Peace researcher EU at a crossroads - now all eyes are on Berlin

On Tuesday (16. June) have presented leading German peace researcher, the "peace report 2020" at the Federal press conference in Berlin. This year's report,

Peace researcher EU at a crossroads - now all eyes are on Berlin

On Tuesday (16. June) have presented leading German peace researcher, the "peace report 2020" at the Federal press conference in Berlin. This year's report, the German peace research Institute, BICC, HSFK, IFSH and INEF bears the title "In the shadow of the pandemic: last Chance for Europe". Sven Lilienström, founder of the Initiative, faces of peace, spoke with BICC Director Conrad Schetter (53) on the project of peace in Europe, the border between science and policy, as well as on the question of whether the recommendations of the peace are opinion only an Illusion.

Initiative, faces of peace: Mr. Schetter, the scientific Director of the "Bonn International Center for Conversion" (BICC) we would like to ask you, first of all: What does peace mean to you personally?

Conrad Schetter: , of Course, peace is a very vague term, under which each holds something different. I understand peace as Attempts to overcome social inequalities. This is particularly important, as the processes of Peace building can succeed without violence - physical and structural - applied. Therefore, we must not confuse peace in a paradisiacal final state, but can experience it every day.

Initiative, faces of peace: , climate change, nuclear weapons, radicalisation, and now is the Coronavirus. Looks at the world from a perspective of peace research is not gloomy? What needs to happen so our Planet will become more peaceful?

Schetter: From the perspective of peace research, it is a question of perspective, whether the world can be perceived as peaceful or warlike. It is interesting to note that we are experiencing since the end of the Second world war, a total acceptance of the war dead - with a growing number of violent conflicts. Say, today we have it - despite the escalation of violence in Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Afghanistan - with many frozen conflicts, low-intensity things to do.

Overall, you have to meet, however, the sober realization that the peace architecture that developed since the Second world war, breaks out at a breathtaking pace currently together. There is a danger is that the international community in recent times more and more confidence-building forums, treaties and agreements has to be addressed adopted, the major challenges of the future. In the peace report, we shed light on this question in relation to China and Russia but also the USA.

JRF Conrad Schetter is a German peace and conflict researchers. Since 2013, he is Director for Research at the Bonn International Center for Conversion.

are you in the World of protest movements

Initiative, faces of peace: co-editor of the peace report 2020, which was presented today at the Federal press conference. What are the developments since the last report? What are the Trends?

Schetter: , A Central Trend is certainly that the arms policy is changed by Europeanization. Here hurts the peace researcher that the European peace project of European armaments cooperation is strengthened and the threshold for arms exports in time of war, is to be minimized. This is a Central Problem that we address.

another Trend that we can observed worldwide protest movements, which are involved in quite different contexts and quite different needs to address. The call for democratic civil rights to the demonstrations in Hong Kong other than to the Corona-Demos in Berlin. It is interesting to note that the political practice is capable of in the world is less and less, to channel protests.

A third Trend, which we explore, is the connection between climate change and conflict. The scientific integrity of the peace report, it is due that we open here, there is no direct causal chain. Nevertheless, we show in many examples that the climate will contribute to the change to the escalation of many existing conflicts.

Initiative, faces of peace: The peace report bears the title "In the shadow of the pandemic: last Chance for Europe". What do you mean exactly with "last Chance for Europe"? Where do you see Germany and the European Union in a tight spot?

Schetter: The Corona-the crisis demonstrated that in times of crises, the Ruling will immediately expire again in States, borders and the idea of Europe is not much left let. How much solidarity in Action falling apart here simply reinforced the crisis of the European Union.

Therefore, the project of peace in Europe is at a crossroads: From Corona, so our plea, has to come to the realization that Europe needs to be strengthened, in order to find the next crisis and a common response. Europe can grow to the Corona-crisis. It is not just about financial compensation, but also about how to handle within the European Union.

Corona-the crisis as a "conflict verschärfer"

Initiative, faces of peace: In the peace report point also to the fact that in the shadow of the pandemic, other peace risks losing sight of. What are the? To what extent is the Corona-crisis, a "conflict verschärfer"?

Schetter: Over the courtyards of the violence, such as Mali, DR Congo, Afghanistan or Yemen is spoken in the media, hardly. In the same way global refugee interest flows only if they move directly to Europe, but not in East Africa or Myanmar. The problem is that, especially in countries with great social inequalities, such as in South Africa or Brazil, the Corona exceptional situation existing conflicts worse. The main burden of the Corona-crisis have to bear the countries of the South, where economic systems of collapse before the merger.

Therefore, I think that the observers are wrong, the say that the Corona-Lockdown of delivery in almost all countries, but lightly. Whether and how the measures of the Corona lock downs will lead to political protest or upheaval, it will show only in months or years. As we are experiencing in the United States, there needs to be a specific event, thus, social inequality turns into Protest.

Initiative, faces of peace: 2019 requested to strengthen the “multilateral arms control“. The reality: A new arms race, a cancelled agreement, the US - Alliance willingly. The recommendations of the FGA are illusory?

Schetter: of Course, the recommendations of the FGA between the desired and the feasible located. However, our recommendations are always practical and realistic, in a practical policy to implement. Therefore, the peace report of the peace movement is criticized again and again as a little idealistic.

However, if you want to change policy, we must deal with the small-scale questions of policy - even if we don't want to lose the big picture out of sight. To your question, coming back, we see that Germany wins, just because of the difficult predictability of the policy of Donald Trump - increasing influence in international Agenda Setting. More and more eyes are on Berlin, in order to institutionalize a global peace order. Germany is therefore an important actor, precisely in order to strengthen multilateralism.

Initiative, faces of peace: The Corona-crisis, shows that Scientific policy advice, a degree is a hike. They fear to be used as a co-editor of the peace report in the future, for decisions of the policy responsible?

Schetter: it would be Nice! Unfortunately, the policy listens to far too rarely on the science, or we see researchers only fragmentary end Vice versa and often the political constraints in which politicians are caught up in. Also, we should not admit self-critically that the dialogue with the policy is not a problem.

So very we are scientists on our independence wisely, there is always the danger that our recommendations of the policy can be read differently. This is the fate, if you can live with the border between science and politics, the Yes, many scientists shy away from. At the end you have to expose yourself to the justified criticism, a delimitation of the policy is not to hold out.

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Updated Date: 16 June 2020, 18:27

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