Power and powerlessness in peacebuilding

Peacebuilding in a nutshell
© forumZFD


As people working to interrupt violence, transform conflict, and weave peaceful possibilities, we encounter power and powerlessness at every level of our work (and life), although we may not be habituated to notice or know what to do with these dynamics. Our awareness of and intentional engagement with power dynamics can shape our peacebuilding work toward balancing power, sharing power, and building power together and power within – rather than (unintentionally) replicating unjust, toxic, and/or oppressive power dynamics – in ourselves, our relationships, our projects, and our organizations.

This training is a four-week course that invites peacebuilding and conflict transformation practitioners to consider the questions: How do we experience power and powerlessness in peacebuilding? What does power have to do with identity, violence and peace? How does awareness (or its opposite, oblivion) about power shape the possibilities of our work/our integrity and privilege as peacebuilders? What can we do to break the patterns of misuse and abuse of power? How do we generate patterns of shared power and attend to power within?


  • Consider definitions and experiences of power and powerlessness.
  • Deepen intersectional awareness of positionality, power, and privilege – by looking at our own biographies and experiences.
  • Imagine how to invite colleagues and communities into new patterns of power.

Key concepts

  • power structures and dynamics
  • identity, violence and peace
  • abuses and misuses of power
  • privileges
  • systemic racism, sexism, ableism, colonial and hierarchical practices


    Take-off session: Wednesday, June 1st, 2022 from 11 AM to 1 PM CEST

    Online Live Sessions: From Wednesday June 8th to Wednesday Jun 29th; every Monday & Wednesday from 11 AM - 1 PM CEST (7 sessions after take-off session: 8.6., 13.6., 15.6., 20.6., 22.6., 27.6., 29.6.).


    Learning modes will include conceptual input, self-reflection, arts-based and embodied practices, small group work, and plenary discussions. Instructors will invite creative engagement from participants and will tailor the learning journey to the needs and experiences that emerge from participants’ experience and questions. We will offer readings and possible deepening/reflection assignments in between sessions.


    Regular and active participation, reading of the provided material and journaling and exchange with pair partner.

    Total expected weekly hours: 4 hours in live sessions, 2 hours per week outside of live sessions.


Information about the seminar

Cordula Reimann

Cordula Reimann

Trainer for Systemic Conflict Analysis, Peace and Conflict Projects
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