Author of Everyday Peace Visits Kent State; Reflects on May 4 and School of Peace and Conflict Studies

Roger Mac Ginty, Ph.D., Professor in Defense, Development & Diplomacy at Durham University (UK), recently visited Kent State University as an invited colloquium speaker of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies. On March 12, Mac Ginty gave a presentation titled “Two Cheers for Ignorance: The Multiple Forms of Everyday Agency in Conflict-Affected Contexts”. He also gave his remarks and took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the school’s renovated space in McGilvrey Hall during an open house event on March 20.

“Roger is known internationally for his work that he’s coined as ‘everyday peace’ and he has a project where he aims to develop indicators for this everyday peace,” R. Neil Cooper, director of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies said. “Rather than let peace be defined by folks from the top institutions, Roger goes in on the ground, speaks with people in their own towns and villages, and asks them how they understand peace; what you get is a truly different metric for what peace looks like every day, in the street. That work has been really important in transforming the kind of conceptualization of peace and the discussion around what constitutes peace.”

About Mac Ginty’s research and books
Mac Ginty’s research interests include international intervention, measuring peace and conflict, peace processes, peacebuilding, political violence, and top-down/bottom-up interactions. He co-directs the Everyday Peace Indicators project (with Pamina Firchow) and edits the Taylor and Francis journal Peacebuilding (with Oliver Richmond). He also edits the "Rethinking Political Violence" book series. His articles have been published in Cooperation and Conflict, Security Dialogue, and Review of International Studies. He has conducted extensive fieldwork, and his research has been funded by the EU, ESRC and Carnegie Corporation of New York among others.

His most recent book, Everyday Peace: How so-called ordinary people can disrupt violent conflict was published in 2021 by Oxford University Press. His other books include International Peacebuilding and Local Resistance: Hybrid forms of peace; No War, No Peace: The rejuvenation of stalled peace processes and peace accords; and Guns and government: The management of the Northern Ireland peace process.

“The amazing thing about asking people in conflict-affected societies what peace means to them is that the response is usually initially silence, followed by, ‘Oh, no one has ever asked us that before,’” Mac Ginty said. “That's quite amazing because we're talking about places with chronic violent conflict in which people actually aren't invited to think about peace. When we ask them to talk about peace and to think about peace, they often end up talking about development, talking about access to employment, access to medical facilities, access to public goods. That's actually really interesting that the wants and needs of people are actually quite universal. They don't differ from society to society.”

Thoughts on the School of Peace and Conflict Studies

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2024 04:13 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2024 11:26 AM
Jim Maxwell