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The Globalisation of Political Violence

Monash Prato Centre, Italy

28-30 June 2004

The precise nature of the relationship between globalisation and violence remains largely unstudied. While a great deal of attention has focused on the interface of states and markets, there has been less focus on the changing character and intensity of violence under conditions of globalisation. This workshop—organised by the CSGR in conjunction with Monash University’s Institute for the Study of Global Movements—sought to examine this as yet under-analysed problem from a multidisciplinary perspective. The workshop comprised papers from the disciplines of politics, international relations, international political economy, economics, law, media studies, sociology, and criminology.

The workshop concentrated on six overlapping and broad areas enquiry: 1) states and war; 2) political order; 3) technology; 4) markets; 5) culture and mass media; and 6) legal and moral norms. The papers presented covered:

  • post conflict recovery and the global economy (Tony Addison, World Institute for Development Economics, Helsinki);
  • conflict in African states and globalisation (Dunja Speiser, SWP/Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin);
  • degenerate wars and cosmopolitanism (Peter Lawler, University of Manchester);
  • the global media and reporting of conflict (Thomas Keenan; Bard College, New York);
  • states and wars in narratives of globalisation (Mark Laffey, School of Oriental and African Studies);
  • globalisation and policing against refugees (Sharon Pickering, Monash)
  • new forms of terrorism and globalisation (Asta Maskaliunaite, Central European University, Hungary)

This workshop was part of the CSGR’s larger overall project on globalisation and security, and the intention is to publish is findings as an edited volume. In addition to the papers presented at the workshop itself, other papers in the book by authors from Warwick and Monash will cover: globalisation and environmental insecurity; the policing of ant-globalisation movements; globalisation, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and developing legal frameworks; globalisation and the transformation of military structures; terrorism in Southeast Asia under conditions of globalisation; and globalisation and state-building. The aim of the book, as of the workshop, will be to search for a deeper understanding of the interconnections between globalisation phenomena and violence. At this stage, it is clear that all participants have begun to rethink many of their assumptions about these two issues when studied together, and when studied from a multidisciplinary perspective.

The workshop itself was hailed by all participants and the organisers—Chris Hughes from the CSGR and Richard Devetak from Monash—as a great success. The organisers would particularly like to thank the Monash Institute for providing such a warm Australian and Tuscan welcome.