BICC: ‚Defence conversion‘: Dead duck or still a relevant object of study?

While the end of the Cold War had prompted many states to significantly reduce their armed forces, since the 9/11 attacks and the still ongoing global ‚war on terror‘, the overall trend has shifted, once again, to massive rearmament in many parts of the world. States, generally speaking, are no longer interested in conversion. BICC Working Paper 7\2017 “’Defence conversion‘: Dead duck or still a relevant object of study?” charts the evolution of Conversion Studies from the Cold War to the post-Cold War period and discusses some of the reasons for the demise of the discipline in the new millennium.

In Working Paper 7\2017, the author Marc von Boemcken analyzes the evolution of Conversion Studies from the Cold War to the post-Cold War period and discusses some of the reasons for the demise of the discipline in the new millennium. Based on a consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of Conversion Studies in the past, he makes some suggestions on how conversion could inform a systematic field of academic inquiry in the 21st century.

The propositions put forward to this end lean toward a comparatively conservative approach that pays close attention to the historical legacy of conversion as a concept. In sum, Conversion Studies should be a multi-disciplinary, critical and policy-relevant field of research that advocates social change based on analyses of political economies of violence, particularly in the affluent, industrialized and comparatively peaceful- societies of the Global North. At the same time, it ought to abandon its past reliance on a simple civil–military dichotomy and, instead, engage with the more complex issues raised by a focus on ‚organized violence‘.

Please find the full text of BICC’s Working Paper 7\2017 “’Defence conversion‘: Dead duck or still a relevant object of study?” at https://www.bicc.de/publications/publicationpage/publication/defence-conversion-dead-duck-or-still-a-relevant-object-of-study-704/

Source: press release BICC, 24.07.2017