University of Bayreuth, Presse release No. 173/2022 - 19 October 2022

Public launch event of the "Bayreuth Peace Talks" – new network for peace and conflict research

An interdisciplinary academic network for peace and conflict research has been founded at the University of Bayreuth. Within the framework of the new series of events "Bayreuth Peace Talks", the participating scientists want to discuss current crises and conflicts as well as possible solutions in a dialogue with the public. A joint kick-off event on 25 October 2022 will be held under the motto: "Crisis(es) of the present - what answers does peace and conflict research provide?" Media and the public are welcome to attend. The event will be held in English. Participation is free of charge, registration is not required.

Date: 25 October 2022, 7 p.m.
Location: Building Angewandte Informatik (INF/AI), Lecture Hall 34, Campus of the University of Bayreuth. The building is located between the entrance to the Ecological-Botanical Garden and the Central University Administration. Following the event, all participants are invited to a reception in the foyer.

War, climate, pandemic, supply chains, energy prices – the daily news is currently dominated by a bundle of international crises. These upheavals are leading to resource conflicts, power struggles, and debates about solution strategies. Against this background, the newly founded Network for Peace and Conflict Studies is organizing a panel discussion to kick off the "Bayreuth Peace Talks". The fundamental question at stake is how scientific research can and should approach the current challenges: Does research help to better understand the causes and dynamics of conflicts? Can contributions from science develop and promote strategies of conflict resolution – and should this be the goal of research at all?

Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible, President of the University of Bayreuth, will open the event with a welcoming address. Afterwards, Bayreuth scholars will present approaches from political science, history and economics and will discuss tasks, possibilities and limits of peace and conflict research:

  • Dr. Julia Eichenberg (History)
  • PD Dr. Florian Kühn (International Relations)
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Ouma (Economic Geography)
  • Moderation: Prof. Dr. Jana Hönke (Sociology)

The event is organized with the support of the research projects "Transitional Conflicts" and "Postcolonial Hierarchies in Peace and Conflict" at the University of Bayreuth, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The new public event series 
"Bayreuth Peace Talks"

In the future, scholars from the University of Bayreuth and invited speakers from academia, politics and society will shed light on the causes and environment of current political conflicts. The lectures and subsequent discussions will address key questions of the research field and public debates: How did these conflicts arise and what are the motives of the actors involved? Under what circumstances do violent escalations threaten? And which peace efforts are promising? The events will be held alternately in German and English.

The new network for peace and conflict research
The network of scholars will anchor peace and conflict research at the University of Bayreuth and promote the transfer of knowledge to politics and society. In order to grasp the complexity of conflicts and to be able to provide practice-relevant assessments, an interdisciplinary approach is central. The network therefore brings together researchers from various disciplines, including sociology, social and cultural anthropology, geography, political science, history, economics and religious studies. Participating scholars research and teach on a variety of topics, including violence, security, humanitarian aid, persisting colonial power relations, and social movements.

The network is based on two research projects that started in April 2022 and are funded by the BMBF. The Bavarian collaborative project "Transitional Conflicts", coordinated by PD Dr. Florian Kühn and Dr. Jan Sändig at the University of Bayreuth, examines processes of social and political change and related disputes – be it the much-discussed "turn of an era" in connection with the war against Ukraine, coming to terms with colonialism, or the consequences of the state collapse of Yugoslavia. The competence network "Postcolonial Hierarchies", in turn, examines traditional power structures that have their roots in European colonialism and continue to have an effect in current conflicts, not infrequently even being deliberately revived. It also explores the significance of overcoming these hierarchies in creating peaceful and just structures in the present.

Homepage of the new network:

Poster of the event:

Prof. Dr. Jana Hönke, Universität Bayreuth.

Prof. Dr. Jana Hönke

Sociology of Africa
University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0) 921 55-4116

Jan Sändig

Dr. Jan Sändig

Research Assistant
BMBF Joint Project "Interpretive Struggles in Transition
University of Bayreuth

Christian Wißler, Wissenschaftskommunikation

Christian Wißler

Deputy Press & PR Manager, Research Communication
University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5356