A new phase and home for “Armed Conflict” research

Dr. Angana Chatterji

Dr. Angana Chatterji

The Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project (ACRes) is moving to the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley. The project has been with the Center for Social Sector Leadership (CSSL) at Berkeley-Haas since it was instituted in April 2012. Along with the move, the project will also take on a new name and focus; it will be called the “Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project.”

The Center for Race and Gender (CRG) is the new home for the project effective January, 2016, with the full and enthusiastic support of CSSL and CRG. The move will further enable the interdisciplinary commitments of the project in the next phase of its work. A pioneering, interdisciplinary research center, CRG houses research initiatives and working groups concerned with race and gender (as well as coloniality and other relations of power), allowing them to develop freely and flourish.

Conflicted DemocraciesThe first and successful phase of ACRes, led by founding co-chairs Professor Angana P. Chatterji and Professor Shashi Buluswar, and director of programs, Mallika Kaur, included project partnerships with civil society organizations in the areas of focus in South Asia, and with the International Human Rights Law Clinic (IHRLC) at Berkeley Law, and both the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) and the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research (CHRDR) at Columbia University. The project produced a collaboratively authored monograph entitled, Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal, with a statement/preface by Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2008-2014) and a foreword by Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. The project co-produced a co-authored a report with IHRLC entitled, Access to Justice for Women: India’s Response to Sexual Violence in Conflict and Social Upheaval [PDF]. The project also initiated an archive on the legacy of conflict.

The Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project will focus on political conflict and gendered and sexualized violence at the intersections of minoritization, majoritarianism, the racialization of difference, and decolonial movements. Interdisciplinary in practice and rooted in local knowledge, the project contends with the condition of quotidian and protracted violence and the contested terrain of social justice and people’s rights, to understand how those affected/those “Othered” can:

  • live with death-bound conditions and social suffering and ameliorate their effects,
  • define mechanisms for transitional, transformative, and reparatory justice,
  • seek psychosocial healing and political solutions, and
  • undertake the work of memorialization.
Dr. Paola Bacchetta

Dr. Paola Bacchetta

Expanding on methods in justice and accountability, the project works with a collaborative network of victimized-survivor-subjects, scholars, and academic and civil society leaders and institutions. Sociologist and Gender Studies scholar Professor Paola Bacchetta and Anthropologist and scholar of Gender and Political Conflict, Professor Angana P. Chatterji, co-chair the project, which focuses on the centrality of political and foundational violence in nation-states of the (post)colony, initially with particular emphasis on South Asia.

The project provides internship opportunities for exceptional graduate students and select undergraduate students from UC Berkeley and other institutions, and from local communities.

About the Center for Race and Gender:

The Center for Race and Gender (CRG) is an interdisciplinary research center at the University of California, Berkeley that supports critical and engaged research on race, gender, and their intersections.  Launched as a result of the 1999 Ethnic Studies Student Strike, the CRG cultivates innovative research and creative projects, and generates exchange among faculty and students throughout the university, between the university and local communities of color, and among scholars in the Bay Area, in the US, and around the globe. Visit the center at http://crg.berkeley.edu/

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