This event will look at contemporary conflicts and examine how identity politics shape, and are shaped by violence, interact with the dynamics of the political marketplace, and are used by authoritarian rulers and political-military entrepreneurs to increase and maintain their power.
Dominant identity narratives in conflict tend to be exclusivist, fomenting and reinforcing division on the basis of identity, often along sectarian, ethnic or religious lines. Violent, exclusivist identity politics are manifested in different ways in different contexts, for instance in dynamics of sectarianisation in Syria or processes of clan formation in Somalia. The intractability of many contemporary conflicts can in part be explained by the interaction between such identity politics and the extreme marketisation of politics.
This event will showcase recent findings from the Conflict Research Programme, published in a new special issue of the journal Conflict, Security & Development: ‘Identity, Violence and the Political Marketplace’. A discussion of key concepts and theoretical insights will be illustrated with case studies on the systematic, gendered sexual violence from ISIS towards the Yezidi community, and on ethnicity and ‘ethnic capital’ in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kasper Hoffmann (@KasperHoffmann2) is a post-doc researcher at Ghent University and an Assistant Professor at the University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on the intersection between the formation of ethnic identities and processes of territorialisation and on emerging forms of rebel and land governance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kasper is a is a researcher with the Conflict Research Programme - DRC Team and co-authored the article 'Violent conflict and ethnicity in the Congo: beyond materialism, primordialism and symbolism'.
Zeynep Kaya (@zeynepn_kaya) is a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. Kaya is also an Academic Associate at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. She is interested in understanding how communities and political groups perceive, interact with and challenge international processes and dominant norms. Her research looks at the relationship between gender, violence and development in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Zeynep is a researcher with the Conflict Research Programme - MENA Team and author of the article 'Sexual violence, identity and gender: ISIS and the Yezidis'.
Shalini Randeria (@IWM_Vienna) is the Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna, Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and the Director of the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy.
Mary Kaldor (@KaldorM) is Professor Emeritus of Global Governance at LSE and Director of the Conflict Research Programme at LSE IDEAS. Professor Kaldor recently co-authored the article 'Identity formation and the political marketplace'.
Twitter hashtag: #LSEConflict
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