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Adaptive Peace: Insights from Complexity for Strengthening the Resilience and Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems under Stress – STIAS Public Lecture by Cedric de Coning

STIAS Public Lectures Series
Register here by 16 August 2022

 

Cedric de Coning, research professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), senior advisor for the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and STIAS Fellow will present a public lecture with the title:

Adaptive Peace: Insights from Complexity for Strengthening the Resilience and Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems under Stress

Abstract
Complexity theory offers new ways of understanding how social-ecological systems function under pressure, for example how climate change related stressors may exacerbate competition over scarce resources. Complexity provides a theoretical framework for understanding how the resilience and adaptive capacity of social systems can be influenced to help them prevent, contain and recover from violent conflict. Complexity also generates ethical insights: peacebuilders may help a society prevent or contain violence, but if they interfere too much, they will cause harm by disrupting the feedback loops critical for self-organisation to emerge and to be sustained. To cope with this dilemma, this STIAS project develops a new approach where peacebuilders, together with the people affected by conflict, actively engage in an iterative process of inductive learning and adaptation. The Adaptive Peace approach is a normative and functional approach to conflict resolution that is aimed at navigating the complexity inherent in trying to nudge social-ecological change processes towards sustaining peace, without causing harm.

Cedric de Coning is a research professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and a senior advisor for the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), based in Durban. He has a Ph.D. in Applied Ethics from the Department of Philosophy of the University of Stellenbosch, and a M.A. (cum laude) in Conflict Management and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He started his career as a South African diplomat in Washington D.C. and Addis Ababa (1992-1997). He has served in various advisory capacities for the African Union and United Nations, including as advisor to the head of the AU’s Peace Support Operations Division and on the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board for the Peacebuilding Fund. His research is in the fields of international relations and peace and conflict studies, with a special focus on peace operations and the climate-peace nexus. His most recent co-edited book is ‘Adaptive Mediation and Conflict Resolution: Peace-making in Colombia, Mozambique, the Philippines, and Syria’ (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022).

For more information, contact Ms Nel-Mari Loock at 021 808 2652 or [email protected]

 

Date and time

Thursday, 18 August 2022

16:00 – 17:30​

All times are in SAST (UTC+2)

Location

STIAS Wallenberg Research Centre

STIAS, Marais Road, Mostertsdrift
Stellenbosch

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Fellows

Fellow
Norway | South Africa

Projects

Complexity theory offers new ways of understanding how social-ecological systems function under pressure, for example how climate change related stressors may exacerbate competition over scarce resources...

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