Roots of Violence and Conflict Resolution

Nonviolence Initiative for Democracy Inc. and Iranian Student Organization at Boston University present a series lectures on: Roots of Violence and Conflict Resolution Spring 2011 The language of this event is Persian. This course is available online too. You can attend to this class online trough the Palltalk. Please go to:
Room name: NIDemocracy
Room category:  Education
Language: Farsi

This course closely examines the roots and sources of violence in Persian specking  countries by focusing on history of violence, modernity and conflict, religion and ethnics minorities, culture and pluralism, and state and politics. Each of these spheres constitutes one of the segments of the course and we will begin our scrutiny of each by examining the roots and structures of violence in them. In the first section, Aram Hessami will discuss on the notion of politic, structure of power and its relations to violence. In the second section of the course, Farzin Vahdat of Vassar Collage, will examine modernity and its implications for violence in society. In the third section, Arash Naraghi, Professor of philosophy and religion at Moravian College, will discuss democracy and ethnic groups. Violence against religious and ethnic minorities and role of democracy to resolve this problem are the main topics of his lectures. Culture, Society and Conflict is the title of fourth section which Ali Mirsepassi, professor of Middle Eastern studies and sociology at the Gallatin School and director of Iranian Studies Initiative at New York University, will conduct. In his lecture, the participants will gain knowledge of conflict prevention with promoting culture of pluralism. In the fifth section, Hossein Kamaly, assistant Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern cultures at Columbia University, will discuss history of violence. Finally, because law embodies the institutionalization of violence (and avoidance of violence) the last part of the course will closely examine the sources of these in the legal institutions of Iran. In short, in this course, consisting of a series of lectures on roots of violence and conflict resolution, the speakers will shed light on historical, sociological and philosophical aspects of violence from a theoretical perspective. The participants will gain knowledge of barriers and challenges to peaceful initiatives to overcome violence, as well as sources of intolerance and violence against ethnic groups, women, and religions and linguistic minorities.

Section 1: Politics Structure  and Violence

Aram Hessami

Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Montgomery College in Rockville Maryland

March 11 at 5-7pm, @ Boston University,  SAR Room 102

March 12 at 3-5pm, @ Boston University, CAS Room B12

In these lectures Aram Hessami will discuss on the notion of politics  structure  and its relations to violence.

First session, March 11 Post-modernity and the Deconstruction of Power:

One of the most significant aspects of our postmodern sense and sensibilities is the deconstruction of power.  Every régime of power manufactures a particular discourse of power and designs a purposeful mechanism for that power– in order to subdue and control the people.  Punishment, in evermore innovative ways, is used to normalize this scheme.  While discussing the contributions of some of the most influential post-modern thinkers, I will explore the ethico-political ramifications of this philosophy and discuss the role of individuals in dealing with the régimes of power under which they live.

Second session, March 12 The Public and the Private Sphere: Disobedience and Defiance:

The public and the private sphere have become an integral part of the discourse of liberal democratic thought.  The question, however, is: how do we determine each of these spheres?  Who has what type of rights and obligations within each domain? What is the legitimate justification for the power of government over the individuals?  What are the rights and obligations of the individuals when there is abuse of power?  Who should be the ultimate judge of deciding what laws are just and what are unjust?  I will explore these questions while focusing on the possible course of actions by individuals under these conditions.

Section 2: Modernity and Conflict

Farzin Vahdat

Conducting Research at Vassar Collage

March 25 at 5-7pm, @ Boston University , SAR Room 102

March 26 at 3-5pm, @ Boston University, Room GSU Conf Aud.

In these lectures Farzin Vahdat will discuss the notion of modernity and its relations to violence and non-violence.   The foundation of modernity can be thought of in terms of a critical mass of ind ividuals in a society acquiring a sense of agency and empowerment.  Only with this societal transformation, the institutions of the modern world such as legally sanctioned political and social freedoms, a democratic parliamentary system, and a free press, can function properly.  Yet, the process of formation of agency, so far, has always been accompanied by violence in many different dimensions of social and political life.  On the other hand, once a large number of individuals in a given society have acquired a sense of agency and is willing to share it with everyone else, then the foundations of democratic and enduring forms of non-violent existence are laid.

Section 3: Culture, Society and Conflict

Conflict prevention with promoting culture of pluralism

Ali Mirsepassi

Professor of Middle Eastern studies and sociology at the Gallatin School and director of Iranian Studies Initiative at New York University

April 8 at 5-7pm, @ Boston University,  SAR Room 102

April 9 at 3-5pm, @ Boston University, CAS Room 224

Section 4: History of Violence

Hossein Kamaly

Assistant Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Columbia University

April 15 at 5-7pm, @ Boston University,  SAR Room 102

April 16 at 3-5pm, @ Boston University, CAS Room  B12

The  information of  last section will post later.

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