Pluriversal Peace

Building on feminist and decolonial scholarship, the project is motivated by decolonial aspirations, and is dedicated to theoretical and empirical examinations of pluriversal – rather than universal – cosmovisions of violence, dreams, literal and metaphoric fluid borders.

Knowledges produced in relations to peace interventions have long been articulated around institutional responses to root causes and symptoms of violence. Increasingly scholarship within peace and conflict studies acknowledges the limitations of peace interventions due to their elite and western-centric logics. The extensive critique of the universalistic and western centric logics of peacebuilding justifies an interrogation of what pluriversalism means for responses to large-scale violence.  

Recognising the relationality and the ‘multiplicity of worlds’ rather than the existence of ‘one world’ or universality (e.g. Mignolo, 2018), pluriversality is concerned with articulations of the world in which everyone fits. Many ways to experiencing and understanding the world, i.e. cosmovisions, co-exist. Some cosmovisions dominate and others are neglected (e.g. Escobar 2020).  

This project aims to address the urgent need to appreciate alternative ways of knowing violence and managing peacebuilding that do not align with dominant approaches dealing with legacies of large-scale violence. The project is divided into three streams: Theoretical reflections on Pluriversal Peace, Decolonial Dreams, and Fluid Borders – as empirical entry points to confront peace interventions to the extensively known but neglected visual, spiritual and bodily experiences and the pluriversal cosmovisions they constitute.

Decolonising the reflection about how we know what about violence; and how do we respond to violence, the project offers:

  1. a theoretical reflection on post-coloniality, knowledge production, violence and peace;
  2. a methodological reflection about what pluriversal fieldwork research means,
  3. an empirical reflection on how to articulate different individual responses to violence along the navigations and negotiations pluriversal cosmovisions, i.e. how to operationalise different understandings of the world. 

The project will specifically asks:

    • How can we address violence in which all experiences and representations of violence can fit?
    • How do we research pluriversal cosmovisions and violence transcending linear visions?
    • How can multi-temporal, emotional and spiritual dimensions of violence be taken seriously in scholar and policy peacebuilding debates?

Doing so, the project offers innovative contributions to re-imagining peacebuilding and proposes inclusive policy engagements for more sustainable peace.