University of Cambridge > > Centre of Governance and Human Rights Events > CGHR Research Group: Pax Academica and the Art of the (Im)possible: Investigating habitus, field and capital with lecturers in peace studies

CGHR Research Group: Pax Academica and the Art of the (Im)possible: Investigating habitus, field and capital with lecturers in peace studies

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Annette LaRocco.

The role of the university peace lecturer as an agent in framing and objectifying peace (as an object of study and as a discourse of practice) has rarely been examined. Furthermore, the educators’ embodied and institutionalized forms of capital – and their beliefs and social positions in relation to this capital – have not been thoroughly investigated. This study, therefore, explores how university peace lecturers understand and define the boundaries of peace studies, their reasons for entering this field of work, and the forms of capital they possess that enable them to teach a particular conception of peace – either in continuity with or in disruption of UN norms. Our research methodology is informed by Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, capital and field. Drawing upon questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, participant objectivation, documentary analysis and ethnographic interactions with UN university lecturers, students and staff at the University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica, and its affiliated program in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Our study seeks to shed light on taken-for-granted assumptions of peace studies, the spatial and intellectual parameters of the field, and the intricacies of how educators negotiate, compete and influence the field from within, while responding to the many tensions in the field.

The University of Cambridge Centre of Governance and Human Rights Research Group is a forum for graduate students and early-career researchers from any department and disciplinary background researching issues of governance and human rights in the global, regional, and national contexts. This is an excellent opportunity to receive cross-disciplinary feedback, to produce a published CGHR Working Paper with editorial help, and to meet and network with student and academic researchers.

The CGHR Research Group meets every first Monday of the month from 1 to 2pm in the Alison Richard Building, Department of Politics and International Studies (7 West Road). Participants may bring their lunch, and tea and coffee will be provided after the seminar.

The aim is to facilitate an exchange between younger and more established researchers, offering a forum for the development of new and innovative ideas, constructive criticism and stimulating debate. Each month, one paper will be presented, and detailed feedback will be provided by a discussant (an established researcher, to be arranged by the Convenor) before opening up for a wider exchange. Presenters will be encouraged to incorporate feedback into a revised document, for possible publication as a CGHR Working Paper.

Call for Papers

We are looking to confirm presenters for coming terms. To present a paper or for more information on the research group, please contact the convenor, Annette LaRocco,

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This talk is part of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights Events series.

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