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Feminist Contributions and Challenges to Peace Studies

Catia Cecilia Confortini


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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