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Conflict kills: exploring international lessons in the prevention of conflict

November 25th, 2014

Dr Peter Mackie, Cardiff University, 19th November 2014

After a recent visit to HMSG presenting a lecture of women’s economic development in the developing world, Dr Peter Mackie returned to Monmouth and presenting a talk on the geographical issues surrounding conflict.  The Lecture Theatre in the new William Jones Building at Monmouth School provided an impressive venue for the talk which was attended by GCSE and A level students from both schools.

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According to the United Nations, war, violence and high levels of crime affect over 1.5 billion people around the world destroying lives, degrading the environment and imposing major economic problems on affected countries.  The lecture introduced students to the main forms of conflict, considered their impacts and most importantly drew upon research to identify prevention interventions that work.

Dr Mackie emphasised that conflict should not be seen as a narrow focus on ‘big wars’ but as a much broader range of issues linked to political movements, institutional violence, economic violence linked to crime and also social violence often linked to gender bias, ethnic and gang disputes.

The talked highlighted six prevention interventions which can be/have been used to resolve conflict:  criminal justice, education and health programmes, conflict transformation, developing human rights, environmental improvement and social capital development.  This last approach drew upon the successful social rebuilding of Rwanda after its genocide. Bringing communities together, building trust and co-operation.

The talk also linked to current regions of conflict and tension, namely the Middle East and North Africa and made valuable connections to the current A2 Geography curriculum – global superpowers and development.

Many thanks go to Mr Stentiford, Head of Geography at Monmouth School for organising this talk.  HMSG and Monmouth School look forward to travelling to Cardiff University in January to tour the Geography Department and to hear talks on the environmental impacts of major sporting events and the gentrification of major world cities.

Mr N J Meek
Head of Geography – HMSG

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