Complexity of militarism explored at Leeds Beckett event
National and international speakers, both academics and practitioners took part in the event, organised by the Politics and Global Ethics group at Leeds Beckett.
The event built on the research and teaching of peace studies, which includes Dr Steve Wright's chapter in the new ‘Secure and Dispossessed’ book, Dr Rachel Julian's research on resistance, and forms a preparatory conference for the forthcoming World Congress. Peace studies students at our University also engaged with the two-day event as they considered militarism as part of their studies.
20 practitioners and researchers brought a wide range of perspectives to the workshops and used complexity theory to understand how militarism -which is the attitudes, structures and social practices which regard war and the preparation for war as normal and desirable activities - can be understood in relation to reducing inequality, justice and climate change.
Speaking about the event, Dr Julian, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social, Psychological and Communication Sciences at Leeds Beckett, said: “Militarism is an under-researched contribution to global inequality, it links with economics, development, environment, peacebuilding and security, and impacts our lives at a local and global level.
“By understanding militarism as a system, and incorporating insights from War Resistors International, Quakers, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Scientists for Global Responsibility, as well as researchers from our University, this event was an opportunity to influence and change the negative contribution of militarism to enable a sustainable future.”
The initial results of the event will be shared at a forthcoming seminar at Leeds Beckett and in Atlanta USA in March, with a report contributing to a future World Congress in Berlin in September 2016.
The workshop links closely with the 'Ammerdown Invitation', which is an effort by practitioners and academics, including Dr Julian , to rethink security and propose alternative approaches for the UK Strategy.