Security, Conflict and Justice Pathway (SCJ)

Understanding and engaging with societal challenges addressed within and across political science, international studies, criminology, law, socio-legal studies and public policy.

Climate change, social deprivation, public health, gender and racial inequalities, global development challenges, distributive justice, violent extremism and terrorism, egregious human rights abuse, changing patterns of conflict, evolving markets in crime and techniques of crime control, (forced) migration, and the evolving security agenda –amongst many others– are challenges which arguably defy narrow disciplinary approaches. They are also defined by the shifting social, technological and normative contexts in which they are found, as well as the blurring distinctions between traditionally distinct academic categories.

The Security, Conflict and Justice pathway engages with this broad range of societal challenges, addressed within and across criminology, international studies, law, political science, public policy and socio-legal studies. Debates about the nature and driving forces of conflict –and in particular the growing emphasis upon social and economic factors, identity, and environmental stresses– are relevant to the subject areas of development, governance and security. In turn, security and conflict are both inherently linked to debates about justice. Injustice is a source of conflict, and the question of ‘just security’ –including the politics and governance of crime and security within contemporary society– is highly topical and contested. Furthermore, injustice and insecurity are experienced by people in different ways on an everyday basis, including the challenges of social deprivation, unequal access to legal justice, the denial of minority rights, and deficiencies in the rule of law.

The Security, Conflict and Justice pathway facilitates excellent research training that tracks and harnesses the latest theoretical advances, as well as the innovative methodologies that have emerged at this interdisciplinary nexus. Its remit supports research that directly addresses pressing policy challenges that must be approached with novel and wider perspectives to  develop better strategies for conflict resolution and securing justice – whether locally, nationally or globally.

Pathway Governance Team

Professor Conor O'Reilly

Pathway Director, University of Leeds

Dr Jennifer Greenburg

Deputy Director, University of Sheffield

Dr Claire Q Smith

Deputy Director, University of York