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BERLIN - Dr. Sebastian von Münchow, director of European Security Seminar East at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, gives a speech Aug. 27 at the International Workshop “Normative Challenges of Liberal State Building.” (Courtesy photo)

By Public Affairs
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

BERLIN (Aug. 27, 2019) – Dr. Sebastian von Münchow, professor and director of European Security Seminar East at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, gave a speech Aug. 27 at the International Workshop “Normative Challenges of Liberal State Building” in Berlin.

The event was organized by the Hamburg-based Institute for Theology and Peace (Institut für Theologie und Frieden, ITHF), an academic research organization of the Catholic Military Ordinariate. It aims to facilitate an ethical discussion of questions and dangers to peace, according to its website

The workshop was attended by 14 academics from Germany, Mali, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Zimbabwe. Nine speeches revisited three decades of international interventions and the subsequent efforts to establish liberal states.

Professor Heinz-Gerhard Justenhoven, the ITHF’s director and extracurricular professor in the Theology Faculty of the University of Freiburg and chairman of the Catholic Peace Foundation, invited von Münchow’s to talk about his recent contribution on malign sub-state actors, which was published in the Graz-based Journal for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies.

“I talked about enclave leaders, municipal rulers, clan chiefs or warlords, who hide behind the façade of institutional functions, but their true motivation is to abuse instable conditions to maximize personal gains. These malign sub-state actors spoil peace and transformation processes around the globe,” said von Münchow.

Other presentations featured traditional authorities in the distribution of justice in Mali, the European Union’s approach to state-building, peacebuilding in Zimbabwe, case studies of failures in state-building and case studies allowing optimism.

He added, “I was delighted to listen to so many views from theologists, political scientists, human anthropologists and sociologists. This was very inspiring since state-building does play a role in some Marshall Center programs. I hope I can refer to some of the speakers I met in Berlin when this topic is taught in future Garmisch workshops.”

Professor Heinz-Gerhard Justenhoven said,“I would like to thank my friend retired Brigadier General Johann Berger, the German deputy director of the Marshall Center, for having sent a contributor from his college to this important conference.”