CfP for British Academy-funded writing workshop “Rethinking Liberal Peace through ‘Southern’ eyes”


The recent debate (Howell and Richer-Montpetit, 2020) on decolonisation of securitisation theories (Buzan, 2007; Waever, 1995) has demonstrated the need to write differently on peace and security. The aim of these writing workshops, funded by the British Academy, is to engage with marginalised voices and narratives in  the field of liberal peace by encouraging “southern” early-career researchers to challenge existing theories drawing on their lived experience as well as non-Western theoretical, methodological and epistemological domains The aim of the workshop series is therefore to focus on alternative approaches  to  the theory and the practice of liberal peace that aim to support peace and security outcomes. This is to build on shared experiences and become inclusive of marginalised voices. 

The project is part of a commitment to global justice, inclusive governance and the rule of law. It stems from the realisation that the field largely represents “northern” research production, that uses liberal peace as a metric to assess peace and security. Yet, there is a bulk of alternative approaches to governance (Schmelzle, 2018; Wittes, 2016; Risse 2011; Börzel, 2010), the rule of law (Hussain 2019; Haldar, 2007; Man, 1998) and human rights (Mutua, 2008; An Na’im, 2001; Cobbah, 1987). While some of that literature has found it ways on the international scene via publications in English (Weerawardhana, 2018; Lumuba-Kasongo, 2017) or because their authors have moved to western-based institutions, others are not easily accessible. One of the many reasons is that scholars are based in countries that are insecure, limiting opportunities to benefit from international academic engagment and publishing options. Yet, Southern-based scholars have a first-hand experience of insecurity and conflict. They are well placed to reform the current status quo in academic literature, if given the relevant support. 


The focus of this project funded by the British Academy is consequently two-fold:  

  1. To support a new way of writing, ensuring that “southern” academic literature that promotes new approaches, concepts and theories on liberal peace acquires an international readership; 
  2.  To guide and support grant applications to improve UK and ODA working collaboration.  

The workshops will be used to discuss submitted drafts and prepare them for publication, while enhancing writing skills. The workshops will also be used to help participants hone their grant application skills, learning to work collaboratively. 

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss writing and grant mechanics with journal editors and funding bodies’ representatives, acquiring transferrable skills.  


There will be a maximum of 12 early-career researchers selected from the field of peace and security. Participants will be located in the following countries: Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, Yemen, West Bank, Iraq, Syria and Qatar.  

Early-career researchers holding the citizenship of Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen can be based in another ODA country. 

We will welcome early-career researchers within 5 years of completion of a PhD or within 5 years of integrating academia after being a practitioner.  

There are two deadlines:  

One for the submission of 500 words abstract + a 2 pages CV (with publications, if any) 

Another for submission between 3,500 and 6,000 words draft paper (we will also invite or select 2 to 3 additional participants without a draft) 

We welcome abstract on the following main research themes (and beyond):  

Peace and Security         Conflict               Governance      Rule of law               Human rights 

Defence             National security            Gender               Cyber security… 

The focus is inter-disciplinary, meaning we welcome abstracts from politics, law, economics, religious studies, anthropology, history, geography… 

The abstract and further communications are to be sent to:  

Workshops will take place in English 


There will be 3 workshops, organised regionally:  
Workshop 1: Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia and Georgia.
Deadline for abstract submission: 15 July 2021 
Dates of the workshop: 27-28 September 2021  

Workshop 2: Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya and Yemen  
Deadline for abstract submission: 15 October 2021 
Dates of the workshop: 06-07 December 2021 

Workshop 3: West Bank, Iraq, Syria and Qatar  
Deadline for abstract submission: 15 December 2021 
Dates of the workshop: 14-15 February 2022 


The outcome will be publications in English, in a special issue of Journal of the British Academy and other outlets. A reflection piece will be published at the end of the process examining challenges and opportunities for academics when decolonising the field. 


The Team is made up of: 

Dr Anicée Van Engeland, Cranfield University, United Kingdom 

Dr Sherine El Taraboulsi-McCarthy, Overseas Development Institute, United Kingdom 

Dr Yonas Adaye, Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia 

Dr Tareq Ashour, Birzeit University, Palestinian Authority 

Dr Munzul Assal, Peace Research Institute, Khartoum University, Sudan 

Dr Katherine Brown, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom 

Dr Swati Parashar, University of Gothenburg, Germany 

For additional information, please visit: