Understanding the Other

This Discussion Series attempt to explore the underlying causes of the current turmoil on refugees, conflicts and terrorism that are dominating the headlines at the moment. Major social and political unrest worldwide seems to affect everyone’s lives. Digging deeper into the social, political and cultural undercurrents can help to create a better understanding of each other. Topics that will be discussed are conflict in relation to anti-modern ideologies, shifts in economic power, the role of religion, inclusion and exclusion of “the other”, and the role of peace movements.

14 June| Complex Wars: How does the Peace Movement respond?

The peace movement has a long history in dealing with interstate wars. However, traditional conflicts have been replaced by complex wars within states involving a range of stakeholders. This new warfare trend is increasingly victimizing civilians in conflict areas. Do drone strikes, air bombings or boots on the ground really bring alleviation to civilians? This debate will explore the new role of the peace movement . How does it respond to the use of military force used in interventions? Are peace movement initiatives affecting military interventions? And what does the peace movement see as viable solutions to establish long-lasting peace?

This debate was joined by Jan Jaap van Oosterzee (PAX), Thea Hilhorst (ISS) and Gabriëlla Vogelaar (GPPAC). 

Read the recap here.

31 May| Stereotypen en Media: de Kracht van Zwart-wit Denken

Op dinsdag 31 mei richten IDleaks en SID-NL hun blik op stereotypen. We onderzoeken hoe media stereotypen gebruiken en welke kracht deze stereotypen hebben binnen actuele, maatschappelijke debatten. Drie sprekers bespreken deze avond stereotypen vanuit een ander perspectief om vervolgens het publiek het woord te geven. Emiel Martens (UvA) plaatst stereotypen in een historisch perspectief: waar komen ze vandaan, hoe en waarom worden ze gevormd? Ben Klaver (politie Rotterdam/Heilige Rotterdamse Boontjes) gaat in op het effect van stereotypen op jongeren met afstand tot de arbeidsmarkt. Het Heilige Rotterdamse Boontjes koffiebar initiatief biedt kwetsbare jongeren een leer-werktraject aan. De campagne #DareToBeGrey zet uiteen hoe zij de polarisatie in het maatschappelijk debat wil doorbreken door een platform te bieden voor persoonlijke verhalen uit het grijze midden. Deze discussie wordt gemodereerd door Sandra Rotterberg.

This debate was joined by Emiel Martens (Mediadocent, -onderzoeker, -consultant en -journalist), Ben Klaver (Politie Rotterdam & Heilige Rotterdamse Boontjes) and Dare to be Grey (Universiteit van Utrecht). 

Read the recap here.

7 April| Syria: Alternative Roads to Peace? 

marijn 1.0Whilst the formal Syrian peace process has barely started, it is clear this will be a long and challenging road. Many Syrian citizens have fled their homes and are often trying to survive, meanwhile hoping that peace will come soon. If the formal peace talks are not really moving forward/making progress, what about alternative ways of realizing peace in Syria and neighboring countries? What are these initiatives that Syrian citizens take/What are the initiatives Syrian citizens take, at home as well as abroad? And how can we possibly/positively support these activities? Two Syrian women will share their perspectives on peace and peace processes as a kick-off for the conversation.        

This debate was joined by Rafif Jouejati (FREE-Syria) and Rajin Alqallih (ISS).

Watch Rafif Jouejati’s interview with Nieuwsuur here.
The recap can be read here.

15 March| Understanding the Other: Religion as Dialogue

Flickr - lostintheredwoodsReligion is nowadays often portrayed as the cause of tension and conflict. However, religion can also be seen as an adequate way to deal with polarization and disagreements. As part of the monthly debate series on ‘Understanding the Other’, this session will explore the role of religion as dialogue. What type of experiences are we referring to? Under which conditions can religion serve as a tool for dialogue? Three introductory speakers will highlight their experiences with religion as dialogue from various backgrounds and contexts. The objective is to trigger an interactive discussion, opening up avenues for dialogue and understanding.

This debate was joined by Willem Jansen (Initiative of  Change), Mahardhika Sadjad (ISS) and Ilyaas Sherally (MashriQ).

The recap can be read here.

16 February | Colombia: Peace at Last?

After more than fifty years of civil war, the Colombian peace talks in Havana are approaching their very last phase. The Colombian government and the rebel movement FARC are likely to sign a peace agreement by the end of March. Why did it take so long before an agreement could be reached? What are the dilemmas that had to be tackled? How is justice done to the victims of the conflict? What lessons can be learned from these peace negotiations, and from ending one of the longest and most complex conflicts in the Latin American region? And what are actually the prospects for a durable peace?

This debate was joined by Jenny Pearce (Bradford University, the UK) and Daniel Gomez Uribe (University of Amsterdam).

The recap can be read here.