The Praxis Conference
Linking peacebuilding theory and practice

Why Praxis

Detail 1

Human-generated conflict spreads across all levels of the international and the domestic arenas with scholarly inquiry engaging these dilemmas, in part, through the analysis of politics, economics, education, history, and socio-cultural dynamics. Additionally, these dynamics are also explored by peace researchers in order to determine causal factors that restrain or control conflict. Peace and conflict resolution practitioners, on the other hand, employ various methodologies and approaches to assess and to alleviate conflict-producing factors such as poverty, resource access, dehumanization processes, and so on. Both scholars and practitioners gain valuable insights through their research, practice, and engagement with conflict and peace dynamics but those insights often remain partitioned rather than shared. A more thorough familiarity with conflict dynamics as explored through scholarly research could significantly assist work conducted by NGOs, charities, and other organizations. Learning of considerations and constraints experienced by practitioners and other organizations' personnel in their work could add depth and insight to scholarly endeavors. This linking of theory and practice can be of particular importance among scholars and practitioners who research youth, conflict, and peace in areas of, for example, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs, educational opportunities, juvenile justice, restorative practices, and youth political engagement. 

Detail 2

The 2017 Mason Praxis Conference issues a call for paper proposals that focus on aspects of practice, theory, and scholarship relating to the intersection of youth, conflict, and peace. We welcome papers that explore all aspects of youth in relation to conflict and peace, both domestic and international, from practitioner, organizational, and scholarly perspectives. Cross-cutting or integrating proposals linking different constituencies, fields of engagement, or levels of analysis are particularly welcome. The following themes are representative of what might be addressed:

1. Buzzwords (development, sustainability, empowerment, child soldiers, healing, etc)

2. Economics 

3. Formal and Non-formal Education. 

4. Environmental (this could be water, land, pollution, desertifaction – the whole thing about linking conflict and the environment and/or the destruction of the environment a la Homer-Dixon should be of interest to scholars, practitioners, and NGO folk, or so I think)

5. Situational (I use this word in place of socio-cultural because many more dynamics could be slotted here; the concepts of situational vulnerability and situational capability link back to education, economics, environment, but can be parsed through culture, ethnicity, geography, class, economics/jobs, social identity and its push/pull dynamics (~peer pressure), etc.

Detail 3

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