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04/06/2022 - 04/06/2022 | Essen

Roundtable: War, Peace and Pacifism

The current unprovoked war of aggression waged by the Russian regime against Ukraine has upended many assumptions about the conditions of peace and stability in Europe.

As thousands of innocent lives are lost and millions of people are displaced and forced into exile, an embattled population in Ukraine displays remarkable resilience and puts up resistance to the assailant, with many convinced that winning the peace requires winning the war. In Russia anti-war demonstrations have been criminalised by the government and pacifist protesters are now treated as dangerous subversives. In Germany, Putin’s invasion ignited debates about the antimilitaristic postwar consensus and a foreign policy striving for a trade-based rapprochement with Russia: did the pacifist leanings of the Federal Republic not only fail to uphold the peace but inadvertently encourage Russian expansionism?

The shock over the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war has alerted the intellectual community to how partial its understanding of the political processes in both Ukraine and Russia was. This has cast doubt on the adequacy of the categories and narratives marshalled in previous analyses of post-Soviet political reality. Awareness of Russian traditions of imperial thinking remains limited, while it is still common to view Ukraine as a mere object of geopolitics, caught between NATO expansion and Russia’s “security concerns”. How to do justice to the diversity of Ukrainian culture and society? How do we comprehend Russian imperialism and popular support for it within Russia? How does the war mobilise or imperil different social groups in either country? What are possible repercussions of the invasion for future visions of international order and security?

Rather than pretend to offer conclusive answers to these questions, the roundtable will tentatively approach them from different angles, bringing together academics, activists and representatives of human rights NGOs from different countries.

Volker Heins, KWI

Volodymyr Artiukh, University of Oxford
Victoria Smolkin, Wesleyan University
Olga Shparaga, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin

Danilo Scholz, KWI

Nataliia Tomenko, European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture
Volodymyr Ishchenko, FU Berlin
Tatiana Levina, Academy in Exile@KWI Fellow

Britta Acksel, KWI
Dezső Máté, Academy in Exile@KWI Fellow

Organised by the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI)

Information on participating / attending:
Participation on ZOOM
Participants can register for the lecture via e-mail to Emily Beyer ( by Tuesday, 5 April 2022. Participants will then receive the Zoom link.


04/06/2022 17:00 - 04/06/2022 19:30

Registration deadline:


Event venue:

Goethestr. 31
45128 Essen

Target group:

Scientists and scholars, all interested persons

Email address:



Subject areas:

Cultural sciences, Media and communication sciences, Politics, Social studies

Types of events:

Presentation / colloquium / lecture, Seminar / workshop / discussion




Miriam Wienhold



Event is free:


Language of the text:


URL of this event:


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