Science · Peace · Security ’23

Technology and the Transformation of Political Violence

Wednesday 20.- Friday 22. September 2023

Georg-Christoph-Lichtenberg-Haus, Dieburger Str. 241, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany


Topics (selection)

  • Nuclear Security
  • Biological and Chemical Weapons
  • Cyber and Information Warfare
  • Unmanned Weapon Systems
  • Protest and Violence in Cities
  • Geopolitics of Renewable Energy


  • Application and nomination of members of the programm commitee: 1 September 2022
  • Call for Papers published: 1 December 2022
  • Submission deadline: 1 April 2023
  • Notification of acceptance: 1 June 2023
  • Conference: 20-22 September 2023

Group picture from Science Peace Security '19 in Darmstadt


Technological innovations and scientific discoveries influence a wide variety of areas – thus also peace and security. Recent years have shown that new civilian and military technologies are revolutionising warfare. Particularly striking areas are cyber warfare and the rapid development of unmanned weapons systems. Issues of nuclear disarmament, missile defence or space weaponry, as well as chemical and biological weapons, are gaining renewed urgency. In addition to the development of autonomous weapons, technology also plays a significant role in the oppression and digital surveillance of civilians during conflicts.

Aiming to network under authoritarian actors, civil society is increasingly using social media as a resource to organize cyber protests and to fight for human rights. Apart from acute use in conflict-related contexts, many cases illustrate that technology is increasingly being used by different actors for conflict transformation and to promote peace, aiming to reduce (political) violence in the long term. Furthermore, the geopolitics of renewable energy is a topic. In general, all of these issues raise the question of who has access to technology, who uses it for what purposes, and which groups in particular are affected both negatively and positively by the use of technology in peaceful and violent contexts.

Science · Peace · Security '23 – Technology and the Transformation of Political Violence aims to facilitate a thorough understanding and fruitful discussions on current and future challenges in the field of technical peace and conflict research. Since both conflict and peace are increasingly influenced by technology, a reflection on these themes is essential from an interdisciplinary perspective, including social sciences and technical disciplines.

SPS'23 is hosted by the Technical University of Darmstadt. Overall, the conference forms part of IANUS (natural science and technical peace research at TU) within the framework of TRACE (regional BMBF-funded research centre "Transformations of Political Violence"). Further, it is embedded in FONAS (Research Network on Science, Disarmament and International Security). The SPS conference series was launched in Darmstadt in 2019 and subsequently held in Aachen in 2021. Thereafter, it will be held again in Darmstadt in 2023 and in Julich in 2025.

Tentative Programme 2023

Types of Sessions

  • Full and short talk sessions
  • Poster sessions
  • Panel discussions
  • Workshops (e.g. Doctoral Workshop)
  • Conference Dinners, Guiding Tour, IANUS-Award-Ceremony

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

  • (14:00h FONAS-Annual Meeting 2023 - internal)
  • 15:00h Pre-Workshop / Doctoral Workshop
  • 18:30h Reception
  • 19:00h Opening and Ceremonial Address
  • 19:45h Pre-Conference Dinner

Thursday, 21 September 2023

  • 08:00h Registration
  • 09:00h: Opening and Introduction
  • 10:00h: Keynotes
  • 12:00h: Lunch
  • 13:45h: Talks
  • 15:00h: Coffee Break and Poster Sessions
  • 16:30h: Talks
  • 18:00h Guiding Tour
  • 19:30h: Conference Dinner
  • 21:15h: IANUS Award Ceremony 2023

Friday , 22 September 2023

  • 08:00h Registration
  • 09:00h: Opening and Keynote
  • 10:00h: Paper Sessions
  • 12:00h: Lunch Break
  • 13:00h: Paper Sessions / Feedback Session by the Board Members
  • 15:00h: Farewell

Organisation (tentative)

Programm Commitee: Transformation of Political Violence

  • Laura Guntrum, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank, Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space, TU Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Nikolai Hannig, Modern History, TU Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Markus Lederer, International Relations, TU Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Reuter, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt

Programm Commitee: Technical Peace and Conflict Studies

  • PD Dr. Jürgen Altmann, Physics and Disarmament, TU Dortmund
  • Dr. Sibylle Bauer, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
  • Dr. Matthias Englert, Oeko-Institut e.V.
  • Dr. Friederike Frieß, Institute of Safety and Risk Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
  • Prof. Dr. Malte Göttsche, Nuclear Verification and Disarmament, RWTH Aachen University
  • Dr. Simon Hebel, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker-Centre for Science and Peace Research (ZNF) at the University of Hamburg
  • Dr. Moritz Kütt, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)
  • Dr. Irmgard Niemeyer, Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Dr. Christoph Pistner, Oeko-Institut e.V.
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Reuter, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Thea Riebe, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Dr. Jantje Silomon, International Cybersecurity, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, Hamburg



Further members of the programm commitee will be appointed!