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STUDY OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE

The Centre aims to study political violence from two prisms–globalized violence and globalized ethics–and to explore alternative ways to understand it. The Centre takes an interdisciplinary approach, in particular combining international relations, political theory, sociology, ethics and philosophy in general. There is a particular focus on specific and urgent phenomena, such as mass killing, forced displacement, human security, and gender-based violence. Starting from Western ways of thinking, the Centre’s focus has expanded to cover non-Western philosophy, thereby inserting inter-civilizational perspectives. The Centre also aims to provide an Indian hub for those interested in both globalized violence and ethics.

It was Vladimir Lenin who once famously claimed that the twentieth century would be the time of war and revolution, but it was not only he who witnessed a most bloody century. Behind this history was an intact chain of violence, the essence of which was within the political realm.

Yet, the contemporary world is entering a new phase. The Weberian conception of sovereign states, monopolising all means of violence, has sometimes collapsed dramatically, while the spread of weapons and related materials continues to be a grave problem. The locus of violence is now expanded from the political to non-political, including one’s private realms, of which gender-based violence is representative. The introduction of ‘new’ wars has been accompanied by serious ethnic cleansing, and the Western claim for the war against terrorism has demonstrated that violence may have a tight link with grave uncertainty. What one observes is the process of radical change of violence – a phenomenon once regarded as collective, society-based, and therefore possible to be regulated, behaviour is now changing into more atomised events of suffering people across the planet.

Tackling political violence is a daunting task. Part of its reason exists in its very paradoxical nature that all politics requires some kinds of violence in some stages in order to establish and secure authority. Poststructuralist understanding tells us about the inevitable linkage between politics and violence. Nevertheless, it is a hasty evaluation that we have lived in a world of harming and the harmed. It is at the same time arguable that, throughout history, human beings have been struggling for limiting, if not banishing, it, thereby giving chances for social life. The development of political violence has always been in tandem with the development of the ideas to mitigate it, and it is largely ethics which has provided its foundation. Learning and analyzing globalized violence is, therefore, a task to learn globalised ethics, and vice versa.

CSPV organizes bi-weekly reading seminars with faculty and postgraduate students. It will host international seminars and lectures and provide the JGU community with opportunities to exchange views and enriching ideas. Research outcomes will be released through various media, including the University’s in-house journals and working papers, so that the Centre will also offer a locus for global feedback. Finally, the Centre also aims to develop international linkages and joint activities with JSIA’s other research centres. The overall goal of the Centre will be to provide firm knowledge and value basis for the future generations of scholars and practitioners, both domestic and global.
  

Introduction

The Centre for Study of Political Violence (CSPV) is a research centre located with the Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA) that seeks to provide new pathways in research pertaining to conflict and civil strife. The research agenda of the centre spans both theoretical and empirical work. A central concern of the CSPV is the manner in which individual moral and ethical choices are shaped by complex political environments as well as the consequences of these choices.

The research programme of the CSPV is inherently interdisciplinary in nature and draws on contemporary debates emanating from political science, traditional security studies, history, sociology and global ethics. At the same time the CSPV promotes methodologically rigorous, empirically sound, evidence-based approaches to the study of conflict. Thus the empirical research agenda draws on research traditions ranging from anthropology, literature, sociology, conflict studies and public health.
  

Research Objectives

The CSPV aims to build a community of researchers and practitioners who seek to understand conflict processes as well measure their socio-economic and political consequences. The CSPV also aims at developing innovations in the evolution of research methods that are specifically geared towards the study of conflict, peacebuilding and complex emergencies. Lastly, the CSPV is developing a repository of rich micro-level data sources to promote collaborative research and learning. Whereas the societal and humanitarian consequences of armed violence is incidental to mainstream strategic and security studies, the CSPV is distinct in terms of making these central to the research programme. Moreover through rigorous and high quality research the aim of the CSPV is to create an environment for ethically sound policy making.
 

Applied Research and Field Action

One of the core aims of the CSPV which distinguishes itself from other major conflict studies institutes in the region is that it seeks to develop tools and methodologies that are application oriented and contribute to conflict analysis, peacebuilding and conflict transformation.
 

Fellowships

The CSPV will host international faculty, researchers, practitioners and doctoral students through its innovative fellowship programmes.
 

CSPV Global Internship Programme in Armed Violence Studies

The programme is to encourage undergraduate and graduate students outside the OPJGU to work on topical theoretical and empirical problems in peace and conflict studies

  
Case Studies and Simulation Development for Pedagogical Assistance

One of the major obstacles to teaching in international relations (and the conflict studies sub-field) is the lack of readily available open-access case studies and simulations. CSPV associates will be developing case studies and simulations that are open access and would also be able to conduct these in workshop format in multiple venues. These cases and simulations will be thoroughly researched, topical and will convey a high degree of complexity.