La paz en pequeña escala / Peace in a Small Scale: Conference

From September 4-5 2019, the 3er Encuentro de Estudios Críticos de las Transiciones (Third Meeting of Critical Studies of Transitions) takes place in Bogotá, Colombia. This years’ conference, ‘La paz en pequeña escala (Peace in a small scale)’, is supported in part by Changing the Story, as well as a range of other international funders (see a full list of funders here). The conference is being led by our Colombia-strand Co-Investigator, Prof. Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, who is based at the School of Social Sciences, Anthropology Department at Universidad de los Andes. It will include an overview of the work that Prof. Castillejo-Cuéllar and his Changing the Story colleague Dr. Simon Dancey have been carrying out in Colombia as part of their Proof of Concept Project, as well as affording an opportunity for our Co-Investigators to hold their next network meeting.


All transitions to peace imply the promise of a “new nation”. However, in the current context, Colombia is experiencing the dilution of this expectation into what we call “multiple transitionalities”. On the one hand, a “post-violence” situation resulting from the Peace and Justice process undertaken with Autodefensas groups. Secondly, a “transition process” with the implementation of the debilitated Havana-Cartagena-Colón Theater Accord with the FARC; and finally, a state of armed confrontation with the ELN, without omitting the resurgence of selective assassinations of land restitution, crop substitution and human rights activists that are characteristic of paramilitary groups, the presence of FARC dissidents and the emergence of drug dealers from Mexico operating in their territorial intersection with locals. In other words, “conflict”, “post-conflict” and “transition” inhabit reality as stratigraphic layers of the present. This in addition to the new “securocracy” headed by presidential power, the re-militarization of daily life, the establishment of historical revisionism as a policy of normalcy and manifest friction between this new-old vision of Colombia and the future expectations created by the Havana process. We are witnessing, in Colombia and clearly in Latin America, true friction between tectonic plates.

Program convenors and its International Advisory Committee are inviting participants to conduct deliberations on the basis of a critical and encouraging conviction: that peace is not just the reproduction of institutions. By shifting the scale of our analysis to focus on daily life, diverse “socialities” become evident as they emerge and attempt to re-inhabit values and worlds fractured by war, in the midst of adverse circumstances. Seen retrospectively, one has only to glance at the country and continent to find the obvious and possible contradictions of the “transitional promise” coexisting with human creativity and the elasticity of survival. This meeting therefore seeks to debate these contradictions, elasticities and their social intersections, as well as to prompt dialogue within and among academia and social organizations and build an agenda of critical discussions to accompany communal processes, while simultaneously situating itself in the telluric clash of national visions that Colombia currently embodies.

Programme Structure

As in previous versions, Violence, Memory and Society (2011), Everyday Life as a Problem for Peace (2014), this year the event is designed to build an agenda of political debate and academic research, based on an “ethic of collaboration” “Between different sectors of society. Participation in the III La Paz Small Scale Encounter: Nation Visions, Unfinished Transitions and Everyday Life “will be carried out” through proposals for papers and panels in one of the following general thematic areas:

  • Segurocracy, Reincorporation and New Subjects.
  • Social Studies of the Law.
  • Frictions between Development and Transition.
  • The Past’s Productions.
  • Patch the Social.
  • Waste and Technological Waste of War.

For more information

For more information visit or download the English language version of the call for papers (now closed) here.