On Wednesday, September 20th, a Rethinking Peace Studies seminar was held in the International Conference Room of the Kiyoshi Togasaki Memorial Dialogue House at ICU. The seminar was hosted by the Rotary Peace Center and was organized by ICU Professors Giorgio Shani and Jeremiah Alberg.
During the first half of the seminar, Professor Hartmut Behr of Newcastle University presented a paper titled “Peace Through Dialogue Across Differences”. Professor Alberg and Professor Takashi Kibe provided comments to Professor Behr. Professor Shani presented a paper titled “Towards a Post-Western Understanding of Peace” during the second half of the seminar. Professor Behr provided comments to Professor Shani’s paper and a discussion ensued that included participation from students and faculty in attendance.
Professor Behr’s presentation was based on his chapter contribution to a volume edited by Professors Alexander Hinton (lead editor, Rutgers University), Jeremiah Alberg and Professor Shani (both ICU, Tokyo) which itself goes back to a recent monograph by Professor Behr entitled Politics of Difference: Epistemologies of Peace (Routledge, 2014). Professor Behr enjoyed and benefited strongly from the comments that he received after his presentation as well as from questions and discussions during the Q&A. In general, Professor Behr was impressed by the Rethinking Peace Studies program, the professionalism of its leadership and management, and the hospitality that he received from students and involved staff at ICU. Professor Behr is looking forward to make further contributions to RPS at ICU and beyond.
Rethinking Peace Studies (RPS) is a collaboration between ICU, JICUF and Rutgers University’s Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. In addition to last week’s seminar, RPS has hosted three seminars and a culminating conference. The seminars took place in Japan, the United States and Sri Lanka and the conference was held on the ICU campus. An RPS volume made up of papers presented at the conference is in the works.