35th EGOS Colloquium

Enlightening the Future:
The Challenge for Organizations


University of Edinburgh Business School

July 4–6, 2019

Edinburgh, United Kingdom




Sub-theme 72: Organizing Peace

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Marianna Fotaki
University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Yannis Stavrakakis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Didem Derya Özdemir Kaya
University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Call for Papers

Political violence is expanding and diversifying across the world. ‘The new wars’ take place in urban sites, involve non-state actors, target civilians, result in forced displacement of millions, and destroy community networks (Korac, 2006; McCann, 2017; Malešević, 2017). Researchers argue that warfare necessitates tremendous organizational effort underpinned by coercive management techniques, complex division of labour, expert knowledge, advanced technology, and exorbitant spending (Malešević, 2017, p. 462; McCann, 2017, p. 492). An emerging debate in organization studies exposes the cross-fertilization between the discipline/practice of management and organization/management of warfare (McCann, 2017: 497). While this much delayed critique should be welcomed, it still falls short of realizing the potential of organization studies in peacebuilding.
Peacebuilding refers to the organized efforts towards establishing “social justice through equal opportunity, a fair distribution of power and material resources, and an equal protection by and in the face of the rule of law” (Chetail & Jütersonke, 2015, p. 1). It includes conflict resolution, disarming former combatants, return of refugees, restoration of inter- and intra-communal ties, and addressing psychosocial needs of communities affected by conflict (Cutter, 2005; Korac, 2006). It extends beyond the conflict time and space to address “political and social fragmentation, political disaffection, the alienation of citizens from the political system’” (Stavrakakis et al., 2016, p. 59), which can potentially lead to violent outbursts.
We need to organize peace in the face of growing nationalist and xenophobic far-right movements (Stavrakakis et al., 2017) that exploit resentments resulting from growing inequalities under neoliberalism (Fotaki & Prassad, 2015) and undermine efforts for solidarity with the disadvantaged groups in society, such as the refugees (Cholewinski & Taran, 2009). Historically, women played a pioneering role in establishing cross-communal organizations for peace that address the needs of the marginalized through grassroots organizing (Cockburn, 1998; Korac, 2006, p. 511). Nevertheless, their exclusion from formal processes despite shouldering the unpaid and/or unrecognized “peace work” (Aharoni, 2011, p. 407) often led to the collapse of peacebuilding efforts (also see Aharoni, 2011; Cockburn, 1998; Desivilya & Yassour-Borochowitz, 2008; Nario-Galace, 2014). It is important to align peacebuilding efforts by grassroots organizations, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, states, and armed non-state actors (Aharoni, 2011; Cockburn, 1998; Acheson, 2014; Nario-Galace, 2014). There is a lot to be learned from the recent successful peace building processes in Northern Ireland and Colombia, for instance.
There is a growing knowledge base especially in the disciplines of international relations, political science, law and sociology with which organizational scholars showed limited engagement (for example, see Maoz et al., 2002; Maoz et al., 2004; Desivilya & Yassour-Borochowitz, 2008; Cruz, 2014). Yet, they occupy a unique position to contribute to these debates and create genuine impact by mobilizing their knowledge on identity, memory, group dynamics, power, labour, gender, bureaucracy, NGOs, etc.

We invite contributions that approach ‘organizing peace’ from a variety of angles and theoretical perspectives including:

  • Organizing support systems for those affected by conflict

  • Organizational artefacts, discourses and practices conducive to peacebuilding

  • Organizational learning in peacebuilding

  • Solidarity responses by communities and international organizations to war refugees and displaced populations

  • Counteracting xenophobic populist discourses in academic debates and the media

  • Group dynamics in peacebuilding

  • Gender and peacebuilding

  • Peacebuilding beyond spatial and temporal limits of conflict (e.g. migrant/refugee, solidarity networks, self-help groups, antimilitarist activism, etc.)

  • The role of academia in peacebuilding



  • Acheson, R. (2014): “Money, Masculinities, and Militarism: Reaching Critical Will’s Work for Disarmament.” In: I. Geuskens, M. Gosewinkel & S. Schellens (eds.): Gender and Militarism. Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace. The Hague: Women Peacemakers Program (WPP).
  • Aharoni, S. (2011): “Gender and ‘peace work’: an unofficial history of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.” Politics & Gender, 7, 391–416.
  • Cutter, A. (2005): “Peace building: a literature review.” Development in Practice, 15 (6), 778–784.
  • Chetail, V., & Jütersonke, O. (2015): Peacebuilding. A review of the Academic Literature. White Paper Series No. 13. Genova: Peacebuilding Platform.
  • Cholewinski, R., & Taran, P. (2009): “Migration, Governance and Human Rights.” Refugee Review Quarterly, 28 (4), 1–33.
  • Cockburn, C. (1998): The Space Between Us. Negotiating Gender and National Identities in Conflict. London: Zed Books.
  • Cruz, J. (2014): “Memories of trauma and organizing: Market women’s susu groups in postconflict Liberia.” Organization, 21 (4), 447–462.
  • Desivilya, D.S., & Yassour-Borochowitz, D. (2008): “The case of CheckpointWatch: A study of organizational practices in a women’s human rights organization.” Organization Studies, 29 (6), 887–908.
  • Enloe, C. (2014): “Understanding militarism, militarization, and the linkages with globalization using a feminist curiosity.” In: I. Geuskens, M. Gosewinkel & S. Schellens (eds.): Gender and Militarism. Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace. The Hague: Women Peacemakers Program (WPP).
  • Fotaki, M. (2017): TEDx Talk Turning Fear to Purpose, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aP_Ug11La4
  • Fotaki, M., & Prasad, A. (2015): “Questioning neoliberal capitalism and economic inequality in business schools.” Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14 (4), 556–575.
  • Korac, M. (2006): “Gender, conflict and peace-building: Lessons from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.” Women’s Studies International Forum, 29, 510–520.
  • Malešević, S. (2017): “The organisation of military violence in the 21st century.” Organization, 24 (4), 456–474.
  • Maoz, I., Bar-On, D., Bekerman, Z., & Jaber-Massarawa, S. (2004): “Learning about ‘good enough’ through ‘bad enough’: A story of a planned dialogue between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.” Human Relations, 57 (9), 1075–1101.
  • Maoz, I., Steinberg, S., Bar-On, D., & Fakhereldeen, M. (2002): “Palestinian–Jewish encounters in Israel.” Human Relations, 55 (8), 931–962.
  • McCann, L. (2017): “‘Killing is our business and business is good’: The evolution of ‘war managerialism’ from body counts to counterinsurgency.” Organization, 24 (4), 491–515.
  • Nario-Galace, J. (2014): “Women’s Agency against Guns.” In: I. Geuskens, M. Gosewinkel & S. Schellens (eds.): Gender and Militarism. Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace. The Hague: Women Peacemakers Program (WPP).
  • Stavrakakis, Y., Katsambekis, G., Nikisianis, N., Kioupkiolis, A., & Siomos, T. (2017): “Extreme right-wing populism in Europe: revisiting a reified association.” Critical Discourse Studies, 14 (7), 420–439.
  • Stavrakakis, Y., Kioupkiolis, A., Katsambekis, G., Nikisianis, N., & Siomos, T. (2016) “Contemporary Left-wing Populism in Latin America: Leadership, Horizontalism, and Postdemocracy in Chávez’s Venezuela.” Latin American Politics and Society, 58 (3), 51–76.

Marianna Fotaki is Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Warwick Business School, UK. Before joining academia, she worked as a medical doctor for Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde in Turkey, Iraq and Albania and as EU residential senior advisor to governments of Russia, Armenia and Georgia for ten years in total. Marianna has published over 50 articles on gender in organizations, inequalities, and the marketization of public services in leading international journals. Her recent books include “Gender and the Organization. Women at Work in the 21st Century” (Routledge, 2017, with Nancy Harding) and “The Psychosocial and Organization Studies: Affect at Work” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, with Kate Kenny). Currently, Marianna works on ESRC and British Academy/Leverhulme funded research on whistleblowing and corruption and conducts pilot projects on solidarity responses to refugee arrivals in Greece.
Yannis Stavrakakis is Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. His research primarily focuses on contemporary political theory (with emphasis on psychoanalytic and poststructuralist approaches) and on the analysis of ideology and discourse in late modern societies (with emphasis on populism, environmentalism, nationalism and post‐democracy). Yannis is Vice-President of the Hellenic Political Science Association and Co-convener of the Populism Specialist Group of the British Political Studies Association. During the period 2014–15, he headed the research program “POPULISMUS: Populist Discourse and Democracy”.
Didem Derya Özdemir Kaya is a last-year PhD student at the OHRM division of the Warwick University Business School, UK. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations and her Master’s Degree in sociology from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. Didem Derya researches emotional attachment to work through theories of affect and psychoanalysis for her PhD.
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