LANS Summer School on Conflict Studies and Conflict Resolution in France

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This course will provide you with the opportunity to engage with some of the most challenging and pressing issues of our time in a beautiful setting in France.

You will explore the main characteristics of the past, present and future global security environment, from the major wars of the 20th century, to civil wars, terrorism and finally to conflict resolution, as well as potential future conflicts which will probably be triggered by the effects of climate change and the migration crisis.

As always in LANS, we will look at this major challenge to our lives and those of our ancestors from a multi- and interdisciplinary perspective. This will lead to an appreciation of the complex role of factors like military capabilities, economic structures, international institutions and international law, conflict and technology, non-state actors in conflict and conflict resolution, identities and ideologies or language and emotions.

You will learn about how defence medicine paved the way to cosmetic surgery, as well as about immense challenges medics faced and are still facing on the modern battlefield. You will explore the role of gender in conflict and the long-lasting and profound impact that war has and had on the environment.

Last but not least, we will investigate the spiny question of ending war and the difficult question of avoiding war altogether.  After a war, not only soldiers/combatants and economies but also minds and hearts need to be demobilised. The latter appears particularly difficult in civil wars. Since inter-state wars are today rather the exception than the rule (only 7 out of 118 armed conflicts between 1989 and 2004) these wars will be at the heart of our discussion on conflict resolution. 

Usually, this summer school takes place in Fontainebleau, a beautiful small town 40 min south east of Paris, which offers a lot of spare time activities, such as bouldering, hiking and mountain biking in arguably France’s most picturesque forest as well as a rich cultural programme (guided tours of the castle of Fontainebleau, the painter’s villages on river Seine and day trips to Paris).

The programme will be run by our LANS tutor for foreign languages and conflict studies, Dr Steffen Prauser (s.prauser@bham.ac.uk), former Director of the Centre for Second World War Studies at the University of Birmingham, in conjunction with other members of the department, in addition to some leading experts on conflict, security and peace studies as well as practitioners in the field.