10 episodes

How can the war in Ukraine inform our understanding of peace? Experts from the Oxford Network of Peace Studies -- from University of Oxford, United Nations, World Economic Forum and more -- explore the origins, impacts and lessons of the conflict for peacebuilding.

'OxPeace', the Oxford Network of Peace Studies, is a multidisciplinary network to promote the study of peace, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding in Oxford University and beyond. Through conferences, seminars and practical training workshops, OxPeace showcases the study of peace across a wide variety of disciplines, networks with practitioners and policy-makers.

Previous OxPeace conferences are available via the 'Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR)' page linked below.

OxPeace Conference 2023: Learning from Ukraine Oxford University

    • Education

How can the war in Ukraine inform our understanding of peace? Experts from the Oxford Network of Peace Studies -- from University of Oxford, United Nations, World Economic Forum and more -- explore the origins, impacts and lessons of the conflict for peacebuilding.

'OxPeace', the Oxford Network of Peace Studies, is a multidisciplinary network to promote the study of peace, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding in Oxford University and beyond. Through conferences, seminars and practical training workshops, OxPeace showcases the study of peace across a wide variety of disciplines, networks with practitioners and policy-makers.

Previous OxPeace conferences are available via the 'Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR)' page linked below.

    Russia and Christian nationalism: the background of a conflict

    Russia and Christian nationalism: the background of a conflict

    How the global resurgence of traditionalist, religion-based nationalism relates to the specifics of the present conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The aggression in Ukraine is rooted in a long history of mythologised versions of Russian identity, which need to be better understood. But it is also an instance of a wider resurgence of nationalism allied to a traditionalist religious and moral agenda.

    Rt Revd & Rt Hon. Dr Rowan Williams DD, FBA was born in 1950 into a Welsh-speaking family in Swansea. He read Theology at Cambridge, and gained his doctorate in Oxford on the work of the Russian émigré theologian Vladimir Lossky. Ordained priest in 1978, he taught at Mirfield and in Cambridge, moving to Oxford as Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity 1986-1991. He became Bishop of Monmouth 1991-1999, Archbishop of Wales 1999-2002, Archbishop of Canterbury 2002-2012. He received a life peerage in 2012 and was Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge, 2013-2020, also serving as a member of the House of Lords 2002-2020. Author of a number of theological works and sermon collections, Rowan is also an accomplished poet. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 27 min
    Exiting Russia: the effects of multinational withdrawal

    Exiting Russia: the effects of multinational withdrawal

    Can corporate action contribute to human rights, peace, and conflict prevention? Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered not only massive economic and financial sanctions imposed on Russia, but also a significant but incomplete exit of multinational corporations from Russia. This exit has been driven by varying degrees of ethical as well as reputational considerations but has stalled as companies cite operational and legal dilemmas. Nonetheless important precedents have been set that may make companies—and their investors—more conscious and responsible actors in conflict situations. Companies and investors alike may integrate longstanding political risk analysis with emerging human rights due diligence to inform decisions whether to remain in certain countries. They may also consider human rights and humanitarian factors both to ensure a responsible exit and to determine possible post-conflict re-entry in ways that can contribute to peace and prevent further conflict. Such commitments and actions can encourage a new geopolitical corporate responsibility to support the rules-based order that defines the international community and underpins the global economy—and in turn enables the cooperation critical to alleviating inequality and diminishing the climate crisis.

    An innovative leader and standard-setter for responsible business and investment, Bennett Freeman has co-founded multi-stakeholder initiatives and coalitions focused on the extractives, technology and apparel sectors. Bennett holds degrees in History from the University of California at Berkeley (1979) and Oxford (1981; English-Speaking Union Scholar, Balliol). He served as a Clinton presidential appointee in three positions at the US Department of State, including as deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labour from 1999-2001. He was senior VP for sustainability research and policy at Calvert Investments, 2006-15. As principal of Bennett Freeman Associates LLC, he currently advises multinational corporations, international institutions and NGOs on policy and strategy related to human rights and labour rights. He was the lead author of Shared Space Under Pressure: Business Support for Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders (2018) and is an Associate Fellow of the International Law Programme at Chatham House.
    Bennett is a co-founder and Steering Committee member of Business for Ukraine (B4Ukraine), a coalition that seeks to complete the exit of foreign companies from Russia and to set higher standards for human rights due on the part of companies and investors in conflict situations—and in turn to contribute to a new ethic of geopolitical corporate responsibility to support the international rules-based order.
    Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 35 min
    The Global Food Crisis and the Ukraine War

    The Global Food Crisis and the Ukraine War

    Exploring the three elements that intersect and contribute to the global food crisis. There is a global food crisis. It is connected with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in several ways. The aspect that gained publicity is the interruption of wheat supplies from Black Sea ports to international food markets. This has been addressed by the ‘Black Sea Grain Initiative’ led by the UN and Turkey. A second aspect is the ripple effects from the emergent war economies and the Atlantic and eastern blocs. A third is that principled multilateral engagement in crises in the Global South has been supplanted by rivalrous transactional diplomacy. All three elements intersect in food-vulnerable regions of the world such as the Horn of Africa to calamitous effect.

    Professor Alex de Waal is executive director of the World Peace Foundation and Research Professor at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He has worked on the Horn of Africa, and on conflict, food security and related issues since the 1980s as a researcher and practitioner. He served as a senior advisor to the African Union High Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan. He was listed among Foreign Policy’s 100 most influential international intellectuals in 2008 and Atlantic’s 29 ‘brave thinkers’ in 2009. De Waal’s recent books include: The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War and the Business of Power (Polity 2015), Mass Starvation: The history and future of famine (Polity 2018), and New Pandemics, Old Politics: 200 years of the war on disease and its alternatives (Polity 2021).
    Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 28 min
    The early medieval history of Ukraine: mythology and historical logics

    The early medieval history of Ukraine: mythology and historical logics

    The history of early Slavs as a point for debunking historical misconceptions that benefit one state at the expense of another. This lecture explores concerns which affect not only the international image of Ukraine, making her culture impoverished, but Ukraine’s very security, since those myths are used to inspire the Russians to attack Ukraine, to justify the imperialistic claims of Vladimir Putin in gathering so-called Russian lands. Ideologically the war is deeply rooted in the myths which have been developed since the days of the Russian empire, such as that Ukrainian culture began to evolve from the Russian stock in the fourteenth century, the Ukrainian nation deviated from the so-called triune Russian people one hundred years ago, the medieval Slavic state Kyivan Rus was Russian, or the medieval language of Eastern Slavs was Old Russian, etc. – the concepts of Russian ideological manipulations.

    Dr Andrii Pastushenko is a researcher-at-risk Fellow of the British Academy and an academic visitor at All Souls College, Oxford; Reference Professor of the Master degree programme in Global Economy and Business at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Italy; and Associate Professor of the international economic relations department at the Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics, Ukraine. During his nearly 10 year teaching career in higher education, he has taught the history of Ukraine, world history, the history of international relations, courses on diplomacy, international organisations and international business ethics. In 2013, he became one of the laureates distinguished by the Heinrich Boll Stiftung in gender historical studies on the Second World War in Ukraine. From 2019 to 2021, as a leading facilitator, he organised several educational events in Ukraine with international organisations such as the UN, OSCE and EUAM. Dr Pastushenko’s own research interests focus on the naval history of Elizabethan England.
    Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 26 min
    Ukraine and the fragmentation of world order

    Ukraine and the fragmentation of world order

    Using the unfolding crisis of the Ukraine war as a lens to consider the drivers of conflict and transformation in the contemporary world order. Rather than a 'return of geopolitics', 'great power politics', or 'the revenge of revisionist powers', as it is often portrayed, the war against Ukraine should be seen as concentrating in a single cataclysm the crises of the era of neoliberal globalisation. Analyses that focus only on the inter-state dimension will occlude the multiple, fragmentary and transboundary ties that are shaping the conflict. The latter need to be fully comprehended in order to achieve a just end to the war which can contribute to long-term, sustainable peace-making.

    Dr Luke Cooper is Associate Professorial Research Fellow in International Relations at the Conflict and Civicness Research Group based at LSE IDEAS, the in-house foreign policy think tank of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the Director of PeaceRep's Ukraine programme. PeaceRep ('Peace and Conflict Resolution Evidence Platform) is an international consortium led by the University of Edinburgh Law School which is investigating conflict and peace transition processes in the 21st century. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 14 min
    Being a Social Entrepreneur in a War Zone

    Being a Social Entrepreneur in a War Zone

    How did I evacuate over 30,000 women and children from the warzone, not knowing Ukraine and not speaking a word of Ukrainian? I drew on my business, political and organisation skills to move quickly to save thousands of lives. This is my story. Brooks Newmark, founder of Angels for Ukraine, is currently a DPhil Candidate in the Education Department, Oxford University. Prior to academic life Brooks was a Member of Parliament (2005-2015) and Minister for Civil Society. Before entering politics Brooks was a Senior Partner at Apollo Global Management one of the largest Private Equity firms in the world. Brooks was educated at Harvard and Oxford. See www.brooksnewmark.com https://givestar.io/gs/ANGELSFORUKRAINE Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 12 min

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