Frank W. Woods Lecture: The Study of Civil War: Beyond Violence
March 14, 2023 | 5:00PM - 7:00PM
This is an in-person event at the Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, Ontario.
The study of civil war often focuses, for obvious reasons, on violence. Yet, civil war is about much more than violence. Although different bodies of work have advanced our understanding of several non-violent aspects of this type of conflict, scholars often equate civil war to violence. In this talk, I will make the case for distinguishing between civil war and violence. I will show that the focus on violence has led to wrong conclusions about how civil wars are fought as well as their legacies, impairing both our understanding of this phenomenon and our ability to formulate sound policies. I illustrate some of these problems with studies of the Colombian conflict and conclude with ideas for moving this research program forward.
About the Speaker:
Ana Arjona is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. She obtained her PhD in political science from Yale University (with distinction), and has been a Fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She served as Director of the Center for the Study of Security and Drugs at Los Andes University in Bogota, Colombia in 2018-2019, where she is now an affiliated researcher. Her research investigates institutions, governance, and civilian agency in contexts of organized violence. She is the author of the award-winning book Rebelocracy: Social Order in Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2016), co-editor of Rebel Governance in Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and author of several articles and book chapters. Her work has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the SSRC, the United States Institute of Peace, Yale University, Columbia University, and Northwestern University in the U.S.; the International Development Research Centre in Canada; the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Sweden; and the Department for International Development, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the Global Challenges Research Fund in the U.K.
Sponsored by the Frank W. Woods Family & Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice