18 August 2010
Venue: Library Lecture Theatre B15, The University of Auckland
Speaker: Professor Kevin Clements, Foundation Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies, Previous Director of the New Zealand Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago??Theories of competitive and possessive individualism lie at the heart of the Neo-Liberal economic agenda and a zero sum view of democratic politics. This lecture argues that these theories are based on a profound misunderstanding of the key drivers of human behaviour. It proposes that far from being “hard wired” for competition, human beings are “hard wired” for social bonding and connection. The lecture will explore some of the psychological and sociological sources of altruism and reflect on how narrow or wide are our boundaries of compassion. This question will be addressed through the concept of a “grievable community” or “who are we are willing to mourn for?”
Professor Clements is the Foundation Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the New Zealand National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS) at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, and Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association. Prior to taking up these positions he was the Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. His career has been a combination of academic analysis and practice in the areas of peacebuilding and conflict transformation.
Professor Clements has been a regular consultant to a variety of non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations on disarmament, arms control, conflict resolution, development and regional security issues. He has written or edited 7 books and over 150 chapters /articles on conflict transformation, peacebuilding, preventive diplomacy and development with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific region.