Annual Conference, L’Association pour les Études sur la Guerre et la Stratégie (AEGES)

“Innovation(s), War and Peace”

2-3 December 2021 ▪ Grenoble Alpes University

This conference invites contributors to think about the notion of innovation in a plural and multidisciplinary sense, and to use it to analyze both wars – those of the 21st century as well as those of past centuries – and peace. Indeed, when we go back to the etymology of the term innovation, we see that it is composed of the prefix in (in) and novare, i.e. to make new, to renew. Innovation thus designates the introduction of something new in a given field of action in terms of use, belief or practice. Here, innovation is conceived through four prisms that can be used to analyze contemporary armed conflicts in their broadest sense (conduct, planning, decision-making process, doctrine…) but also the exit from these conflicts and attempts to build peace. Moreover, innovation, and especially artificial intelligence for defense, raises many economic, legal, social and ethical issues. Thus, contributions are invited to address one of the following four axes (or to cross several of them):

  • Innovation in the scientific and technological sense, namely what the introduction of technology, and in particular of new technologies such as cyber or artificial intelligence, has changed in the conduct of war and peace in the 21st century;
  • Innovation in the cognitive sense, which covers the doctrinal as well as the ideological and even social aspects of innovation in the analysis of war and peace;
  • Innovation in the methodological sense, i.e., how to study armed conflicts and peace with innovative methodological tools, which includes the advent of big data, for example, or the increasing digitization of documents to shed light on decision-making processes or archives.
  • Innovation in the sense of social and professional practice, and the impact of decision engineering on the conduct of war and peace.

By way of illustration, innovation, from the perspective of war and peace, maintains dialectical relations with the law in particular, since, on the one hand, innovation allows legal rules to evolve and, on the other hand, the law has the vocation of framing innovation, as a social fact. With the exception of intellectual property law (the innovative nature of patents) and, to a lesser extent, competition law (the costs and benefits of innovation), the relationship between law and innovation remains largely unexplored and unexploited. This observation is fully valid in the fields of war and peace. Similarly, the use of new technologies in commissions of inquiry and post-conflict prosecutions (treatment of open sources, weight of satellite evidence and digital investigations…), or the reflection on the nature of innovation and the social construction of technologies as developed in the sociology of innovation, are all avenues to be explored for contribution proposals. Similarly, a questioning of the conceptions of historical time underlying the representations of innovation, or the spatialization of innovation in geography, will be encouraged. More broadly, the colloquium aims to question both the meaning and the practice of innovation in the conduct of war and peace in all social science disciplines (political science, philosophy, sociology, history, geography, economics, law, etc). 

Proposals for contributions of up to one page with a title, abstract, five keywords, and a short biographical note are due by June 25, 2021. Please send your abstract proposals to:

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