Dorothy Brown Memorial Lecture and Study Day

Dorothy Brown, who died in 2012, took a leading part in the establishment of the National Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies at Otago University which researches alternatives to war in the settlement of international differences and includes students from all over the world, especially areas in conflict. Three of the lecturers are giving papers at the Study Day.

New Zealand’s grassroots peace movement of the 1980s pulled off a great achievement founded in persistent grassroots activism. However, New Zealand has steadily increased its military relationship with the US and taken a support role in dubious US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

These ties compromise New Zealand’s ability to fulfil an international peacekeeper role.  Independent peace-brokering is crucially needed in 2017 as  ‘tinderbox’ conflicts threaten the possibility of devastating conflict, potentially involving nuclear weapons These conflicts cannot be resolved militarily, and the concept of  ‘just war’ is misleading and unhelpful.  New Zealand should break free of its traditional alliance ties and begin to develop an independent ethical foreign policy.

DOROTHY BROWN MEMORIAL LECTURE

Friday evening,13 October – free event

Maire Leadbeater – longtime New Zealand Peace Activist

Nuclear free New Zealand at 30: historic achievement compromised by ‘follow the leader’ foreign and defence policy

New Zealand’s grassroots peace movement of the 1980s pulled off a great achievement founded in persistent grassroots activism and a range of daring and creative strategies. This energy was carried over into a 1988 high profile and partially successful campaign against New Zealand’s purchase of high-tech frigates. However, campaign momentum began to diminish in the years following the passage of the nuclear free law.

Despite its ‘expulsion’ from ANZUS, New Zealand held on to its commitments to the UKUSA agreement, and other multilateral and bilateral defence and security agreements with western aligned countries. New Zealand has steadily increased its military relationship with the US, and taken a support role in dubious US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Crucial decisions have been taken in secret with no democratic accountability – for example the decision to fully restore intelligence ties with the US in 2009.

These ties compromise New Zealand’s ability to fulfil an international peacekeeper role, although there have been a few hopeful exceptions, including New Zealand’s role in offering mediation support to the warring factions in the Bougainville conflict in the late 1990s.

Independent peace-brokering is crucially needed in 2017 as ‘tinderbox’ conflicts threaten the possibility of devastating conflict, potentially involving nuclear weapons: US and North Korea, India and Pakistan, China and India. In our own region the West Papuan people under Indonesian rule continue to suffer grave abuse. These conflicts cannot be resolved militarily, and the concept of ‘just war’ is misleading and unhelpful. New Zealand should break free of its traditional alliance ties and begin to develop an independent ethical foreign policy.

Maire first became involved with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the early 1960s. Later, as spokesperson for Auckland CND she played a leading role in the mass movement of the 1980s that successfully advocated for a Nuclear Free New Zealand. A retired social worker, Maire has been involved in human rights and solidarity NGOs and is currently active in ‘West Papua Action Auckland’. She holds an Amnesty International New Zealand life-time award for her work in human rights and was recently awarded the Order of Timor-Leste in recognition of her solidarity work in the 1990s. She is the author of: (2013) Peace, power & politics : how New Zealand became nuclear free. Dunedin; Otago University Press 2013 and (2006) ‘Negligent Neighbour: New Zealand’s complicity in the invasion and occupation of Timor Leste’ Craig Potton.

STUDY DAY

Saturday 14 October – $25 per person includes lunch and light refreshments
Registrations essential for catering. Please pay on the day.

The Pacifist State

This talk explores why states need to abandon warism for pacifism, unilaterally disarm themselves and commit to radically nonviolent politics in order to break the current cycle of violence we see in the world today. It goes on to explain how states could practically adopt a pacifist stance and replace violent national defence with nonviolent civilian-based defence, and how the development of unarmed peacekeepers could provide states with the ability to protect vulnerable civilians and engage in peacebuilding operations both at home and overseas. Examples from the literature will be used to illustrate how such suggestions are realistic and practical. The talk will conclude by explaining how moving from warism to pacifism is necessary for building both a more peaceful society which meets the needs of its people, and a more peaceful world where organised violent conflict between states and peoples is a thing of the past.

Richard Jackson is Professor of Peace Studies and Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago. He is the author of 10 books and more than 100 papers on issues of pacifism, conflict resolution, terrorism, war, politics and political violence. One of his recent books is a novel which explores the question of why a terrorist would attack Western society. It is entitled, Confessions of a Terrorist (Zed Books, 2014).

The Legacy of the Just War in the New Zealand State

In this paper I will look at the pressure on the state to provide moral justification for military interventions, the steps that various governments took to provide this, and the ways in which this factor played out in the context of New Zealand’s parliamentary democracy. The legacy is interesting, for Just War theory continued to influence the public words of government, alongside raison d’etat, and this paper seeks to understand the reasons for this, some of them institutional, some of them connected with international obligations, and some of them related to the operation of democracy. But these factors could equally play out against Just War ideas and this is also explored.

Peter Lineham is Professor of History at Massey University and Regional Director of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences on Massey’s Albany campus. He is a respected scholar whose interests cover a range of subject areas that can loosely be categorised under history and religion.  He teaches history at Massey’s Albany campus, having previously taught at Massey’s Palmerston North campus, and he has served as Head of the School of Social and Cultural Studies, Chair of the College Board and is currently Chair of the University’s Library Committee.  He has written articles on many aspects of English and New Zealand religious history and his books include There we found BrethrenNo Ordinary Union and Bible and Society and he co-edited the standard text on New Zealand’s religious history, Transplanted Christianity. In 2013 his book on Brian Tamaki and the Destiny Church, Destiny was published by Penguin Books. In 2017 he published a book on the way religion in New Zealand has influenced society and culture, with the title Sunday Best. His interpretations of trends in religion in New Zealand are also frequently reported by the media. He has long been active in a range of churches, Christian organisations and in Tertiary Chaplaincy co-ordination and prisoner support. His MA is from the University of Canterbury, his B.D. from the University of Otago and his D.Phil. from the University of Sussex.

War (Violence) Education

Education is not neutral. Education is about learning and war education is about learning about war but the content of war education acts to make war and therefore violence permissible. This session will introduce the idea that educations that communicate about war without problematising this form of violence not only legitimise war but legitimise violence. We will explore justification for war, the depersonalisation of education and war education and suggest that war education is a form of propaganda that national ministries use to moralise acts that are immoral for individuals to commit. This session is interactive and will invite participation from the audience.

Katerina Standish is Deputy Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago. She has been a community peacebuilder since 2003. She is a proponent of personal peacebuilding and is a specialist in violence transformation.

The roots of Christian pacifism and peace traditions in New Zealand

Pacifism has always been a minority position within the New Zealand churches, as it has been within New Zealand society more generally. Nevertheless, a long lineage of Christian commitment to peacemaking in the nation dates back to the nineteenth century. This paper examines the pacifist ethic within early missionary Christianity, considering the extent of its influence and its contribution towards the development of a Christian peace tradition in New Zealand.

Geoff Troughton is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, where his teaching includes courses on Christianity, religion and politics, and secularisation. His current research focuses on Christian peace activism in New Zealand and contemporary religious change. Geoff’s most recent publication, Saints and Stirrers (2017), examines Christianity and peace activism in New Zealand history; a second edited volume on this theme, Pursuing Peace sin Godzone, will be published in 2018. Other major publications include New Zealand Jesus (2011), and two co-edited volumes on New Zealand religious history – The Spirit of the Past (2011), and Sacred Histories in Secular New Zealand (2016).

Can there be an Islamic Pacifism?

As we reflect on the Quran and the life of Muhammad, we encounter elements of Pacifism as well as elements associated with Just War theory. My aim will be to explore and critically discuss both elements, as well as explore the work of Muslim intellectuals on the issue of war and peace within the tradition of Islam. I also plan to discuss the views of extremist groups, such as al-Qaeda, who regard violence as a legitimate tool for achieving their goals.

Dr Zain Ali is currently the Head of the Islamic Studies Research Unit at the University of Auckland. He teaches an introductory paper on Islam, and specialises in Islamic Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion. His publications include a book, Faith, Philosophy and the Reflective Muslim (2013), an academic paper, Concepts of God in Islam (2016), and a number of opinion pieces in the New Zealand Herald.

The Pursuit of Justice: Through War or Peace?

Just war theory, originally proposed by Augustine to enable a Roman Christian Emperor to pursue war against his enemies, rather than adhere to the doctrine of pacifism as originally espoused by the Christian church, has evolved over time to act as the moral justification for all sorts of very unjust wars, many occurring in our present era. 

On the other hand, the mere absence of war, does not mean that justice exists.  The concept of just peace is part of the debate within the discipline of peace and conflict studies, that considers what might be necessary both to keep a society peaceful and to ensure that conflicted societies return to peace.

In this address, I will firstly consider what is justice, secondly look at the evolution of the doctrine or ethical theory of Just War, and thirdly discuss the debate about Just Peace, and how justice interacts with other values such as forgiveness, truth, in order to bring about conflict transformation, reconciliation and positive peace.

Dr Heather Devere is the Director of Practice in the Postgraduate National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Dr. Devere is responsible for the practicum programme, and teaching on peace traditions of Aotearoa and conflict resolution practice. She has supervised a number of PhD theses on topics that include peacekeeping, transitional justice, anti-racism, indigenous resistance, and peace education.  Dr. Devere edits the journal AMITY: The Journal of Friendship Studies with Dr. Graham Smith from Leeds University, and co-edited Indigenous Rights and Peacebuilding with Kelli Te Maiharoa and John Synott.  She has also published widely on issues including, women and politics, women in the media, and refugee resettlement.

War, Anzac Day and the Gospels

Reflections arising from an Anzac Day Service:

  • The utter brutality and inhumanity of war
  • Remembering those who lost their lives in war and all those affected by it, particularly those who served in World Wars I and II.
  • Remembering also the New Zealand Pacifists who were reviled and shamefully treated for the courage of their convictions
  • An elucidation of the gospel message central to the pacifist stand
  • Whether an armed military response can ever be justified as a response to attack
  • The dangers of nationalism

Looking forward:

  • The challenges for tomorrow’s world
  • International leadership issues
  • An individual response

Graeme has law degrees from Auckland and Cambridge Universities.  He became a partner in 1965 in the legal firm of Simpson Coates and Clapshaw, now Simpson Grierson.  In 1984 he was appointed a full-time Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission for a five year term.  In 1989 he was appointed a District Court Judge with a Family Court warrant. He retired as a Judge at the end of 2005.  Since retirement he has been a strong advocate for children at significant risk, seeking a positive start in life for all children. His paper today is based on his Anzac Day address this year to his old school, Kings’ College.


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