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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Annual King Hussein Memorial Lecture in Cultural Dialogue - Beyond Bombs and Bandaids: The Prospects for Peace

4th May 2017, 18:15 to 19:30, Rosemary Cramp Theatre, Calman Learning Centre, Harriet Lamb (International Alert)

The purpose of this annual lecture is to promote top-level reflection on intercultural understanding and the creative possibilities of mutual intercultural enrichment. The theoretical work that needs to be done in this area is extensive and urgent, both at a national and an international level, and there are original and creative voices that need to be heard. This annual lecture is given at Durham under the auspices of the Institute of Advanced Study, working closely with the School of Government and International Affairs, and the Department of Theology and Religion.

We are delighted that the guest speaker for our 2016/17 annual lecture will be Harriet Lamb. Harriet Lamb became CEO of International Alert, which, this year celebrates 30 years of peacebuilding.

Previously, Harriet spent 16 years leading Fairtrade in the UK and globally. She guided the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK through a period of staggering growth, which saw estimated sales of Fairtrade products in the UK increase from £30m in her first year to £1.3bn in 2011. With a flourishing grassroots social movement worldwide, Fairtrade now reaches 1.5 million farmers and workers globally.

Harriet also worked with several other non-governmental organisations, always with an interest in international development issues, and lived 6 years in India. Harriet wrote a book ‘Fighting the Banana Wars and Other Fairtrade Battles’, was awarded a CBE and has won many other awards, including Cosmopolitan Eco.Queen!

The title of this year's lecure is: Beyond Bombs and Bandaids: The Prospects for Peace

At a time when conflict is on the rise and the international system seems unable to protect the most vulnerable, this lecture seeks to offer a hard-headed ray of hope, contending that peace remains within our power. Conflict is inevitable; violence is not. Harriet Lamb will sketch out the nature and causes of violence today, arguing that how we deal with conflict can create disaster – or progress. She will describe how peacebuilding, including citizen-led approaches, can produce safer, more just and prosperous outcomes, and at a lower costs than military solutions, and will describe how peace is being built on a daily basis from Colombia to Tunisia, Philippines to Rwanda and even in countries in the midst of war. The lecture is a call to action in a year where, with a new UN Secretary General and UN General Assembly Special Session on ‘Sustaining peace’ we have a critical window of opportunity to translate the rhetoric of conflict prevention into tangible action. Too often, Governments are lurching towards crisis responses – intervening militarily or with emergency humanitarian aid – rather than investing in longer term approaches to prevent conflict, or to address the root causes of conflict. Faced with issues from refugee flows to violent extremism, too many governments are increasingly trading real impact for action. In this situation, Harriet Lamb will argue, there is an ever increasing urgency to invest in peace-building, and to support all those championing tolerance.

Booking Details

Booking is essential for this event. If you would like to attend please confirm your attendance and that of any guest you wish to bring, with Louise Bellenger at Event Durham by either email (, by telephoning 0191 334 9354 or by completing this online registration form.

Venue The lecture will commence at 6.15pm in the Rosemary Cramp Theatre in the Calman Learning Centre. Please be aware the venue will not be accessible until 6.00pm.

Map – The Calman Learning Centre is denoted at building number: 43.

Contact for more information about this event.