Convening 27 May 2024 Boston College
Dublin 2024, Dreams of Peace and Realities of War
The Friend-Enemy Polarization
Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Seminars – 27-29 May, 2024 // Dublin Conference – 30 May-1 June, 2024

Thank you to all of the speakers, the students and young researchers and the wider audience for attending our 2024 Dublin Seminars and Conference, contributing making them a remarkable intellectual as well as human exchange experience.



Dreams of Peace and Realities of War – The Friend-Enemy Polarization: Eastern and Western Traditions Confront the Need for Dialogue


“Perpetual peace,” as Kant reminded us, is “the satirical caption to the picture of a graveyard, which was painted on the sign of a Dutch innkeeper.” And yet, the theme of the desire for peace courses through all human traditions since the Axial Age. Can the impossibility of war be constructed? It is an arduous program but also a duty of intelligence to learn to isolate the sources of violence and belligerence and resolve conflicts with the bloodless weapons of reason and with institutions capable of imposing a third power over the parties. History has shown possible reconciliation processes between enemies after bloody catastrophic wars, as in the case of France and Germany or Japan and the United States, and has produced supranational institutions, based on an internationalist ideal: from the League of Nations to the United Nations and, not least, the European Union.

The conference aims to analyze the fundamental aspiration of peace in different traditions: the Chinese and Confucian desire of the world harmony and the Middle Empire; the Islamic perspective, the concepts of peace and tolerance in the founding texts; the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and Christian perspectives from the Crusades to pacifism (from Nicholas of Cusa to Vatican II and Pope Francis).

How do wars end and how do enemies become friends? The friend-enemy polarization on the international level is threatening a whole phase of our age: is a clash of civilizations a real risk? A parallel polarization is also sharpening at the level of national politics (as is particularly evident in the United States). The trap of a public sphere dominated by the duel with the enemy is eroding the deliberative dimension of politics and democracy, and it endangers the transformation of the foe into a non-violent opponent who is respectful of the rules of the game.


More information on the conference and participating speakers, coming soon. 


The Seminars

The seminars will take place over the first three days before the conference (i.e. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) and it will end with a two-and-a-half day conference. Sessions will take place over a full day (9am to 6pm).

If you are interested in applying to the Seminars, click here.


Organizing Partners

Reset Dialogues on Civilizations, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, the Clough Center for Constitutional Democracy at Boston College and Boston College – Ireland.  This research program and related results were made possible by the support of the NOMIS Foundation.



Please consider giving a tax-free donation to Reset this year

Any amount will help show your support for our activities

In Europe and elsewhere
(Reset DOC)

In the US
(Reset Dialogues)