War, Peace, & Revolution

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Christian Enemark

Thanks, Saptadeepa, for your video presentation on the state, revolution and post-revolutionary organisation as central themes in classical anarchist thought. I found the subject matter refreshing, partly because I cannot remember the last time I personally had an anarchist thought, and mainly because anarchism has moved to the fringes of political theory in terms of what usually gets taught and published in the academic mainstream. As a politics scholar, I am not well qualified to advise on how best to pursue a PhD within a history department, but while I’m here I can humbly throw up a few thoughts, questions… Read more »

Saptadeepa Banerjee

It is indeed weird to respond to your comments so very late and I sincerely apologise for that. Thank you very much, Christian, for watching my presentation, for all the valuable comments.and stimulating questions that you have raised. It is indeed a very challenging task to study a subject like anarchism here in my country, India, as the academic domain here does not really (I suppose) find great interest in the subject. In fact, I tend to feel extremely isolated at times having taken up something like anarchism as my subject of research and normally do not find too many… Read more »

Christian Enemark

Thanks, Alina, for your presentation on peacebuilding and realism. Efforts at peacebuilding do indeed keep failing, so it continues to be important to ask why this is the case. Liberal theorists and scholar-activists within peace studies might agree upon the moral importance of attempting peacebuilding, but certain attempts sometimes appear to founder because of competing interests, so these could usefully be scrutinised with a realist eye. You do a good job of telling us what peacebuilding is and of distinguishing it from mere peace-making and peacekeeping. It would be interesting also to learn of some specific examples of peacebuilding failure… Read more »

Alina Baihuzhakava

Thank you, Christian, for this comprehensive and multifaceted feedback. Here I presented an initial (theoretic) part of my PhD thesis. Indeed, later on I am planning to refer to specific examples of peace operations with peacebuilding elements. I agree that Galtung’s conceptualization and attaching peacebuilding to the elimination of structural violence somehow excludes the realist school from engaging with the topic. However, I believe that realism can be used to explain the interests behind the engagement in peacebuilding activities (e.g. development assistance or support to certain local actors) and the influence of these on a regional (and in more general… Read more »

Nick Dickinson

Conflict, conflict situations and coping mechanisms among Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Southwest Nigeria   Thank you Damilola and Temitayo for an interesting paper on how conflict situations impact MSMEs survival and growth in Nigeria’s economic heartland. I’m Dr Nick Dickinson and I am the discussant for this paper. I am a Fellow in Politics at Balliol College, Oxford and I research and teach political science and comparative government within the Department of Politics and International relations here.   The paper is a very interesting reflection on how in increasing conflict in region – including protests against… Read more »

Mike Bolt

For Daniel Mobley:

Hi Daniel, 

Thanks for the interesting presentation. 

I was wondering if you would be able to expand a little more on the sources you used to identify different aspects of the Nixon regimes discourse? Did you make use of archival sources for example? 

Additionally, did the analysis reveal any further attempts to define or embellish additional aspects of US national character? 

Thanks,

Mike 

Daniel Mobley

Hi Mike, Thank you. Sorry for not being a bit more clear about the sources for the discourse itself. Yes, I used texts that would have been widely available for public consumption at the time, e.g. newspaper articles, speeches, interviews, etc.  There was another aspect that I did not have space to cover in the presentation. The administration often referred to concepts such as ‘moral strength’ or ‘moral stamina’. Though at first these tropes seem as if they should fit in with the administration’s broader moralistic rhetoric, this discourse seems to have functioned in a different manner. Most of this… Read more »

Mike Bolt

Thanks Daniel for the interesting and detailed reply!

Leah Rea

Hi Alina, thank you for your interesting presentation! I am drawn to your arguments for the application of a realist approach / interpretation on peacekeeping for as you have outlined, peacekeeping is readily examined via a liberal lens with moral arguments made without consideration of realpolitik. Peacebuilding and peacekeeping efforts have tended to not be successful in recent years which bears consideration as to why – as you note, has the tendency been to impose Western ideals of peace without cultural context? I would be interested to know your thoughts as to the application of a realist lens to conflict… Read more »

Alina Baihuzhakava

Hi Leah and thank you for the comment! On conflict intervention and conflict transformation it depends what meaning is behind these definitions. Military intervention, humanitarian one or intervention understood as any involvement that may influence the conflict? Conflict transformation is yet another term with no agreed definition. It can be understood in opposition to more narrow meanings of conflict management and conflict resolution, but also as a synonym to peacebuilding, as it aims to tackle the root causes of a conflict and transform violence into constructive conflict. I believe that one of the effects of peacebuilding setbacks was the emergence… Read more »

Leah Rea

Hi Saptadeepa, thank you so much for your presentation. I thought this was very interesting, and for me a fresh approach to classical anarchism, focusing on its constructive nature as opposed to disorganised dismantling of the state. I would be interested to know your views on the application of this understanding of classical anarchism to contemporary discourse around dismantling state institutions perceived as oppressive, if the overarching aim of anarchism is to achieve beneficial reform. Could state institutions be reconfigured / re-organised to address issues of systematic discrimination for example? Thank you.

Saptadeepa Banerjee

Thank you very much Leah for watching my presentation and I’m glad to know that you found the approach fresh and interesting. I’m afraid I am not really dealing with the application of the understanding of classical anarchism to contemporary discourse as I am dealing with anarchism as theory and practice in a historical context. However, as Christian and you have pointed out I think it would interesting to take a look at the manner in which classical anarchist thinking has come to be received and applied in contemporary discourse centering on the need for dismantling oppressive authoritarian institutions such… Read more »

Leah Rea

Hi Daniel – that was a great presentation, thank you. I think your identification of two aspects of the isolationist discourse is very interesting, particularly the ideological discourse / narrative and its implications for what constituted “America” and the patriotic American. Do you think this discourse has been utilised post-Vietnam by successive Administrations, for example during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, given the development of policy securitisation following 9/11? Thank you.

Daniel Mobley

Hi Leah,   Thank you. I believe various forms of exceptionalist discourse have continued to be quite effective tools over the years, yes. And though it has not had the same force since Vietnam, I also believe that ‘isolationism’ discourses linger as well.   I think the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan represent interesting cases regarding the ‘ideological character’ discourse covered in this presentation. The neoconservatism, so prevalent in the G.W. Bush administration, was in many ways a direct reaction to the Nixon Doctrine. The primary complaint from neoconservatives against the foreign policy approaches of Nixon and Kissinger (who… Read more »

Leah Rea

Thank you Damilola and Temitayo for your presentation! I feel this was a great introduction the effect of conflict situations upon the growth and very survival of MSMEs in Nigeria. To me, this raises pertinent questions about the impact of conflict on businesses and subsequently the national economy, and the arising ramifications upon civilians at this time. I would be interested to know whether you have considered the role of economic rebuild and business growth/sustainability within the context of conflict transformation and subsequent peace processes? Thank you.

Manjeet Ramgotra

Thanks Saptadeepa for your paper. It is really great to hear research on Bakunin and Kropotkin on anarchy. You argue that anarchy does not mean there is not organisation, but doesn’t this need leadership? I am thinking in part of the global covid pandemic and how in the UK restrictions have been lifted but the responsibility is now on individuals to wear masks and keep their distance (socially distance themselves). However I am not convinced that people will do this unless there are regulations to make people do so. This requires leadership and leading by example. Anyway I just wondered… Read more »

Saptadeepa Banerjee

Thank you very much Manjeet for watching my presentation! The question that you have posed is very pertinent in the current context of COVID-19. It is true that classical anarchist thinking did call for some form of organisation in the post-revolutionary period and elements of contradiction and inconsistencies also come to the fore when one talks of anarchy on the one hand and organisation on the other. Historians have also been pre-occupied with such supposed inconsistencies in Bakunin’s anarchist ideas and his emphasis on the role that the revolutionary brotherhood would play in organising revolutions. The standard argument has been… Read more »

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