2015: Cooperation, Conflict & Security

In November 2013, during its regular half-annual meeting in Buchrest (Romania), the IAPSS Executive Committee decided that the IAPSS Annual Theme for 2015 will be “Cooperation, Conflict and Security”.

The theme will be applied and act as thematic academic framework for all IAPSS events (the IAPSS World Congress 2015, the IAPSS Autumn Convention 2015, the IAPSS Summer & IAPSS Winter School 2015 as well as the IAPSS Study Trips in 2015) and all IAPSS publications (Encuentro Latino Americano, POLITIKON, ADV, the IAPSS Academic Think Tank) – each to a different extent.

On The Theme

Any relationship, be it a personal one, or the relationship between groups of people, or countries, knows times of conflict and times of cooperation. Indeed, these times are not even so easily distinguishable – cooperation may be rich, cordial and fruitful, but also restrained, cautious, and profitless. Conflicts, on the other hand, may be harsh and violent, but also moderate and perfunctory. There is a large grey area in between. Conflicts and cooperation are the everyday bread of actors on every level of politics, in municipal councils, national assemblies or in a non-institutionalized environment, on the ground of a battlefield. Political science researches the dynamics of relationships between all political actors in cooperative as well as conflictual states.

From local protesters demanding the protection of their green space, through the passing of a new pension reform bill in the parliament, to the proclamation of a new country, political practitioners and researchers always face the same question: when is it more profitable to cooperate, and when to enter into a conflict with the other side? What should we do to secure our interests against external threats? Is violence the inevitable result of all conflicts, or are there measures how to prevent it?

LandscapeIsraeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, left, and US national security adviser Zbig Brzezinski play chess at Camp David, 1978.