NGO or think tank reports, numbers and indicators, academic analysis, media reporting, policy guidance, truth/inquiry commissions – questions of knowledge production and transfer, as well as the politics thereof, are currently gaining plenty of attention in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies. Researchers look at knowledge politics as a subject of academic inquiry and reflect upon the politics of knowledge that influence or shape their own research. In this course, we will look into these current debates and cover questions such as who is producing what kind of knowledge, how, and with what (political) purpose? Whose knowledge is seen as valid and why? And with what consequences? We will look at different knowledge products, different actors who produce and transfer knowledge, and at their epistemic practices. The course will combine (critical) academic perspectives with perspectives from policy/practice and put a particular focus on the politics of academic knowledge production and the nexus between academia and policy. We will read academic analyses about knowledge politics, analyse knowledge products ourselves, and hear from and discuss with guest speakers. The course has a focus on topics related to peace and conflict, but will link them to other issues in global governance. We will have the opportunity to accommodate some topics that are of particular interest to the students and decide on which topics to include in the syllabus in the first session. Generally, the course combines text work and presentations with more participatory formats. The willingness to read the (English language) course literature, actively participate in discussions and group works, and contribute to a productive and kind seminar atmosphere are prerequisites for participation. In order to take advantage of great scholars that are visiting the Freie Universität during the winter semester, some sessions may need to take place outside of the usual seminar hours.
|Dr. Mariam Salehi