Conference on Realistic Peace and Turbulent Transitions – Rosario University in Bogota

Conference on  Realistic Peace and Turbulent Transitions (1)Author: Cristiano Morsolin

After our collective book “Renovadas formas de hacer oposicion”, Rosario University organizes an international Conference on Realistic Peace and Turbulent Transitions with Daniel Pécaut (EHESS Paris), Antanas Mockus and some experts from Colombia, Germany, UK.

Fredy Cante, professor in Rosario University talks about Power, morality and peace. In modern societies the peace has to realistic meanings: i) In international affairs, is an interlude of cheating between two periods of fighting (Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary); ii) in general, is a form to promote war by means destructive progress (economic growth and prosperity), which implies structural violence against marginal people (poor societies in other geographies, and future generations), and destruction of nature. The main cause of this problem is the persistence of the next social failures: a) expansion of different kinds of power (destructive, technical, economic, and ideological) through abstractions (mainly reason and money); b) Weak morality because a big majority of people are only individuals (which have only economic preferences) and no persons (that have meta-preferences and morality), and this produce voluntary servitude (La Boetie) and banality of evil (Arendt). Besides the philosophical discussion is showed some empirical evidence.

Carlos Eduardo Maldonado, professorSchool of Political Science and Government Universidad del Rosario, talks about THE COMPLEXITY OF NON-VIOLENT ACTION. Non-violent action is – and has been throughout history, a non-evident social and political move of societies. For, the rule has been violence in its manifold forms, layers and expressions. Violence has been served in history as sort of gratis principle. Henceforth, it has had a scandalous value. This paper argues that non-violent action is worthy in a variety of modes precisely because of its complexity. Arguments about such a complexity are provided that, at the same time, she light on the linearity of violence. This paper claims that non-violent action corresponds to a political dimension in which society has become a magnificent complex organism. Moreover, non-violent action corresponds to the phase of highest complexity in a social organization. Examples are provided ranging from ecology to population biology, from ethology to swarm intelligence. At the end, several conclusions are drawn that shed new lights on the social, cultural, and political understanding of our world and to the foreseeable future.

Dr Hartmut Quehl, Director of the Felsberg Institute for Education and Academic Research (FIBW), talks about Reconciliation and Historical Processes.  Recently, reconciliation has started to play an increasingly important role in political discourses when it comes to ways out of conflict constellations. Discourse participants frequently underestimate the complexity of the issue at hand.  Depending on the participants’ point of origin, reconciliation is an emotional and psychological necessity, a social activity, a cultural convention and skill, an object of political regulation, or a historical process. Yet, surprisingly, reconciliation is not used as a term with legal implications in the discourse mentioned.  In fact, criminal law refers to reconciliation in the context of compensation acts between victim and perpetrator. In international law, reconciliation is treated within the overarching context of transitional justice, but it is not a juridical term used in jurisdiction. This fact exposes some fundamental attributes of reconciliation: reconciliation cannot be forced, but rather has to grow from independent discretion, and, reconciliation processes can be planned only to a limited extend.This paper approaches the topic of reconciliation from an historical perspective. It is based on the the following hypotheses premises :

  • a reconciliation processes is historical per se
  • a reconciliation process must be preceded by traumatic experiences
  • a reconciliation process can only partially be steered and regulated
  • a reconciliation process has to incorporate the principle of „forgive and forget“ and is directly connected with the collective memory of a societal group
  • reconciliation processes polarize and incorporate components of societal division and marginalization

These hypotheses will be elaborated by using the following examples:

–              Historic synchronisation and generational change: the German example after 1945

–              European discourses on rememberances of National Socialism, Fascism, and War

–              Prognosis on the willingness to reconcile: the examples of South Africa and Lebanon

–              Combatants as perpetrators and victims — examples from liberation wars

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