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

Lichtenberg-Haus

Group picture from Science Peace Security '19 in Darmstadt

Call for Contributions

The interdisciplinary conference examines the impact, control and design of technologies which influence peace and security. Existing approaches towards arms control need to adapt to the changing security landscape, while new civilian and military technologies are changing forms of violence and warfare. Particularly striking areas are cyber warfare and the rapid development of unmanned weapons systems. Issues of nuclear disarmament, missile technology or space weaponry, as well as chemical and biological weapons, are gaining renewed urgency. In addition to the development of new weapons systems, information 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 infrastructure, e.g., (renewable) energy and climate change is an urgent topic. Infrastructures are relevant in conflicts, can be manifestations of global injustice, strategic objects in armed conflicts as well as part of a peaceful conflict transformation. Thus, the conference seeks contributions which reflect on the geopolitics of infrastructure and their role

In general, all of these issues raise the question of the regulation and proliferation of security-relevant technologies as well as their design. These aspects influence who has access to certain technologies, who can benefit or faces risk by their use.

The interdisciplinary conference Science · Peace · Security '23 aims to facilitate fruitful discussions on current and future challenges in the field of technical peace and conflict research. We seek contributions from the natural and technical science, the social and legal sciences, and ethics and humanities.

Submissions

We are looking for contributions on the intersection of science, technology, peace and security, e.g., on

  • Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons and Disarmament
  • Cyber and Information Warfare, Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Weapon Systems
  • Geopolitics of Infrastructure, e.g. (Renewable) Energy and Climate Change
  • (Urban) Protest and Violence

We are looking for different types of contributions:

  • Idea pitches (5 minutes), e.g. of early stage research ideas, with subsequent discussion
  • Talks (10-20 minutes)
  • Posters to be presented with a 2-minute pitch and during a 90minutes interactive poster session
  • Ideas for panel discussions (for up to 5 already named participants) or workshops (30-90minutes)

Submissions (authors, title and abstract) are possible in our submission system (https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=sps23) until the 15th of March 2023.

  • All authors of accepted contributions will be allowed to submit a paper for the conference proceedings, which are planned to be published electronically in open access (without costs) with TUprints.
  • In order to encourage face-to-face exchange, the conference will only be held as a physical conference in Darmstadt. However, if there are difficulties (e.g. health or visa issues, etc.), we can look for possibilities for partial digital participation.

Organisation

The Science · Peace · Security conference series, maintained by FONAS (Research Network on Science, Disarmament and International Security), was launched in Darmstadt in 2019 and subsequently held in Aachen in 2021. In 2023, it will be hosted in Darmstadt again; followed by Jülich in 2025. In 2023 is co-organized as part of the research project TraCe (BMBF-funded research center "Transformations of Political Violence"), following the tradition of IANUS (natural science and technical peace research) at Technical University of Darmstadt.

Contact: sps23@peasec.de

Local Organisation Committee: Technical University of Darmstadt, project TraCe

Groups:

  • Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC) (group of Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Reuter) (Coordination)
  • Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space (group of Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank)
  • Modern History (group of Prof. Dr. Nicolai Hannig)
  • International Relations (group of Prof. Dr. Markus Lederer)

Persons:

  • Laura Guntrum, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Verena Lasso Mena, International Relations, TU Darmstadt
  • Dr. Thea Riebe, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Jona Schwerer, Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space, TU Darmstadt
  • Sara-Luise Spittler, Modern History, TU Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Reuter, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt (General Chair)

Programme Committee: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons and Disarmament

  • 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. Gunnar Jeremias, 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.

Programme Committee: Cyber and Information Warfare, Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Weapon Systems

  • PD Dr. Jürgen Altmann, Physics and Disarmament, TU Dortmund
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Reuter, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Dr. Thea Riebe, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Thomas Reinhold, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Dr. Niklas Schörnig, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
  • Dr. Jantje Silomon, International Cybersecurity, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, Hamburg

Programme Committee: Geopolitics of Infrastructure, e.g. (Renewable) Energy and Climate Change

  • Verena Lasso Mena, International Relations, TU Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Markus Lederer, International Relations, TU Darmstadt
  • Jonas Franken, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Reuter, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt

Technological innovations have geopolitical consequences. This is obvious for military technologies as historical debates about steam ships, air power and missile systems have shown. Also energy systems and their respective infrastructures have been part of the discussion focusing on conflicts about oil and gas as well as the problem of dual use of nuclear energy. More recently, a debate has sprung up about the geopolitics of renewable energies and the Russian invasion of the Ukraine in February 2022 has again proven that the way we design and plan our energy technologies and infrastructures has direct bearing on how conflicts transform and evolve.

Programme Committee: (Urban) Protest and Violence

  • Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank, Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space, TU Darmstadt
  • Laura Guntrum, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), TU Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Nicolai Hannig, Modern History, TU Darmstadt
  • Jona Schwerer, Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space, TU Darmstadt
  • Sara-Luise Spittler, Modern History, TU Darmstadt

Cities are central spaces of violence and its interpretation. They are at the same time scene, target, and site of remembrance of violence. Cities respond to violence by adapting and developing prevention strategies: architecturally and in terms of planning, politically and in terms of social reform, but also in terms of memory and everyday culture. Violent actors orient themselves to the structures of urban spaces by using them for their own purposes or by attacking them specifically. We therefore ask how violence has been expressed in street protests and attacks since industrialization, how forms of action and containment have changed, how protesters, police forces, and onlookers have behaved in violent situations, how rituals of violence have emerged, how they have been interpreted, handed down, transferred across national borders, and transformed, how structural conditions in cities have influenced violence, and how violence in turn shapes urban space.

Tentative Programme 2023

Wednesday, 20 Sept. 2023

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

Thursday, 21 Sept. 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

Friday, 22 Sept. 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

Location