The Berlin Wall's East Side Gallery, Photo by Rachel Kowalski (2016)

The Berlin Wall's East Side Gallery, Photo by Rachel Kowalski (2016)

The study of domestic and international conflict dominates the humanities and social sciences. Wars are recorded, analysed, and contested through art, literature, history, and beyond. But, it is only when we consider 'violence' as a separate phenomenon to 'war', 'terrorism' or 'genocide' that we are truly able to ascertain how and why it occurs, the elements which contain or constrain it, or factors which determine its nature and intensity.

The external factors and personal idiosyncrasies which drive an individual to commit violence can become lost in the greater narrative of a war or conflict. And the dynamics which shape the nature of any violent attack can only be surmised when we understand violence at a local or individual level. Why, for instance, are some attacks especially brutal, exceed what would be clinically required to take the life of an individual, or venture into what can only be perceived as cruelty? And, why are some warring organisations considered barbaric, illogical, or callous whilst others are considered capable of exhibiting the principles of Jus ad Bellum or Jus in Bello?

The Violence Studies research network seeks to further our understanding of the phenomenon of violence, by challenging assumptions and preconceptions of war, and encouraging a collaborative effort to rethink the way in which we discuss conflict. It is our belief that analysing violence on both the micro and macro scale, across different periods of time, in various parts of the globe, via different medium of human record, and multiple disciplinary lens' allows greater understanding of the relationship between the human condition and the environment; challenging the simplicity of the notion that an individual can be inherently violent or in any way predisposed to perpetrate acts of violence.

The network endeavours to physically bring together scholars of violence to draw on their various and disparate areas of expertise. Our program endeavours take a global approach, to cross disciplinary boundaries, and encourage the coming together of contemporary and historical studies.