Security, Conflict, and Justice

The Security, Conflict and Justice pathway engages with a range of broad societal challenges addressed within and across political science, international studies, criminology, law, socio-legal studies, and public policy. Climate change, social deprivation, public health, global development challenges, distributive justice, violent extremism and terrorism, egregious human rights abuse, changing patterns of conflict, the impact of new technologies on criminal justice, (forced) migration, and the evolving security agenda – amongst many others – are challenges which arguably defy narrow disciplinary approaches. They are also defined by the evolving social, technological and normative contexts in which they are found, and the blurring distinction between traditional academic categories.

Debates about the nature and driving forces of conflict – and in particular the growing emphasis upon social and economic factors, identity, and environmental stresses – are relevant to the development, governance and security subject areas. In turn, security and conflict are both inherently linked to debates about justice. Injustice is a source of conflict, and the question of ‘just security’ – including the politics and governance of security in contemporary society – is highly topical and contested. Injustice and insecurity are experienced by people in different ways on an everyday basis, including the challenges of social deprivation, unequal access to legal justice, the denial of minority rights, and deficiencies in the rule of law.

These challenges illustrate interlinkages across the security, conflict and justice theme, as well as links to broader societal debates. Many of the themes related to this pathway are also directly linked to pressing policy challenges which need to be approached with new and wider perspectives in order to develop better strategies for conflict resolution and securing justice locally/globally.

Pathway Director: Professor Edward Newman, Politics, University of Leeds