Susanne Reitmair-Juárez

In Syria, civil society is providing humanitarian aid where it is almost impossible for other actors to do so; in Bosnia, NGOs are driving the social peace process forward where state and diplomatic initiatives have long been paralyzed - around the world, civil society is providing irreplaceable services in conflict transformation. But often the desire to help exceeds the ability to do so. Thus, a lack of understanding of local needs and sustained effectiveness sometimes alters and prolongs some conflicts. Effective engagement in the service of peace requires a high degree of self-reflection, especially from civil society actors.

In this sense, this volume on the 32nd Summer Academy at Friedensburg Schlaining is intended as a critical and encouraging contribution to civil society engagement in international crisis areas.

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