Katharina Maria Wuropulos

Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany

Katharina Maria Wuropulos

To ride or be swept by the waves of change: The sociology of peace technologies and their use in improving the liveability of disadvantaged spaces

Nowadays, developers can create technical solutions for almost any problem. Thereby, it is possible to improve lives of many people living in violent environments or underprecarious conditions by increasing the safety and liveability of their neighbourhoods and the spaces they move through. Yet, it is not merely its existence that is decisive for a 

technology’s success, but also whether and how individuals accept and use it, and how quickly and widely it spreads. Additionally, political actors, governance and policy decisions can have an influence on the dissemination of technologies by regulating and/or promoting them.

While undoubtedly, there exists a wide range of war technologies and extensive research on their effects, academic debates and research on peace technologies, as well as the sociological conditions of their use are yet in their infancy. Through my PhD I aim at building on and enriching this new field of research. I will explore which sociological conditions lead to the acceptance and use of technologies that serve to build peace and support social cohesion, reduce violence levels, and increase the liveability of spaces. My research will build on research fields of urban spaces of violence (Buhaug and Gleditsch 2008, Maclean 2015, Schutte and Weidmann 2011) in contrast to liveable spaces (Glaeser et. al 2015, Heinzelman et. al 2011, Heynen 2014, Inam 2014) with sociology of violence and research on micro-dynamics of violence (Kalyvas 2006, Collins 2009, Reemtsma 2008, Trotha 1997, Lindemann 2006, Beck 2011, Wacquant 2010), and anthropological and sociological findings on world society and globalization (Robertson 1990, Simmel, Albert and Stichweh 2007) within the discipline of peace and conflict research.

The main research question is "Why and how are peace technologies used and accepted by individuals living under precarious conditions?"