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Communication, Conflict and Peace

Online International Conference organized by the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park Campus, 27th June 2022

Global transformations fostered by the decentralization of communications from mainstream media and governance institutions to a plural range of socioeconomic actors and stakeholders have shaken the foundations of social consensus, truth and objectivity in the construction of public spheres. Such transformation has posed unprecedented challenges to conflict management and peacebuilding, multiplying risks of instability and war, but also the spaces for the construction of collective meanings and the voices shaping them.   

As the international community struggles to find consensus and challenges to peace and security risks multiply, the aim of this event is to explore the relationship between communication broadly conceived, and the challenges and possibilities for peace. The conference covers multiple aspects of the relationship between Communication, conflict and peace including:  

  • Dynamics of miscommunication, propaganda and persuasion
  • Historical and contemporary perspectives
  • The role of communication technologies, formats (speed, scope, use)
  • The role of communication and media in prevention, management of conflict
  • Communication, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law
  • Public Diplomacy
  • Documentation and representation of war, conflict and peace in a variety of formats including photography, film, radio, TV, magazines, social media, videogames, etc.  
  • News media, journalism in conflict and peace
  • The role of representation and language in conflict and peacebuilding

Called for papers closed on April 1, 2022.

Keynote speaker: Simon Cottle, Communication, Conflict and Peace – in a World-in-Crisis

We are living in historically unprecedented times - some would say in the Anthropocene, others the Capitalocene, and yet others, increasingly, ‘the End-Times’. The onward crush of global crises speaks to a ‘world-in-crisis.’ Climate change is probably the most precipitous existential threat to humanity and the continuation of life on planet Earth, but it is not the only threat. Bio-diversity loss, the sixth mass extinction, food, water and energy insecurity, pandemics, soil degradation and weapons of mass destruction all now pose further existential threats. For the most part these can be related to a rapacious economic system wedded to incessant growth, that is now overshooting planetary limits, and a worldview in which ideas of human exceptionalism, progress, and nature as an economic opportunity, have brought the world to the brink of collapse. It is in their complex interaction, in their evident acceleration and mutual compounding, that global crises today also create or exacerbate the conditions for conflict and the undermining of peace. How such crises become informationally signalled, culturally symbolised and deliberatively staged in today’s complex communication ecology can prove critical for exacerbating conflict or encouraging peace. This lecture sets out some ideas on this communication complexity and situated, necessarily, in relation to today’s ‘world-in-crisis’.

Simon Cottle is Professor of Media and Communications in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University. He is the author of 13 books and articles about global crisis reporting. These include Global Crisis Reporting (2009), Transnational Protests and the Media (2011)(co-ed with Libby Lester), Disasters and the Media (2012) (with Mervi Pantti and Karin Wahl-Jorgensen),  Humanitarianism, Communication and Change (2015)(co-ed with Glenda Cooper) and Reporting Dangerously (2016)(with Richard Sambrook and Nick Mosdell). Simon is series editor for the Global Crisis and Media Series, published by Peter Lang and is currently writing his next book, Reporting Civilizational Collapse: A Wake-Up Call.  

Registration free of charge for the Conference will open soon. For all enquiries, please contact tutu@hope.ac.uk

Useful information

27th June 2022

Hope Park Campus,
Liverpool Hope University
Taggart Avenue
L16 9JD