Civic Lectures

Johan Galtung Civic LectureProfessor Johan Galtung, January 2013

Professor Johan Galtung visited Liverpool in January this year to deliver our Civic Lecture on the subject "Four Components of Peace". He spoke to an attentive audience at the Capstone Theatre at Hope's Creative Campus, explaining his formula for peace. He described the need to increase equity and harmony, while also dealing with past trauma (reconciliation) and present conflict (resolution).

The Tutu Centre was privileged to continue to host Prof Galtung the following day, as he held a series of four workshops. In each, he unpacked one of the four components of peace, and gave opportunity for participants to apply his insights to their own particular interests and situations.

We welcomed participants from all over Britain and abroad, representing communities from Nigeria, Croatia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, to name but a few. Professor Galtung had insights into these and many other conflicts, while his audiences were held in thrall by his breadth of knowledge. We were also pleased to be able to strengthen our community links by welcoming guests from various peace groups and activists.

Read more about the lecture and watch a film of his talk


Clare ShortThe Right Honourable Clare Short, Former Secretary of State for International Development, February 2011

The Right Honourable Clare Short, former Secretary of State for International Development delivered the Civic Lecture on 9th February 2011. In her lecture, entitled 'Does a culture of violence dominate US/UK foreign policy thinking?', Ms Short examined the response of the US and UK to the attack on the Twin Towers and argued that the policy response was so irrational that it suggests a culture of violence has come to dominate Anglo-American foreign policy thinking. The lecture also argued that human civilization today faces an existential crisis, threatened by growing conflict, failed states, hunger and massive displacement of people with an economy which is destroying its natural support systems.

Speaking to a packed lecture theatre in the Eden Building, Ms Short analysed the current global situation and discussed a number of possible solutions, saying "The scenario I am putting before you today is not one of gloom and doom. It is a Call to Action. We are on a very, very dangerous path but the disaster that is looming is avoidable if we take the necessary action." She urged ethical and rational people to unite in challenging the UK government to rethink its foreign policy which would in turn affect the policies of other governments, most notably the US.

To see the full text of her lecture click on Clare Short Civic Lecture



Desmond Tutu opening the Gateway Building 2007Archbishop Desmond Tutu, June 2007

Archbishop Desmond Tutu delivered his Civic lecture entitled: 'Ours is a Moral Universe,' on Tuesday 26th June 2007 in The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool.

Liverpool Hope University was honoured to host Archbishop Tutu's first official trip to the UK since 2004. Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor & Rector of Liverpool Hope University said: "His great work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa is the reason why we asked Archbishop Tutu if he would allow us to use his name for the Centre."

To see the full text of his lecture click on Archbishop Desmond Tutu - Civic Lecture


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Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, June 2005

On 5th June 2008 Mary McAleese, the long serving President of Ireland delivered her lecture entitled Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. She spoke from her own experience of the years of conflict in Northern Ireland. The President, describing Liverpool Hope as 'the University that broke the mould between Catholic and Protestant', recounted the story of reconciliation in her own country, the perseverance in finding common ground, which brought about the triumph of hope and over the destructive experience of conflict.

To see the full text of her lecture click on Mary McAleese - Civic Lecture




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Prof Rajmohan Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, November 2005

The second Civic Lecture was held on 16th November 2005 and the Centre was honoured to have the distinguished academic, author, journalist and politician, Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi deliver a powerful address to 250 diverse and distinguished attendees from across Merseyside.

Prof Gandhi commented: "My wife Usha and I have spent amazing days in Britain – in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds, Hull, Oxford and London. We have been heartened to learn of numerous attempts across Britain to know one another, and one another's faiths and cultures".

To see the full text of his lecture click on Prof Rajmohan Gandhi - Civic Lecture


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Prof Anthony J. Parel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Calgary, October 2004

The first Civic Lecture was held in the Great Hall on the evening of 6th October 2004 marked the formal launch of the Centre, the lecture was presented by Professor Anthony J. Parel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Calgary, on the subject 'Gandhi, War and Peace', and took place only a few days after the 135th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most prominent peacemakers and advocates of non-violence in the twentieth century.