Invitation: The State of Conflict conference 2022

20 juni 2022

The Public Mediation Programme (PMP) of the University of Amsterdam, Public Mediation (PM), and WesselinkVanZijst (WvZ) are pleased to invite you to take part in our fifth annual State of Conflict Conference.

This year the Conference will take place on Thursday 29 September at the UvA University Library in Amsterdam-Centrum. We seek, as in prior years, to bring together a diverse group of practitioners, professionals, and academics to reflect on Dutch society and institutions through the lens of conflict.

This year we take as our theme ‘Conflict as Default’ and explore what it would mean to work from the assumption that conflict will be part of our work on policy themes and public problems. The keynote speakers and topics for working sessions are listed below. As the number of spaces available is limited, we invite you to register and save a space at the conference. The event will take place in the Doelenzaal at the UvA University Library (Singel 4193, Amsterdam). The plenary sessions will be in English to accommodate international participants. The breakout sessions will be a mix of Dutch and English.

Conflict as Default
Within the realm of public policy, conflict has primarily been treated as a bump in the road; a temporary disruption due to a transition in a system that is overall purposive and cooperative. At this year’s State of Conflict we explore what would mean to treat conflict as the core of the politics of implementation and policy development, rather than as the exception or a temporary disruption. What does it mean to look at policy through the lens of conflict?  What working assumptions would a conflict-centric perspective push us to in policy analysis, implementation, administration, and policy mediation?  How would this stance influence the meaning of trust and the  roles of experts, citizens, private stakeholders, and public officials play in governance processes? What influence would it have on perceived needs for experimentation in our democratic institutions?  For facilitators and mediators who intervene in conflict and for those who study the conflicts and the practices through which policy conflicts are addressed, working from within the boundaries of a case and the history of a conflict is an intuitive stance that give sense and purpose to the practices that we engage in. We have adopted themes for the working sessions that will push us to reflect upon these changes on the basis of case studies from the work of practitioners in government and civil society.

Thematic working sessions:
  • Building trust in situations of uncertainty  
  • Engaging the threat of violence
  • Creating space for democratic experimentation

More information about keynote speakers or thematic working sessions: