PhD studentship Justice, Memory and Experience in Reconciliation after Conflict

Supervisors: Professor Graham Dawson, Dr Louise Purbrick, and Duncan Barron

Application deadline: 4pm, 27 June 2013

This scholarship is predicated on the understanding that reconciliation after conflict involves questions of justice rooted in and informed by the experience of those directly affected. You will explore theoretical accounts of transitional justice considered in relation both to theories of the psycho-social after-effects of violence and to the narratives and memories of violence offered by victims/survivors of conflict, with the aim of building an account of reconciliatory practice that is sensitive to the interplay between these issues. In exploring different ways of representing traumatic experiences and memories of violent conflict in relation both to theory and to the practical understandings of victims/survivors, you will engage with the work of victims’/survivors’ groups in developing both the direction of your research and a specific case study. The successful candidate will demonstrate awareness of the ethical implications of collaborative research involving traumatic experiences of this kind.

This is one of three doctoral scholarships available within the University of Brighton’s newly established interdisciplinary research cluster, Understanding Conflict: Forms and Legacies of Violence. Based jointly in the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics and the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories, the cluster builds a usable understanding of violent conflict and its human legacies, developing two areas of interdisciplinary investigation rooted in the recent work of the two research centres. One area is concerned with ethical and political justifications of violence, based on the principle that the philosophical study and practical implementation of an ethics of suffering have to take on board people’s experiences of living with, through and after violent conflict. The other area investigates cultural and historical constructions of past, present and future as experienced, understood and negotiated in cultures and societies undergoing violent conflict or dealing with ‘post-conflict’ legacies, with a particular interest in the intersection between temporal dynamics and spatial locations. By developing dialogue between historically and geographically situated studies and more abstract philosophical approaches, and through collaboration with external partners from outside the academy with lived experience and/or practical knowledge of conflict and its transformation, the cluster aims to develop over a number of years a valuable interdisciplinary synthesis for understanding and engaging with the forms and legacies of recent and contemporary violent conflict.   

Also Read  Doctoral Scholarships in the framework of the Interfaculty Council for Development Co-operation (IRO)

Led by Professor Bob Brecher (applied philosophy) and Professor Graham Dawson (historical cultural studies), the cluster brings together established expertise in humanities and social sciences from across the university. Contributing disciplines and areas include: applied philosophy, critical theory, cultural geography, cultural and social history, literature, material culture, politics, psycho-social studies and social anthropology. With a commitment to developing interdisciplinary understandings, you will be part of a wider group (currently nine) of PhD students working on related topics and helping to further both the cluster’s scholarly reputation and its public impact.

Funding notes: Each studentship is valued at £58,500 over three years and includes funding to cover annual tuition fees and a contribution towards living costs. It is available to students worldwide.

Eligibility and how to apply please click the “Apply” button below.

Further Information: Contact the office of Professor David Arnold, dean of the Doctoral College on: +44 (0)1273 761432 or

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