Opening Speech: Florian Hoffman

In his opening speech as the director of the Willy Brandt School, Florian Hoffman pointed to a cognitive difference involved in studying conflict from an everyday perspective: Those to whom the everyday can be framed in a category of peace, might be ill equipped to conceive of everyday life marked by conflict. Their relation to conflict is always mediated, for example by a piece of paper, a television or computer screen. The reality of an armed conflict having become a normality is inconceivable from this point of view. Moreover, this perspective creates a kind of blindness for violent conflicts, which might go on in one’s own life world – such as increasing urban violence in the Global North.

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