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Feminist Contributions and Challenges to Peace Studies

Catia Cecilia Confortini


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Comment on this article   Feminism improves on and challenges peace studies (PS) by (1) proposing expanded definitions of peace that suggest continuity between different forms of violence; (2) highlighting the diverse roles women, and other marginalized groups, play in violent conflicts and in peace processes; (3) complicating our understanding of peace and violence while foregrounding gender as a social and symbolic construct involving relations of power; and (4) proposing transformative ways of conceptualizing peace, war, and postconflict transitions. There exist disagreements about what can today be rightly defined as peace studies. Some argue for a strictly “scientific” approach to the study of conflict and peace, reflecting an epistemological commitment to what is now commonly referred to as positivism in the social sciences; for others, PS is an interdisciplinary and multi-epistemological field dedicated to the study of the causes of conflict and the conditions for peace; for yet others, peace education and peace action are inseparable from peace research. For the purpose of this essay, PS will be used in the more inclusive definition to intend a field of knowledge devoted to researching and understanding the causes of violence and the conditions for interpersonal, societal, and international peace. It comprises: 1  Peace research (PR) as a scholarly endeavor, institutionalized ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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