On 23 March 2022, the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Seton Hall University organized an expert exchange on the future of the war in Ukraine and its implication for global peace efforts. This was a second in a series in discussions on live crises, following our discussion on Afghanistan in September 2001
The war in Ukraine. It is over two weeks since the Russian army entered Ukraine, shattering the lives of Ukrainians, and resulting in over 2,000 civilian deaths and injuries, and more than a 3.5 million refugees, and just under 6.5 million IDPs. In this time, the war also changed in nature, turning into one of attrition with the sustained bombardment of civilian areas by Russian forces. Experiences from a range of contexts demonstrate that this conflict will endure over time, and its implications will take generations to resolve. Ukrainians have met the invasion with not only armed defense, but also civilian resistance that may be unprecedented in scale during a militarized war. So, what now for Ukraine, and how can we support a sustainable peace for Ukrainians?
Implications for global peace. The war has also rapidly globalized, as Western actors have imposed a range of international economic sanctions, faith in European security has been undermined, and many talk of the end of the post-cold war Liberal Order. This war has implications for Europe, and for conflicts in the region, in areas such as Georgia, and will also be a learning ground for the management of conflicts with similar dynamics globally, such as China-Taiwan. In the interconnected world, the response to the Ukrainian conflict can also influence the fate of protracted conflicts, such as Yemen which depends on Russia and Ukraine for foodstuffs. What are these likely implications for Europe, other protracted conflicts bordering Russia, and for global conflict dynamics, and how can we support global peace?
Guiding questions. The discussion was organised around the following guiding questions.
What is the role of civilian resistance, and women in particular, in achieving peace in Ukraine?
What is the potential for peace in Ukraine and in Europe?
What does the war mean for other neighbouring states to Russia?
What does the war for how other global conflicts will be managed?
Professor of Practice David Wood, CPCS Director of Peacebuilding and Statebuilding in MENA
Professor Wood has almost 20 years working internationally in violent settings to promote conflict resolution and transformation. His work involves local mediation, support for political processes and international facilitation. He is a recognized expert in community safety and justice, stabilization and conflict sensitivity. He is the founder of Peaceful Change Initiative, an international peacebuilding charity.
Nina Potarska, Ukraine National Coordinator, WILPF
Since 2015, Nina has focused research on the conflict narratives of people living on both sides of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. She has also been part of monitoring the rights of women living near the contact line, gender-based violence, and other conflict-related violence. Finally, she has advocated for gender-inclusive mediation of conflicts, and supported local peace processes in Eastern Ukraine. She has been the Director of the Center for Social and Labor Studies since 2013.
Donald Jensen, Ph.D, Director Russia, and Europe, United States Institute of Peace
He joined USIP after four years with the Center for European Policy Analysis, where he was a senior fellow and editor in chief. Dr. Jensen writes extensively on
Russian domestic politics and Russian foreign and security policies. He also specializesin the domestic and foreign policies of other post-Soviet states, especially Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltic republics. Dr. Jensen received his bachelor’s from Columbia University and his master’s and doctorate from Harvard University.
Hans Gutbrod, Ph.D, Illia State University, and CPCS Senior Fellow
Hans Gutbrod has worked in the Caucasus since 1999. From this vantage point, he has observed some of Russia's more aggressive policies towards its neighbouring countries from up close. Hans worked as regional director of the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), overseeing offices in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, from 2006-2012. More recently, Hans has worked with various think tanks, and has also written on regional developments, including the Karabakh war, for outlets such as Foreign Policy or the Global Policy Journal. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
Prof. Zheng Wang, Director, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies
Dr. Zheng Wang is a Professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. He is currently also a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Fellow of International Security at New America, and a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations (NCUSCR). Dr. Wang has extensive professional and academic experience in the Asia Pacific region. He has been a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and is a nonresidential Senior Fellow at two Chinese universities: Nanjing University and Peking University. Professor Wang specializes in identity-based conflicts, nationalism, crosscultural negotiation, and maritime security