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Keynote: Understanding Victory Today

Steven Pinker, psychologist and best-selling author of The Better Angels of our Nature, gives the long view on war and peace, and asks whether the last world war really is the last.


Steering a Country to Peace – a series of Talking Heads with BBC Radio 4's Ritula Shah

Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia

The President of Colombia from 2010-18, Juan Manuel Santos was the sole recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end". In this conversation, Juan shares his insights on the interconnected nature of victory and peace, drawing from his experience negotiating a historic peace deal with the FARC guerrillas.

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer - Peace Negotiator

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer made history as the first woman in the world to sign a major peace agreement as the chief negotiator. Former head of the peace panel for the Government of the Philippines, Miriam shares her experiences of steering a country to peace.

Martin Griffiths - UN Special Envoy for Yemen 

United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen since February 2018, Martin Griffiths has been at the heart of this complex and ongoing conflict. Speaking to Ritula Shah, Martin shares his hopes for the future of Yemen.


Mission accomplished? Victory in the age of endless wars

A panel including Jonathan Powell (former diplomat and negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement), Margaret MacMillan (historian and IWM Trustee) and Tarak Barkawi (Professor of International Relations, LSE) unpick the traditional concept of military victory and ask what it means to ‘win’ a war today, in an age of unending conflicts and protracted crises. The conversation is chaired by BBC’s Chief International Correspondent, Lyse Doucet.


Healing from War: Peacebuilding after Conflict

Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Liberia, Nepal, Colombia - more than 1,500 peace agreements have been signed since 1990.  Rachel Clogg, (Senior Advisor, Conciliation Resources), Simon Wessely (conflict psychiatrist) and Waad Al-Kateab (director of BAFTA-winning For Sama) ask whether peace processes always mark the end of hostilities and how countries can move on in the wake of deadly violence and societal divisions. The conversation is chaired by BBC’s Middle East correspondent, Jeremy Bowen.

Understanding Interventionism – Debate: The West Should Not Use Military Force to Prevent Mass Atrocities 

Should the West use military force to prevent mass atrocities? Some argue the West has a responsibility to protect civilians around the world, whilst others say the West should stop acting as a global police force. Instead of putting boots on the ground, we should be pushing for political and diplomatic solutions. Channel 4’s Lindsey Hilsum chairs a debate between Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, Director of LSE's Centre for Women, Peace and Security and CEO of the International Civil Society Action Network and David Aaronovitch, journalist and author of ‘My Family and other Communists’. 


Cyber Warfare – Debate: Cyber Warfare Is A Threat to Peace

Can cyber war really be a threat to peace, when no actual acts of physical violence are committed? Some argue that the term ‘cyber war’ itself is a misnomer, while others point to the devastating impact of increasing numbers of cyber attacks committed by states, terrorists and criminal organisations alike. The Sunday Times’ Rosamund Urwin convenes a debate between Kim Zetter, investigative reporter and author of Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon and Thomas Rid, political scientist and author of Cyber War Will Not Take Place.


The Northern Ireland Troubles – Dramatic Reading from 24 Hours of Peace 

A dramatic reading of a real-life conversation between Jo Berry, daughter of Sir Anthony Berry, killed in the 1984 Grand Hotel Brighton bombing, and Pat McGee, a member of the IRA who was responsible for the attack. 

Introduced by Neil Bartlett (playwright and director of 24 Hours of Peace) and Jonathan Cohen (Executive Director, Conciliation Resources)

Cast: Miranda Richardson & Steffan Rhodri


Readings by authors

Three writers read from their work, exploring the themes discussed in the symposium. Featuring Philippe Sands, barrister and author of East West Street, Aminatta Forna, author of Happiness and Hisham Matar, author of The Return. 

Aminatta Forna - Happiness

Philippe Sands - East West Street